When Dulce Suarez-Resnick’s home insurance policy was due for renewal, she had to find a way to offset the increase she saw in her review.
“I had a 40% rate hike and couldn’t go to another insurance company because technically for them my 20-year-old roof is too old,” she said. “So I had to increase my deductibles and had to look at my covers, maybe make some adjustments.”
These measures helped her reduce the $ 1,200 increase she was facing in her annual policy.
“I was able to reduce it to just a $ 700 increase, but it’s still an increase.”
Dulce, who has worked in the insurance industry for more than 30 years, said she hears similar stories from her clients.
“I feel their pain,” she said.
On average, she said, many of them saw their home insurance premiums climb between 25% and 60% when they renew.
“We are in a pandemic situation,” she said. “Last year a lot of people weren’t working… maybe their incomes weren’t the same as those who own a house and that’s just another burden.
Homeowners don’t just face higher premiums.
“We are in a very volatile market here in Florida,” said Mark Friedlander of the Insurance Information Institute.
Friedlander said tens of thousands of people in Florida recently received a non-renewal or mid-term cancellation notice, forcing them to scramble to find coverage.
“If you get a notice, the first thing we tell people – don’t panic,” he said. “Call your insurance agent as soon as you can. Talk to them about your options.
Those options, he said, will likely be limited, forcing many homeowners to turn to citizen property insurance as fewer private companies are writing policies, especially at this time during hurricane season.
“They average around 5,000 new customers per week,” Friedlander said. “We’re talking about 750,000 policies under Citizens by the end of 2021. They’ll be the state’s largest property insurer and it’s a very unhealthy situation for Florida.”
Friedlander said fraudulent roofing claims and rising litigation costs are fueling the problems we’re seeing in the Florida insurance market.
Even though it has been nearly three years since a major storm hit Florida, Friedlander said private insurers reported more than $ 1.7 billion in losses in 2020, more than double their losses in 2019.
If you get a renewal notice that you can’t afford, shop around.
Ask your insurance agent for several quotes. You can also see if it makes sense to increase your deductibles or change some of your coverages.
You can also ask another agent to give you quotes, as they may work with different insurance companies than your current agent.