Florida Insurance Update as Homeowners Receive 'Very Positive' News

Article Courtesy of Newsweek

By Giulia Carbonaro

Published February 1, 2024

 

Six new private insurers are entering the Florida market, spelling optimism for a state that has recently suffered an exodus of major providers and is experiencing an ongoing crisis in the sector.

According to the Insurance Information Institute (Triple I), the six new companies expected to write homeowners insurance policies in the first quarter of 2024 are Tailrow Insurance Company, Mainsail Insurance Company, Orion 180 Insurance Company, Orion 180 Select Insurance Company, Orange Insurance Exchange and Condo Owners Reciprocal Insurance.

This is a significant change for Florida, which in the past couple of years saw major private insurers leaving the state due in part to the increased risk of extreme weather events and the enormous damage claims these might come with, while others fell into liquidation in 2022.


This exodus has left many Florida homeowners short of options to insure their home, at the same time when residents are paying the highest premiums in the entire country.

 

Florida residents are currently paying an average of about $4,218 a year for insuring their homes, according to the latest data from Insurance.com. That's nearly double the national average of $2,777. According to data from Triple I, the average insurance premium for Florida homeowners in 2023 was $6,000 per year, a 42 percent increase compared to 2022.

According to Triple I's spokesperson Mark Friedlander, as quoted by WPTV, the move is "very positive" for the Florida insurance marketplace and for homeowners, who will now have a choice "on shopping for coverage."

Friedlander told Newsweek that "new insurers will provide more opportunities for consumers to shop their home insurance coverage, which should generate more competitive pricing and choice, something most Florida homeowners have not experienced in many years."

He added that, "combined with the successful depopulation of the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., new insurers wanting to write home policies in Florida is a positive sign that the market is heading in the right direction."

State-backed Citizens Property Insurance, considered a so-called insurer of last resort for Floridians who cannot convince a private company to cover their properties, have been taking on new customers in recent years and now insures about 1.3 million policyholders.

These six new companies, which have been vetted and cleared by state regulators, have been waiting for the new year to enter the state's insurance market, after the Florida legislation passed litigation reforms and the 2023 hurricane season ended, Friedlander said. They will all be represented by independent insurance agents across the state.

The timeframe for these six companies to start writing new policies in Florida is unclear, but should happen within the next three months, Friedlander said.

"We do have confirmation from some agents that Orange Insurance has opened for business," he said, as reported by WPTV. "They are writing policies and have started to appoint independent agents across the state."

Meanwhile, many Floridians are still struggling. In previous months, residents spoke to Newsweek about having their earnings "wiped out" by the increased cost of insurance in the state, as going bareŚwithout any coverageŚis unthinkable considering the damages their properties could suffer from hurricanes or flooding.

Friedlander told ABC News that Florida homeowners having been offered new options for coverage is "something we haven't seen in many years."


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