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Property insurance costs: Florida homeowners may see relief

After years of hikes, Florida homeowners see hope with rate cuts from property insurance carriers

Florida homeowners, battered by years of skyrocketing property insurance premiums, can breathe a cautious sigh of relief. Three insurance companies have announced either a rate reduction or plans to do so, offering a much-needed break in an otherwise troubled market.

The news comes as a welcome change for residents who've seen their bills balloon by double digits year after year. Bridget Shearn, a homeowner for over 26 years, shared her experience by saying that her premium had gone up consistently, 15 to 20% each year. It became a huge burden to her. These recent announcements, while modest, signal a potential shift in the tide.

Three property insurance companies lead the charge

Florida Peninsula Insurance, a major player in the state's market, announced a 2% average reduction in property insurance premiums for their over 122,000 residential policies. This reduction will apply to both new and renewing policies starting in July. While 2% might seem like a small number, it translates to hundreds of dollars saved for some homeowners, a significant amount in a state where premiums can easily reach into the thousands.

Slide Insurance Company is also joining the movement. They have submitted a request to the Office of Insurance Regulation seeking a 0.5% decrease in the average rate they charge for single-family homes. While awaiting approval, this move signifies Slide's intention to offer some relief to their customers.

The news extends beyond private insurers. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state-backed company that many Floridians rely on after being dropped by private companies, also offers hope. Citizens reported a net income of $746 million in 2023, a stark contrast to the $2.2 billion loss they faced in 2022. This financial turnaround is attributed, in part, to a successful "depopulation" strategy, where they've shifted some policyholders back to private insurers.


Reasons for optimism, but caution remains

Experts caution against declaring complete victory just yet. The announced property premium reductions are modest, and the overall market remains volatile. However, these moves are significant because they represent a shift in the conversation. Insurance companies are acknowledging the financial strain on homeowners and expressing a willingness to share some of the risks.

What does this mean for homeowners?

For homeowners, the news translates into cautious optimism. It's too early to say how much individual policyholders will save, and the reductions might not be enough to offset years of significant increases. However, it signals a potential turning point, and homeowners should proactively explore their options.

Here are some steps Florida homeowners can take:

  • Shop around: Even withproperty insurance premium reductions, you must compare rates from multiple companies to ensure you're getting the best deal.
  • Raise your deductible: Increasing your deductible (the amount you pay out of pocket before insurance kicks in) can result in lower premiums. However, weigh the potential savings against the financial burden of a higher deductible in case of a claim.
  • Review your coverage: Make sure your policy covers the current value of your home and its contents, but avoid unnecessary add-ons that inflate the cost.

While these announcements are a positive step, Florida's property insurance market remains complex. Underlying issues like fraudulent lawsuits and climate change continue to pose challenges. Long-term solutions will likely require continued legislative efforts and further collaboration between insurers and the state. However, for now, Florida homeowners can take comfort in this potential property insurance premium decrease in the crushing burden of property insurance costs.

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