Home insurance is an ever-changing topic of conversation – sometimes positive and sometimes not so much. The last five years and the next five years to come have been and will be HUGE to the property insurance industry, thus impacting real estate drastically. Here is a recap of what we’ve seen and what we expect.
THE PAST FIVE YEARS:
- Litigation and fraud increased more than ever before, driving premiums up and causing at least 10 companies to go out of business or stop writing in Florida
- Underwriting guidelines became the most strict we’ve ever witnessed… roofs have to be as new as 7 years old with some companies and risks are scrutinized with extra inspections and requirements
- It is estimated that since 2017, the four storms that hit Florida (Irma, Michael, Ian and Nicole) cost over $160 billion with a net loss for Florida property insurers of $3 billion… causing insurance carriers to be unprofitable and reinsurers to question their risk appetite
- Homeowners are seeing rate increases of over 50%
- Policies, because they’re hard to come by, may be lacking coverage from what is typically recommended
THE NEXT FIVE YEARS:
- Citizens is no longer the “insurer of last resort” and is writing more business than ever, but will soon be requiring flood insurance on all policies, regardless of flood zone risk level
- The process of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) is no longer allowed for contractors to obtain rights to manage claims for the insured via a signed form
- One-way attorney fees are no longer permitted so the astronomical payouts from insurers will diminish significantly
- Two reinsurance funds were created in special session in 2022, which will help carriers still take on exposure
- We expect in the next 2-3 years, premiums will begin to level out and come down some… although rates will remain competitive since there aren’t as many carrier options, our hope is that they come down a reasonable amount
It’s been a while since there was “good” news in the property insurance world but all of these are steps in the right direction that we can all be excited about. The end goal is to make insurance available and affordable for all Florida homeowners again.