A special legislative session in Tallahassee is working to find ways to lower homeowner property insurance in Florida. Rates for some owners, especially those with older homes, have sometimes tripled in recent years.
Beach and island homes in southwest Florida have been especially hard hit with rate increases. Several insurance companies have not renewed policies and will not write new ones. This leaves owners with only one choice€¦ Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state run insurance company.
Legislators are trying to find ways that will allow Citizens to reduce rates and hold them down. There area several proposals for cutting costs at Citizens and private insurers. Among the proposals is to require companies that sell homeowner policies in other states to offer them in Florida. Some companies “cherry pick€ policies, only writing high profit auto insurance. Another idea is to prohibit a company from setting up a Florida only subsidiary to insulate its national company’s profits.
Some have suggested that Citizens be allowed to become a competitive company, writing policies for less vulnerable properties and perhaps even auto insurance. This, it is said, will make insurance more competitive across the board.
Other ideas are to allow policy holders to forego high premium wind coverage, purchase policies with higher deductibles or have exclusions such as vulnerable pool and lanai cages.
New building codes will go a long way toward improving homes ability to withstand high winds. When homes are stronger, insurers will be happy to take the risk. As more new and stronger homes are constructed, overall risk should lessen.
James B. Mulligan, Licensed Real Estate Broker
18245 Paulson Dr.
Port Charlotte, FL 33954
Jim Mulligan (941) 456-3034
Andy Leonard (941) 662-0033
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