Why does home insurance cost so much in Florida?

06 Apr
Livingroom and pool view of a Florida home in Fernandina Beach

Florida has long been a favorite of retirees due to their lack of income taxes and pleasant weather. However, home insurance rates in Florida have been skyrocketing for years and the high cost of insuring their retirement home is impacting retirees in the Sunshine State.

According to a recent statement by Mark Friedlander of the Insurance Information Institute (Triple-I), the Florida property insurance market is “on the brink of collapse.” A number of insurers have gone under in the last few years and other insurers are pulling out of the Florida market altogether or raising rates. The average premium in Florida has jumped to $3,600 compared to the national average of $1,398.

When the Triple I ran the numbers, many homeowners in Florida experienced a premium increase of 50 percent or more last year and statewide the average increase hit 25 percent comparted to just 4 percent nationwide.

“Based on current rate filings, we project average premium increases across the state will range from 30-40% this year,” Friedlander said in a recent interview.

Why is home insurance in Florida so expensive?

The main reason that premiums continue to climb in Florida is continued losses year after year by insurance companies due to out of control fraud in the roofing industry combined with frivolous lawsuits by less than honest lawyers who partner with roofing companies to sue insurers. 

Due to the shocking number of lawsuits, many Florida based insurance companies have been forced to non-renew customers in certain areas, raise premiums or even declare bankruptcy. In the last 30 months, six Florida insurers have gone under. 

While legislators in Florida have tried to resolve the issue via new laws, so far, they have been unsuccessful. They recently failed to pass bipartisan legislation. Their failure will continue to make it very difficult for Floridians to find affordable homeowner coverage. 

How to save money on your Florida homeowners insurance

If you call Florida home and are looking for ways to save money on homeowners insurance, we have put together a few tips. 

  • Shop your coverage: This is one of the best was to lower your premium. Insurance companies rate risk differently which can result in dramatic differences in premium quotes. Be sure you are comparing apples to apples when it comes to coverage levels and deductibles
  • Consider Citizens Property: Citizens Property is the insurer of last resort in Florida and is now the largest insurer in the state. There are coverage limits as well as other qualifications that must be met but it you cannot find coverage with other insurance companies this may be your only choice. 
  • Improve your home: Adding storm shutters, wind resistant shingles, a monitored security system or even a fire suppression system will result in major discounts from most insurers, lowering your premium. However, many of these upgrades can be expensive, check with your agent to see which upgrades are worth the cost. 
  • Discounts matter: Insurers offer a wide variety of discounts that can help lower your premium. Have your agent do a discount review to make sure you are getting all the discounts you are qualified to receive. 

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