ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Lawmakers have until a Monday deadline to indicate whether they believe a special session is necessary to address skyrocketing Florida property insurance rates.
Florida Secretary of State Laurel Lee sent a letter to lawmakers Thursday asking if they would support a special session regarding property insurance. Sixty percent of the entire Florida legislature would need to say ‘yes’ for it to happen.
Insurers in the Tampa Bay area said homeowners are seeing their rates increase significantly.
“I’ve seen increases in excess of 100%,” said Ed Fandel, President of Pineapple Insurance in Tampa [part of the Tomlin St Cyr suite of services.] “If I had to look at an average, I’d probably say you’re in the 20 to 30%, is kind of standard. And I think that is a combination of what we what you would describe as a base rate change as well as kind of some of the inflationary changes that they want to make.”
Fandel said insurers are also choosing to not renew certain clients, often due to the age of the home or the roof on the structure; some companies are refusing to cover roofs that are older than 10 years.
“That, to me, is probably the area that’s probably causing the biggest change from a marketplace perspective, and that is what’s leading consumers to shop,” said Fandel, adding he recommends homeowners shop for policies that better fit their budgets. “I think that there are things that people can do. You can look at the deductible on your policy. You could potentially look at maybe taking an actual cash value option with respect to your roof that could generate some savings. But I’d say the number one thing is talk to your insurance agent or reach out and get a quote potentially to see if there’s an opportunity to generate some savings.”