Florida insurance crisis: Experts fear disaster as 7 companies have pulled out of Florida since May
LAKE MARY, Fla. - More home insurance companies are leaving Florida leaving policyholders high and dry. This isn’t new as many Floridians have been dealing with higher premiums or their company dropping them altogether. People tell FOX 35 News their company has moved out of state, gone bankrupt, or dropped them until they can get a new roof.
"Your policy will expire on 10-17-2022 and you will not be renewed," read Marisa Davis.
Marisa’s insurer Tower Hill is dropping her even though she hasn’t had a claim since 2015. She says they are also dropping everyone at the insurance brokerage she uses.
"I don’t plan on going out of town and having my house water itself. I don’t plan on having a storm attack the roof. Nobody does," said Davis.
Marisa is not alone as other companies like Bankers Insurance Group are dropping all of their accounts in Florida. The company tells FOX35, "this difficult decision was made to allow us to focus on our remaining lines and ensure they remain competitive and profitable".
"Seven companies have stopped writing business or decided to leave the market since the special session," said Mark Friedlander.
Friedlander is a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute. He believes this is because the state didn’t do enough to address issues like third-party contracting schemes, exuberant attorney fees, and other issues that are pushing insurance companies to the brink of extinction.
"When you say, OK we have over 50 companies that are writing policies in Florida, but realistically if you could get one or two quotes you’re doing well because most companies have cut back or completely stopped writing new coverage," said Friedlander.
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Friedlander says the volatile market has turned the state-run Citizens Insurance from the insurer of last resort to most people’s first and only resort. In addition, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has made Citizens the re-insurer for companies facing massive claims. Something Friedlander believes is setting the state up for disaster.
"It will deplete their reserves, and what happens if they deplete the reserves? All of us are going to be paying for it," said Friedlander. "We will all be charged a surcharge on our insurance policies for years to come."
During the special session, legislators addressed some issues with roofing claims, and high attorney fees and put aside $2-Billion to support insurance companies. Experts would like to see more done about the assignment of benefits claims by third-party contractors. In particular third-party contractors trying to scheme the system
"The continuous conversation around assignment of benefits and other things to ensure that the actual insurer gets the benefits that they’re seeking," said Ronald Brisé of Gunster Law.