Homeowners insurance: Floridians pay more than double U.S.
Article Courtesy of The Tampa Bay Times
January 28, 2015
It's still more expensive to buy homeowners insurance
in Florida than anywhere else in the country.
In fact, Florida homeowners are now paying more than double the national
|Average insurance premiums
statewide for the most common type of homeowners policy
rose nearly 8 percent in 2012 to $2,084, according to
data released this week from the National
Association of Insurance Commissioners.
That makes Florida the first state to cross the $2,000
mark in average premiums and widens the gap between the
next two states on the list, both of them coastal:
Louisiana (average premiums of $1,742) and Texas
The national average: $1,034. For the record, Florida's
premiums are 102 percent higher.
To calculate the numbers, the NAIC
collected data from insurance statistical agents for all
states except Texas and California, both of which
supplied data directly to
The Suncoast Gateway Mobile Village in Port
Richey is flooded after Tropical Storm Debby in 2012. Florida
has become the first state to cross the $2,000 mark in
average premiums for homeowners insurance policies.
Given the long lag in compiling and releasing state
data, the latest snapshot doesn't reflect the impact of any recent moves
to curtail high premiums. Throughout 2014
private insurers across Florida along with state-run Citizens Property
Insurance have cut rates for most property owners amid lower reinsurance
costs, a cutback in
eligibility for sinkhole insurance, and what turned into the
ninth-straight hurricane-free year.
Still, even for homeowners used to paying higher rates, the numbers are
a shocking wake-up call.
J. Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of
America and former Texas insurance commissioner, said he was surprised —
not that Florida
remained No. 1 but that it widened the gap between fellow
He suspected some price gouging by reinsurers, who provide insurance
companies an extra layer of coverage to pay for claims after a
Within Florida, Hunter said, the cost to property owners varies to a
"There's a huge difference between South Florida and the rest of the
state," he said. "The coastal areas in particular. South Florida, all
the models say, is the most
at-risk place in the country."
Hunter gave credit to state officials, including beleaguered Florida
Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, who worked to make insurers buy
some reinsurance through the
Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.
"Your rates would have been much higher if the state didn't act in
2006," he said. "It's bad, but it could have been a lot worse."
By the numbers
$2,084 Average insurance premiums in Florida for the most common
type of homeowners policy.
$1,034 Average insurance premiums in the United States for the
most common type of homeowners policy.