Rising Home Insurance Rates Sweep the Country, Especially Florida and Coastal Regions
Insured Florida residents along the state’s many coastal regions have seen rates increase from 14%-100+%, with Bankrate reporting the national average increasing at 20%, a percentage great enough to cause homeowners to reassess the true value of their premium payments. Legislation is in the works to cap increases; however, when this will pass, and at what level, remains to be seen. Aging homes, increasing weather events, and an uptick in insurance fraud are driving insurance companies to seek retribution for significant outflows. Legislation is expected to help cap premium rates, but it is unclear as to when this relief will come.
Insurance companies are starting to accelerate the depreciation of homes having experienced a storm, especially in the roofing space as this is where the most fraud is reported. Insurance companies are also becoming more stringent on upgrades and repairs needed on homes especially post-storm. Since most retirees have not budgeted for such significant increases, depreciation acceleration, and shortened allowable claim periods, it can be challenging for many to keep up with the changing policy landscape.
If you are a Florida property owner, there are a few key questions you may wish to ask your insurance representative:
- Do you anticipate any increases in my premiums given the recent adjustments by companies servicing the area?
- When do you typically assess property value, and what are determining factors that would lead to a necessary increase to my premium?
- What are best practices for filing claims and getting concerns resolved in an efficient matter? Are there varying timelines or windows in which claims can be filed following an incident?
- If there is scheduled repair or maintenance needed for my home that is covered under my policy, what are best practices for scheduling and contractor selection to ensure proper reimbursement?
- If you are unreachable, who from your team should I contact in case of emergency?
- Will my policy automatically renew? When should I expect renewal notice?
Very few families can weather the hit to their savings to recuperate after the loss of an uninsured home. Additionally, many retirees have not budgeted for such drastic increases. If you are considering dropping your home insurance coverage, we highly recommend a comprehensive financial planning discussion with your financial advisor to review the viability of your financial plan should you incur a total loss of your home. Aside from rebuilding costs, one should also consider content replacement, and the often-overlooked cost of demolition and removal of the uninhabitable property. Homeowners considering forgoing insurance should also be aware that they will likely need to own their home outright, without remaining mortgage, loans, liens, or lines of credit associated with the property since lenders typically require coverage.
Those with ample access to money may decide the amount of their new premiums would be better served in an investment account earmarked to self-insure against home loss earning modest returns. Again, this is a decision best discussed with your financial professionals taking all variables into consideration. If you are a Centerpoint client and concerned with the recent movements in insurance premiums, or if perhaps you would like to model your financial plan with a higher insurance inflation rate, please reach out to schedule a call to review your options.