As we noted in this blog, Governor Rick Scott signed into law a piece of legislation that changes many aspects of property damage claims, and that also makes it easier for insurance companies to raise your property insurance rates in the years to come.
Well, the time has come. Insurance companies are raising your rates.
The rates are going up despite the insurance companies getting their wish list enacted by an insurance friendly Governor to help them make consumer claims more difficult to make, but yet those same insurance companies reap the benefits of higher insurance premiums.
State insurance regulators approved more than two dozen home insurance rate hikes ranging from 6 to 34 percent.
American Integrity Insurance Co. of Florida, which has 102,091 home insurance policies statewide and 13,575 in Broward, Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties, received 14 percent increases for two types of homeowner insurance policies it offers. Security First Insurance, with 119,205 policies statewide and 21,025 in South Florida, received a 9 percent increase for its homeowners multi-peril policies. And Universal Insurance Co. of North America, which has 81,834 policies statewide and 11,420 in South Florida, received a 12 percent increase for its homeowner property insurance policies.
And then there is Citizens. The sate’s insurer of last resort. State regulators approved an average 6 percent statewide rate hike for Citizens Property Insurance’s homeowners policies – which include coverage for homes, condominiums and renters – and 9 percent for rental and vacation home policies.
Premiums for most parts of South Florida will increase next year by up to 10 percent. Fortunately, this is significantly lower than the proposed 25% rate increase Citizens was hoping to get.
Why Are Insurance Rates Going Up?
Despite a record 6 straight years without a hurricane strike in Florida, and the passing of sweeping insurance reforms, insurance companies are still raising rates at a blistering pace.
Insurance companies are of course companies driven by profit. They also have to manage their books to ensure that enough money is in reserve in the event a major hurricane does strike Florida.
However, regulators and consumer advocates have said that Florida insurers could bolster their claims-paying reserves during hurricane-free years if they spent less of the premiums they collect on contractors, sometimes affiliated companies, to manage daily operations; if they lowered other overhead costs such as advertising; or issued smaller dividends.
Our Miami insurance dispute lawyers handle insurance claims for homeowners. Our attorneys represented insurance companies before 2006, when we opened a firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of consumers. We understand how insurance companies work. And we have the knowledge and experience necessary to represent homeowners in disputes over an insurance claim.