Home Owners Insurance In Florida - A new analysis from the Insurance Information Institute found that Florida residents pay property insurance premiums nearly three times the national average.
Tampa Bay, Florida – The cost of living in the paradise for homeowners is getting high. A new analysis found that Florida residents pay property insurance premiums nearly three times the national average.
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A recent analysis by the Insurance Information Institute found that Florida homeowners pay an average premium of $4,231 for insurance, compared to the US average of $1,544.
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"The difference is still widening. And when it comes to the average percentage increase, Florida is seeing an average of more than 30 percent. The U.S. average is less than 10 percent," explained Mark Friedlander, spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute.
In addition, we are now learning the impact on the state-backed insurer, Citizens Insurance Corps, which is currently handling about 20,000 lawsuits – a direct correlation to the number of policies added in the past year.
"On Friday, June 17, our policy was 899,642, and I can say with certainty that today we are over 900,000," Public Advocate Christine Ashburn told ABC Action News Wednesday morning.
There were about 100,000 lawsuits against insurance companies last year across Florida, compared to about 20,000 in other states.
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“We have been battling this very real crisis since March 2015. For more than seven years, and with each year, roofers and lawyers have become more and more expert in the games that are being played,” said Bob, CEO of American Integrity Ritchie asked Roofing about the lawsuits. The companies he receives daily.
On Thursday, the Civil Claims Committee will report to its board of governors seeking more funding to fight the surge in lawsuits they are now receiving.
In just the first four months of 2022, citizens added 75,000 policies and 3,881 lawsuits, according to a report by the Citizens Claims Committee.
The company added 12,000 policies in the first week of June and 7,000 in the third week due to the bankruptcy of Louisiana's Lighthouse Insurance. They are not among the 75,000 he reported.
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"We're up 18.5% since January 1st this year," Ashburn said, adding, "We're now 43% bigger than we were in June last year."
Citizens is considered the insurer of last resort in Florida, but in this state, nine insurance companies are currently in liquidation, a tenth has nearly halved, and dozens more are either leaving, losing customers, or seeking new ones. Not opening business. All in all, mainly due to roofing scams, making them the primary insurer for many.
We have done an in-depth analysis of the Citizen's report. It added that the company receives about a thousand lawsuits a month this year, which is 12% more than the same period last year.
In addition, the report shows that Citizens spends an average of $6.5 million per month on so-called claims legal services contracts, which includes corporate fees and expenses, not including expenses for providers such as court reporters and experts.
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The map shows that 75% of lawsuits were filed in the tri-county area from West Palm to Miami, most of which were "non-weather and water-related" claims such as pipe bursts. Asburn said some are critical, but many contractors are using the system.
The report noted that Midwestern Tampa Bay "has seen a steady upward trend of lawsuits ... peaking over the last two years." According to Ashburn, the Midwest region now accounts for 15% of litigation cases and policies in the region are growing at 35.5%.
Perhaps the most startling part of the report is that citizens saw a 93% increase in Actions for Benefit (AOB), where landlords handed over their rights to a contractor or roofer.
AOB was something that MPs tried to stop in 2019 and again during the May special session, but we are yet to see any permanent change.
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"With the new bill just passed in the special session, additional efforts have been made to reduce assignment of benefits litigation by removing the ability of the assignee, the person to whom the assignment is actually, to act unilaterally as consumers. There is access under the law to charge fees,” Ashburn said.
He says many of these cases are pending since the courts were closed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Lawmakers said the changes would take about a year and a half after the special session, but industry experts say it could take longer.
Friedlander concluded, "While tort reform was implemented in the May special session, it will only be on the radar for the time being, but we do not expect this trend to slow down." "In fact, based on what we're seeing in the data from this citizen, it could potentially continue to grow."
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At Thursday's meeting, the Citizens' Claims Committee will seek an additional $50 million from the board to authorize these lawsuits and an additional $2.5 million to hire court reporters.
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