ROYAL PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida homeowners are still getting sticker shock from their property insurance premiums in 2022.
The average yearly cost to keep a property insurance policy in this state is nearly double what it is in the rest of the country.
Lori Lanni of Royal Palm Beach is experiencing this troubling trend right now, watching her premium jump from $1,700 a year to $3,400.
“They’re passing it on to the customer. You know, we’ve never made a claim,” Lanni said. “We’ve never done anything to deserve what’s happening, so we’re kind of upset about that.”
She is spending hours each week trying to find a lower price by calling insurance companies.
“I haven’t called all of them, but I’ve probably called at least half,” said Lanni.
She is not alone.
The Insurance Information Institute reports statewide premiums are up nearly 25 percent this year.
Experts say there is a myriad of issues.
“Rampant roofing fraud, runaway litigation and rising replacement costs of homes,” said Insurance Information Institute spokesman Mark Friedlander.
A roof repair is what may be hurting Lanni’s chances at a better rate.
A few years ago a company approached Lanni at her Royal Palm Beach home with an offer to fix her roof. She then signed an assignment of benefits letter.
That letter gave the right to the roofing company to take control of the entire claim to her insurance company.
It’s this type of scenario that can lead some roofing companies to inflate the repair price, and then go to court against the insurance company and settle on a reasonable price.
Insurance companies’ legal fees get passed on to you in the form of rising premiums.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Florida’s insurance companies had $1.6 billion in underwriting losses in 2021.
There’s much more than just roofing fraud causing rising premiums in 2022.
Supply chain disruptions cause a lack of building materials like lumber.
In turn, it costs more for insurance companies to pay to rebuild homes after a filed claim.
Lawmakers are trying to find a solution by filing bills to open up more companies for homeowners to choose from.
If you’re looking for an end to this premium crunch, Friedlander paints a bleak picture.
“We will continue to see rising insurance costs for at least the next year or two, regardless of what happens with the Legislature. It will not be an immediate fix,” said Friedlander.
He recommends taking proactive steps to lower your premium.
This includes adding wind mitigation upgrades to your home, bundling your home and car insurance and also raising your insurance deductible.