Dumped by Insurance Companies

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All across Florida, homeowners are coping with higher insurance premiums, and those may be the lucky ones. Thousands of people are being dropped by their companies.

Finding a replacement can be a long and expensive task. Thousands of Florida homeowners are dumped by their insurance companies. Notices are showing up in the mail saying they won’t be allowed to renew their existing coverage. Once that happens, it’s up to the homeowner to find an alternative.

William Stander of Property and Casualty Insurers says, “Go shopping, and it’s important, make sure that you’re shopping on more than just price, because company handle claims differently. You also want to shop on claims handling experience.”

And once you go shopping, get ready for sticker shock. Jeff Grady with the Florida Association of Insurance Agents says premiums are going up. Even the insurance companies have to pay more for their re-insurance in order to cover losses here in Florida.

Jeff Grady says, “And they can’t provide insurance without being profitable, so will they stay in Florida? Only if they get a fair price. Only if Florida can come up with a way to insure the wind, so I think consumers need to be aware that price is an issue.”

With such large losses, the agents say that the basic structure of insurance in Florida has to change. They’ve contracted with Florida State University to do a study, but don’t look for any magic bullets before the end of this hurricane season.

If all else fails and you can’t find coverage, there’s Citizen’s Property and Casualty Company, created by the Legislature to serve as the insurance carrier of last resort. It’s usually the most expensive option, but many homeowners are discovering it may be their only option.