Floridians running out of options for home
Article Courtesy of WINK NEWS
By Michael Hudak
February 26, 2022
Five insurance companies are
pulling out of Florida, leaving homeowners with no choices in providers
and major price increases. It is an issue that has been ongoing in
Florida and with each season, is becoming worse.
Lawmakers know there is a problem and
they are working on a solution that is controversial because
critics say it favors insurance companies at the expense of
A bill lawmakers are debating would allow companies to not
offer replacement coverage for roofs more than 10-years-old.
WINK News asked Mark Friedlander of the Insurance
Information Institute if he would do business as an insurer
in Florida, “Haha, a loaded question. Thank you. I have to
compose myself for that.”
Friedlander operates out of northwest Florida but he feels
the pain of the whole state.
“The state of homeowners insurance in Florida right
now is in crisis, we are in serious crisis mode, where we’re on a
trajectory that the private insurance market could collapse,” said
If that happens, Ken Skelton, and just about every other homeowner in
Florida, will feel the pain.
Skelton said his insurance, “It was almost doubled, went up. $1,700.”
Skelton’s insurance company jacked up his premium.
The Insurance Information Institute says only three out of 52 insurance
companies in Florida actually made a profit last year.
Friedlander said, “every insurer is losing money, and they’re losing a
lot of money.”
Those 52 insurance companies writing policies in Florida lost more than
This year, fewer insurance companies will write policies in Florida
because of those losses.
That is forcing more homeowners to rely on Citizens Property Insurance
Corporation, the state’s insurer of last resort.
777,000 Floridians now use Citizens Property Insurance to protect their
homes. That is up 222,000 policies compared to 2020.
Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes said, “We have to fix it via
legislation, the courts are never going to fix it.”
Senator Brandes is frustrated by the fact Citizens Insurance is taking
on policies at a breathtaking rate and criticized the governor for
ignoring the problem.
“Yeah, property insurance is one of my big areas,” said Brandes.
Brandes has been thinking about this for a long time. “The state of
insurances, state of Florida is it’s essentially in collapse.”
A collapse that we cannot afford
“A people homeowners are going to find it very difficult to find
affordable coverage going forward unless the legislature acts,” Brandes
said. “Legislation fixes the incentive to sue your insurance company.”
Brandes believes state law makes it too easy to file suit against
He points to the fact Floridians filed 100,000 lawsuits against
insurance companies in 2021 alone.
Friedlander, with the Insurance Information Institute, said, “more than
90% are considered frivolous. So very few would be considered
Not everyone agrees with that.
“Yeah, there are some frivolous lawsuits. But for the bulk part of it,
they’re not. They’re just denied claims. It’s a numbers game for the
insurance company, if they deny 10 claims, maybe one gets awarded,” said
Property Attorney Chris Ligman.
Either way, something has to give. Ligman said, “we need to create
alternative dispute resolutions so that everybody doesn’t wind up in
court. And these insurance companies don’t end up going under because of
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would force state-run
Citizen Insurance to stop renewing policies if a private company offers
a premium that is not more than 20% more than Citizens’ rate.