Florida homeowners insurance rates not a mystery

For several years, Florida homeowner insurance rates have been more volatile than in most other states. The rates have skyrocketed in some cases, or policies been cancelled or shuffled into the state-run Citizens Insurance Corporation as a last resort. This has discomfited homeowners and probably affected movement into and out of the state.

There is not culprit in all this, no villain out to get a Florida homeowner. Rather, the state simply is paying the price for its location at the southeastern tip of the United States. Florida is where the sun shines most of the time on white and golden beaches and temperatures in the dead of winter are invitingly moderate.

This geographical and meteorological situation spawned a land rush that filled up the state with people and homes. The rush is over for the most part. However, when the housing industry overheated and crashed late last decade, another kind of rush was ushered in: bankruptcies and rapid emptying of some brand new subdivisions.

Hovering over all this, literally, are hurricanes spawned in Pacific waters that move inexorably toward either the east or west coasts of Florida, sometimes both. The blows are not unexpected, but when a particularly severe one crashes ashore, the suffering of people with homes under water or blown away is matched by that of their insurers.

This came to a head in recent years after a series of hurricanes that staggered the insurance industry. Suddenly neither temporary rate increases nor the existence of a state-run “last resort” corporation put insurers in a position to absorb the next blow without incurring great and potential disastrous losses.

This is why Florida homeowners insurance rates are a regular subject of painful discussion. Prudent homeowners will do what they can to qualify for discounts at renewal time, and keep their eyes open for appealing offers from insurers wanting to pick up low-risk properties. Beyond that, regular communication with an insurance agent is good advice.


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