Maintaining insurance on your property is a necessity. This is especially true if you’re one of the 60% of American homeowners with a mortgage. Your mortgage holder likely requires you to have homeowner’s insurance and maintains certain guidelines about your policy. While keeping your insurance shouldn’t be difficult, some things in Florida are extra challenging.
Insurance Costs in Florida
Florida has always been a difficult state when it comes to insurance. With 6 of the 10 most costly hurricanes occurring in our sunshine state, it’s not surprising that some insurers won’t even touch us. This narrows our field of options, never a good thing for pricing. In fact, 3 of those 6 storms occurred in back-to-back years, 2004 & 2005.
But the trend is worsening even since the adjustments to cover payouts in those years. Since 2016, insurance costs in Florida have risen 32.5%. Compare that to the overall country average of a 10.9% increase. Not only have we been trending upwards, but this year we can expect double-digit increases again from many companies. Allstate has already been approved to raise their rates as much as 13.8%.
One could argue that Florida exists in a high danger area for insurers. Hurricanes cause mass damage to a large area in a short amount of time. Besides hurricanes, we are known for wet weather, tornadoes, and wildfires. Even with all those dangers, the ratio of collected premiums to paid out costs sits below 65%. Property/casualty insurance companies collected $50.4 billion dollars in premiums in 2019 alone. This means our rates are increasing, even though insurers aren’t taking a loss from claims.
Insurance and Your Roof: Replacements
Your mortgage holder requires your insurance company to replace something that is damaged. This means if your roof is damaged in an event, whether that be hail, hurricane, fire, or other, the insurance company must pay to replace the damaged area or the entire roof. A roof that is older than 15 years is more likely to incur damage. This is especially true since innovations in roofing technology have increased the lifespan of many roofs long past the 20–30-year threshold.
A new trend has emerged over the last few years that is extremely troubling. More and more homeowners with older roofs are being denied coverage or worse, being given a short time frame to replace them, out of their own pockets, in order to maintain coverage. Can you imagine going to the mailbox one day and being told you’ll have to find $10,000 to replace your roof? Even if you’ve had no problems, have never filed a claim, and have never had anyone out to even inspect it. Yet many homeowners in Florida are facing this issue.
Bill 76: How It Could Change Insurance and Your Roof Coverage
Even more concerning is Bill 76, currently in the State Senate. This would not require your insurance company to provide full coverage for your roof. Think of it like car insurance – if you wreck your car tomorrow, you won’t be written a check for the original price you paid for the car, but for the depreciated value. Homeowners’ insurers want the same privilege. Mortgage companies have long required full replacement coverage and are in opposition to this bill, but what about homeowners. If you’re paying your full premium, possibly more because you have ‘an older roof’, is it fair to decrease the value of a potential claim?
What Can You Do?
First, do your homework. This site gives you a list of insurance companies and what their rate increases have been since 2016. Let insurance companies know with your money what kind of premium increases you support.
Second, use your leverage as a citizen. Your elected officials, especially those who will be voting on Bill 76 need to know how their constituents feel about it. A quick email or form submission on their website lets your voice be heard.
Finally, if you pay your premiums and have an issue with your roof, absolutely seek a professional who is knowledgeable in the insurance industry. Filing a claim should not be an impediment to getting your roof fixed. You’ve paid your premiums for years.
Sunflo Roofing focuses on roofing jobs exclusively within the state of Florida. Having someone on your side, who knows what you’re entitled to, is priceless. Contact us today with any questions you have, or for a free inspection.