ORLANDO, Fla. —
WESH 2 News is investigating reports of home insurance premiums increasing over the past few years.
If your home insurance premiums haven’t gone up already, you’ve likely talked with neighbors or friends whose rates are skyrocketing.
Officials at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said they’ve had a dramatic increase in rate hikes above 10 percent.
Barry Grimm said he was rather shocked when he found out how much more it would cost him to insure his Apopka home.
“Last year, I paid $3,400 for my homeowner’s insurance. This year, I paid $6,600,” Grimm said.
WESH 2 News asked Grimm why the cost went up.
“I have no idea. The coverage is the same, and I’ve never had a claim. They tell me it’s because of the roof, and they say if I don’t replace my roof within the next year, they’re going to drop me. And there’s nothing wrong with the roof,” Grimm said.
Resident Kym Rodgers is in a similar predicament with her property in downtown Orlando.
“I bought it as a retirement plan for when I’m old enough not to work, to be an income-producing property,” Rodgers said. “They’re still not renewing because they say the roof has reached its end of life expectancy, which is untrue. I’m to replace this very expensive and nice looking roof on my own dime if I want to continue to have insurance.”
Grimm and Rodgers are not alone.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation presented a graph to state lawmakers in January showing how much rate increases have gone up statewide since 2016.
Of the 105 rate filings the department says it received in 2020, it approved 55 filings to increase rates above 10 percent.
In 2016, it only approved six of the 64 filings for double-digit rate hikes.
So, why are property owners paying more now?
Commissioner David Altmaier says solicitation appears to be the culprit.
Altmaier says that ultimately leads to litigation, which then leads to higher costs for insurance companies and negative consequences for consumers.
Linda Knudsen is an insurance counselor.
Citizens Property Insurance is a government non-profit organization that provides last-resort home insurance.
“We’re seeing in the four-county area around Orlando, we’re seeing our policy count really more than double since 2018,” said Michael Peltier, of Citizens Property Insurance.
Not everyone is eligible, though.
Homeowners like Grimm are weighing options with their insurance companies.
“I don’t want to lower my coverage. So, I may have to go the expensive route, replacing the roof within the next year,” Grimm said.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation released a statement saying:
“The Florida insurance market is one of the most complex in the world. The property market is currently facing significant challenges as the frequency of claims increases, and those claims become more expensive. These challenges are largely due to increased litigation, exacerbated by higher catastrophe claim losses as a result of multiple hurricanes over the past several years, and rising reinsurance costs as a result of a hardening reinsurance market.”
Officials at the office also encourage people to shop around for the best rates to suit their needs.
Source : https://www.wesh.com/article/man-rescued-after-falling-through-ice/35785202