Florida has always been an expensive state for homeowner’s and other types of property insurance, but lately, it seems like things are getting out of hand. A recent news article discussed how condo associations around the state are pleading for state government intervention in the face of insurance rates tripling this coming year. One condo board member, Ed Wolfe, said, “Property insurance has gotten totally out of control in this state.”
By September 2012, the Office of Insurance Regulation also received 73 applications to raise prices on homeowner’s policies. Allstate asked for a 32.4 percent rate hike this year. And these increases generally cost each homeowner hundreds of dollars a year. This is an even bigger problem for many of Florida’s older and retired citizens. These Floridians usually live on fixed incomes and cannot afford drastic increases in rent due to out of control property insurance prices. Mr. Wolfe, who is a board member of a condo association near Sarasota, complained, “Millions of dollars are being sucked out of this county and not creating a single job.”
The legislative session doesn’t begin again until March, but property insurance reforms are already on the minds of lawmakers. Most previously proposed remedies involve higher premiums, which, as noted, can be catastrophic for lower income people, particularly the elderly. One southern Florida Senator, Nancy Detert, called it “obscene” that many insurance policies cost more than the property tax on the same land. She also asserted that this problem is keeping people from moving to Florida and wants to see new ideas discussed this year. However, the debate around state-run Citizens Property Insurance, by far the state’s largest insurer with 1.4 million policies, has gotten most of the attention recently. The Governor is hoping to privatize Citizens and thus create more market competition. Many are afraid this will only lead to even higher property insurance premiums in a state where people are already struggling. Senator Detert also hopes to be able to shrink Citizens, but also to find ways to avoid dramatic price increases. Floridians will have to wait and see what the state government can come up with in the coming year.
A Florida insurance attorney can assist you in an insurance claim action. With property insurance such a huge expense for Floridians, you are certainly entitled to the coverage and benefits you are due. Working hard to cover these skyrocketing bills is often difficult, and you should get every penny you paid for through premiums. And under Florida law, if you succeed in your case, the attorney’s fees will automatically be the responsibility of the insurance company. This means that no matter how big or small your claim, if you win your case, you get to keep the entire award and the insurance company will pay all of your lawyer’s fees. Contact our law office at (561) 737-3133 to discuss your case today.
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