Homeowners Insurance Companies In South Florida - Florida homeowners will see a new surcharge on their insurance premiums to cover companies that have gone into receivership.
Tampa, Fla. - Homeowners will continue to see the cost of living in Paradise rise with another surcharge on their insurance premiums in 2023. This is to help the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) cover claims for insurance companies. Went into receivership.
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The new fees are the second to hit homeowners this year and the third in the past two years.
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When an insurance company becomes insolvent and loses, FIGA takes over all its existing claims and refunds premiums.
From 2013 to 2020, the nonprofit never had to pay these assessments, but since the company went into receivership last year, they took on thousands of claims and millions in financial responsibility.
Before May's special session on property insurance, FIGA Executive Director Corey Neal said they had about 8,000 claims and expected 2,000 more in the coming months, mostly from St. John's and Avatar Insurance.
However, it was a serious understatement because just three months later, Southern was taken over by Fidelity and then Weston. Currently, FIGA has about 14,000 claims that need to be paid.
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To cover the cost, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation approved another surcharge of 0.70% on insurance companies located in the state. This is in addition to the figure of 1.3% in March.
That fee is then passed on to homeowners in their premiums. You'll find a line on your bill under "Policy Fees and Credits" that lists the "FIGA Surcharge."
For example, a Tampa homeowner's premium in June 2022 was $9,000 and the .70% FIGA surcharge was $63.00.
Neal said most premiums in the first half of 2023 will see a total surcharge of 2% depending on when they last renew.
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"We're really trying to make a valuation based on a particular bankruptcy. So this was the bankruptcy on June 22nd to help us cover Southern Fidelity Insurance Company. So we're expecting it to be $170 to about $190 million. So what this valuation will help us raise is," Neal said. Explained.
He added that while they need money now, they have taken out a $150 million loan from Wells Fargo and will return it to the surcharge fund as soon as it comes in.
Neal said because we're in hurricane season, their biggest task right now is making sure they're prepared if a hurricane hits, and they have to take out thousands of policies overnight.
The good news for homeowners is that the maximum amount that FIGA can assess insurance companies in a year is 2% until a hurricane hits the state.
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While Tampa Bay continues to attract new residents and businesses, the impact of life in paradise comes at a price for all of us – from the rising costs of housing and infrastructure to utilities and insurance. ABC Action News helps you and your family make the most of your money and paradise. TALLAHASSEE, Fla. Committed to helping you navigate — Florida consumers have a new tool to help them shop for the best property insurance rates.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has launched an updated website that allows you to compare rates from major insurance companies in your area.
Go to the Map of Florida site and click on your county. You will then see a pop-up window that ranks insurance rates along with the companies' contact information.
The website CHOICES is proving very popular. Thousands of Floridians are already taking advantage of the information, spokeswoman Brittany Perez said.
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"Consumers can click on their county and see what types of insurance company options are available, and they can find contact information for those companies in one place. So they can look between different options, compare different options, and ultimately find their best choice. Homeowner's insurance coverage."
Perez says homeowners can look into getting property insurance discounts to take some mitigation measures against hurricanes.
"We have a mitigation form where consumers can see what steps they can take to protect their home from the storm, and in the same place they can see all the information to contact insurance companies."
Choices, which stands for Consumer Homeowner Insurance Comparison Electronic System, is the state's next-generation website for comparing insurance rates. It was developed in 2007 as shopandcompares.com. TAMPA, Fla. - Homeowners insurance and insurance companies are taking a big hit in what one state senator is calling the overall collapse of the Sunshine State's property insurance market. The roof corruption is the cause of the crisis.
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Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes successfully petitioned to call a special session on the issue, and the Secretary of State is now polling the Legislature to see if there are enough votes to hold that special session within the next month.
Since our last in-depth story on homeowner's insurance, many people across the state have seen their premiums double or triple.
Mary Kilgore's $140,000 home in Lutz went from $2,400 to $4,300 a year with Southern Fidelity Insurance.
“Insurance has been $3,500 to $4,500 for the last 12 years,” Halvorsrod said. "Received a new bill in the mail last week for $8375.99."
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Halvorsrode said Farmers Insurance informed them that prices had risen because of the 16-year-old ceiling.
"They told me our roof was falling apart and was over 10 years old, and no one wanted to insure it anymore," she said. "So, we're in the process of installing a metal roof, and the quote I got was under $3,000 a year once the metal roof was installed."
"Unfortunately, most private carriers are looking to avoid risk," said Mike Puffer, Florida Strategic Insurance and Strategic Roofing partner.
When Valrico homeowner John Hanson received a notice from his insurance company, Universal, about the age of his roof, he got a roofer for an estimate.
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"They advised me to file a claim with my insurance company to replace that part of the roof," Hanson said. "The insurance company refused at first, saying they would only fix broken wood."
That would have been a $400 payment, but since his deductible was $2,500, he would have received nothing.
"When I reported this to the roofing company, they asked if they could bring in a consumer advocate to help," he said. "After a while the insurance company agreed to replace the entire roof."
"I would have been happy ... if they had said, 'OK, we'll replace half of your roof ...' when they said the whole roof, I thought that was a little excessive, but I wasn't. T. was going to argue with them," Hanson said.
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Under state law, insurance companies don't have much of a choice. If more than 25% of the roof is damaged, they have to replace the entire thing, which is called replacement cost value (RCV).
"At this point, it's the craziest I've ever seen it. I've been at this for 40 years and our company has been here... 72 years," said Tampa Bay legacy roofer, Doug Shields with Bill Shields Roofing. .
"Lawyers get involved, and lawyers get a rule that if they recover $1 in storm damage, their attorney fees are covered," he said, explaining how insurance companies pay $700-$800 an hour in attorney fees.
These litigation costs have pushed seven Florida insurance companies into liquidation, many more have pulled out of the state, and for those that remain - their ratings are rapidly declining.
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"I received seven emails this morning from our service team about new non-renewals that our customers are going to receive due to the age or lifespan of the roof," Puffer said.
The insurance agency started their own roofing company to help customers replace their roofs before they give up.
"We write a lot of business with one insurance company in particular, and when we spoke, the CEO told us that last year he had 26 cases a day for roofing," Puffer said.
According to the Insurance Regulatory Office, 79,220 lawsuits were filed against insurance companies with underwriting losses of more than $1 billion in 2020.
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Additionally, another survey commissioned by the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, titled "Florida's P&C Insurance Market: Spiraling Toward Lapses," found that 71% of allocated funds in 2019 went to roofer attorney fees, with 25 attorneys filing 33% of cases.
For example, Shields said a customer was quoted $14,700 for a roof that was not storm damaged, but another roofer filed a storm damage claim in court and received $32,000 from the insurance company.
"It's not fair," he said, adding that their fame keeps them busy, but this
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