Florida Home Coverage Problems
Florida homeowners insurance has been in a crisis over the past few years, especially since the bumper windstorm year of 2004. The Sunshine State has been afflicted with many home insurance claims due to hurricanes, tropical storms, flooding and sinkholes.
Florida homeowners insurance can require flood insurance, sinkhole insurance, wind coverage and liability to cover a range of types of loss. Home policy coverage has seen an increase in premiums, and higher deductibles as policyholders take on more of the risk. The insurance commission and the legislature have seemed almost powerless to stop the rising home coverage rates. The cost of a house policy has begun to mean that residential insurance is almost unaffordable. And when a claim is made and an assessor comes out, often the claim is ruled ineligible for one reason or another. Many companies which routinely offer home insurance in other states, such as Farmers, will not or cannot offer house insurance policies in Florida. If you go to their site and enter in a Florida zip code then you will see the message: We are sorry. Farmers does not currently write business in FL.
This site has news and consumer advice about residential property insurance.
Florida Homeowners Against Citizens Insurance Protest Group Web Site
In 2005, a group of Floridian citizens formed a group called Homeowners Against Citizens Florida, which later became Having Affordable Coverage Florida. This consumer coalition petered out in 2008, and their web site expired. This site has now been recovered. See the Homeowners Against Citizens Florida site here.
Allstate says "Thanks for all the home policy premiums. See you later"
A reader by the name of Kathie sent us this recently:
My 90 year old mother's homeowners insurance with Allstate was recently cancelled. All they are insuring is contents only and minimal at that. She has had her auto, property and jewelry policies with Allstate since 1969. Several other tenants in her condo have Allstate and they were not cancelled. She was offered Universal, but with no policy form or pricing as to what to expect. She is on fixed income as is most of the elderly people in Florida. Please advise what I can do to ensure my mother can keep Allstate as her insurance carrier.
See our Allstate Homeowners Insurance page for more information on this company's behavior. Kathie's mother's story is the sort of thing that the media would lap up: Big Insurance Company Causes Distress For 90 Year Old Woman.
Citizens Policy Canceled For Paying Too Much
My friend sent me, and about a hundred other people, the following email on August 10, 2007:
But here's the BEST part....Do you know WHY they cancelled my policy? BECAUSE I OVER PAID!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right..I gave them TOO much money so they cancelled my policy.
Read more at the Florida Policy Holders Insurance Complaint Page
Citizens To Reduce Premiums
See the full report in the Tampa Tribune. Highlights include that:
" Citizens Property Insurance Corp. will reduce premiums on
its 1.2 million customers - on average, 14.5 percent for high-risk
policy holders and 6.7 percent for others.
"Citizens' announcement of rate reductions comes a day after private
insurers filed their proposals for cutting homeowners insurance rates."
Note that the rate reductions are a lot less than those forecast by regulators following the special session in January. The Tampa Tribune continues:
"The top five private companies in the Tampa Bay area proposed statewide
average decreases of 3.1 percent to 14.2 percent. At the same time, some
also have announced thousands of cancellations."
The St Petersburg Times says: "Many of the reductions, which apply only to the wind
portion of a policy, are on top of far larger overall rate hikes that
were approved last year. In many cases, the reductions merely lower the
size of the increase."
Legislature Addresses Cost of Coverage
See our summary of what happened from the State Government's Special Session on Homeowner's Insurance. The good news according to the pundits, is that insurance rates may go down 10 to 25%. The bad news is that if a big hurricane slams the state, then the taxpayers may be on the hook for bailing out the State's catastrophe fund.
Are Florida Insurance Brokers Making Money From The Crisis? See our report here.
Other Companies Doing Home Policies
However, there are insurance companies in Florida other than Citizens who are doing policies. You can see our Citizens Insurance Takeout page, for example. This site also has ads from companies willing to do property insurance quotes. They wouldn't be advertising if they weren't writing house insurance and condo insurance!
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
See the Citizens Property Insurance page.
Having Affordable Coverage
HAC (Homeowners Against Citizens) or Having Affordable Coverage Florida
Other Community And Consumer Groups
FIRM, PIRG, ACORN, Coalition of Florida Condominium Associations, Cyber Citizens for Justice, Floridians In Action, Property Owners Association. Also the OIR which is the office of the Insurance Commissioner in this state.