Tuesday, May 18

Home Insurance Prices in Florida: What's Next?

I wrote about trying to find new insurance last year when I was dropped. This year, my new insurance guy (who I'd recommend over my last deadbeat and all the vultures I met last year), sent some rate comparisons out, along with an article I'd read about the soaring costs of Florida homeowners insurance. It's pretty bleak, and if you've been dropped, there may not be many options. 

My insurer claimed I had the wrong PEX pipes/tubes in my bathrooms, but most insurers won't touch me because my 30-year roof is 20 years old. My insurance will cost me $1400 this year. It looks like my insurance guy was able to find one other quote in the same range, along with a quote for $2000 and $3400. And that's it. 

About half of the non-quotes are because of a roof older than 10 years of age. TEN years! The other non-quotes are just vague "we're not insuring more" statements. 

I hate insurance, but I understand the game. The companies need to make their 3% standard profit, and if there are too many claims, they can't make that money. When we live in a state with 75% of all homeowners' insurance lawsuits that also saw roof claims nearly double from 2019 to 2020, it's pretty obvious we're in trouble. Your neighbor who brags about getting a new roof from that phantom hail storm three years ago IS part of the problem, not your meal ticket, and that roofer who claims he'll find that same hail damage on your house is making his living off of all of us, along with that lawyer who takes your roof claim to court. 

If Florida destroys roofs in 10 years, then we probably need better materials or a different way of describing our shingles here. People moving here from other areas assume they'll get 25 years out of 30-year shingles, but if the sun and rain and mystery hail make that impossible in Florida, then we probably need to be told that by reputable leaders from the industry and government that we need new roofs every 10 years. Or that PEX tubing is no good. Or that most of the stucco in Florida was half-assed when installed. 

Basically, we have a situation in Florida where most of the construction is substandard, most of the materials aren't made for the conditions, most of the homeowners want to follow standards in materials and craftsmanship from back home, most of the insurers aren't profitable, most of the claims are at least somewhat fraudulent, most of the lawsuits were probably avoidable if all of the other factors previously listed hadn't occurred, and most of the residents won't be able to afford to insure their homes soon.

I'm not sure where that leaves us as a state. When one of my insurance quotes comes in at the same price as my property tax amount, I start to wonder whether Florida needs to go to government-run system, where our (doubled?) property taxes INCLUDE a pooled insurance charge. Oddly, that might be the most efficient way to do things in Florida, and I'm not sure too many insurers would argue (since they're not profitable here, anyhow). Beyond that, it's probably going to be foreclosures, bankruptcies, lawsuits, and even more fraud than normal in the Sunshine State. In the meantime, I have to call for legitimate quotes on my aging roof before next year's insurance renewal.

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