ORLANDO, Fla. — It was bad; it’s gotten worse.
“They say my roof is too old and that is why they’re dropping me,” said Volusia County homeowner Douglas Zimmer. “I’m shopping around right now, but what am I going to do in November, what will happen to my coverage then?”
Douglas is like many Floridians right now, facing skyrocketing rates and policies with fewer protections.
“My agent is looking into it, but I’m going to be paying more,” said Douglas.
“Mine’s gone up more than one-hundred percent,” says Orange County homeowner Evan Dimov. “I was shocked when I shopped around, it just didn’t seem like anyone wanted my business.”
Critics say what’s driving this crisis is a pair of things: lawsuits and fraud. Last year more than 100,000 lawsuits were filed for property claims. That’s 130-times more than any other state in the country.
“It’s just becoming a financial burden to homeowners that is above and beyond,” says Chris Cury of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters.
Across the state, nine property insurance companies have entered liquidation with some of their policies being picked up by other carriers, while thousands pour into the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance, with the insurer of last resort now above 1 million policies after being at just 400,000 a few years ago.
On Tuesday, the Florida Cabinet received a briefing on the homeowner’s insurance market with leaders saying that a bill passed in 2021 (SB76) is showing some improvement, but leaders concede that more needs to be done and the Florida Legislature will have to act. The governor has indicated he’ll sign a bill dealing with the crisis has stopped short of calling a special session to deal with the issue, instead indicating he’d like the House and Senate to come to an agreement on a solution first.
Here are the nine companies in liquidation, according to the Chief Financial Officer’s office.
- American Capital Assurance Corporation
- Avatar Property and Casualty Insurance Company
- Florida Specialty Insurance Company
- Guarantee Insurance Company
- Gulfstream Property and Casualty Insurance Company
- Sawgrass Mutual Insurance Company
- St. Johns Insurance Company
- Sunshine State Insurance Company
- Windhaven Insurance Company
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