The Florida Workplace of Insurance coverage Regulation subsequent week will maintain hearings on two property insurers’ requests for 54% common price will increase, certainly one of which has already affected greater than 105,000 condominium unit homeowners.
Fort Key Indemnity Co., certainly one of Allstate Insurance coverage Firm’s Florida-focused items, final March registered a use-and-file common price hike of 53.5% for HO-6 condominium unit homeowners insurance policies. The rise took impact final Could, affecting as many as 105,247 policyholders, in keeping with information from Florida OIR.
“The general price stage change has been achieved by means of revision of the hurricane and non-hurricane base charges and hurricane and non-hurricane Protection A components,” the submitting cowl letter notes.
Beneath the use-and-file method, insurers can elevate charges for months earlier than regulators have an opportunity to assessment. If OIR actuaries decide that the rise was unwarranted, it could actually demand that the service refund some or all of it. Due to that, insurers usually elevate premiums to a lesser diploma than they may really feel is actuarily justified, stated Paul Handerhan, a lobbyist, advisor and president of the Federal Affiliation for Insurance coverage Reform, based mostly in Florida.
A public listening to has been scheduled for Feb. 21 at 2 p.m. Jap time on the Fort Key price. Registration for the web digital assembly is obtainable here. Stakeholders can even tune in by way of phone: 866-901-6455, with entry code 202-228-101. Written feedback will probably be accepted by means of March 6, the OIR stated.
Castle Key’s filing follows the same 2022 price enhance request and a September 2023 enhance of virtually 15% for householders insurance policies. The Allstate firm introduced early final 12 months that it was non-renewing greater than 30,000 Florida condominium insurance policies.
Florida insurance coverage trade advocates argue that the speed requests present that many extra components apart from claims litigation are persevering with to drive prices upward. However with lower than a month remaining within the 2024 Florida legislative session, time is working out on massive measures that they are saying might assist scale back premiums on insurance coverage and reinsurance.
“Litigation filings are down, in order that’s not driving the speed anymore,” Handerhan stated.
Different contributors now embrace inflation, larger development supplies and labor prices, quickly escalating property values in a lot of the state, a rise in convective storms and storm claims, and reinsurance charges that soared over the past 36 months. However a plan for the state or the Florida Hurricane Disaster Fund to supply a brand new, low-cost reinsurance program by no means bought off the bottom within the legislative session that started Jan. 9.
“I feel the Legislature did an incredible quantity of property insurance coverage reform over the past 24 months,” Handerhan stated. “So I feel they need to proceed to see how issues develop.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis in January proposed a state price range that may assist shoppers to some extent. His plan would waive premium taxes on properties as much as $750,000 in worth for one 12 months and completely on flood insurance coverage insurance policies. It additionally would pause the 1% evaluation on insurance policies that now goes to the Florida Insurance coverage Warranty Affiliation to cowl claims left behind by bancrupt insurance coverage carriers.
However these modifications aren’t assured this 12 months, former Deputy Insurance coverage Commissioner Lisa Miller stated in a e-newsletter this week. And a few have questioned the affect that the decreased expenses might have on policyholders. Others have famous that these prices are pass-throughs and halting them would do little to assist insurers.
Some brokers and others who symbolize Florida condominium associations are hoping lawmakers can sort out at the very least one main insurance coverage change within the waning days of the 60-day session. Home Invoice 625 would have allowed the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to write policies for condo associations whose buildings embrace short-term leases, one thing that’s now barred by regulation. A whole bunch of condominiums across the state have not too long ago seen their protection limits sharply decreased and premiums doubled or tripled, particularly after Hurricane Ian hit the state in late 2022.
That invoice seems to be lifeless, however a couple of lawmakers are working to incorporate the important thing language in HB 1503, sponsored by Rep. Tiffany Esposito, R-Fort Myers; or SB 1716, by Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, lobbyists stated this week.
The latest price request by Fort Key Indemnity highlights the dire want for increasing Residents’ protection to incorporate extra condos, stated Mike Clarkson, managing director of Hilb Group of Florida, the insurance coverage brokerage for some 1,200 rental associations. Others agreed.
“One thing must be completed,” stated Matt Mercier, nationwide director for neighborhood associations for CBIZ, an insurance coverage advisory agency. “Whenever you’ve bought rental 9,000 buildings that may’t get protection, that’s problematic.”
One lively storm season might go away hundreds of residents with no approach to restore or rebuild, Mercier added.
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