Florida insurers face ratings change that could raise costs

Aerial view of residential neighborhood in South Florida (icholakov, Ivan Cholakov)

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A ratings agency has plans to downgrade more than two dozen Florida-based property insurance companies in a move that could cost more money for homeowners with loans.

The ratings firm Demotech plans to downgrade the 27 insurers from an “A” rating to ratings of either “S” for substantial or “M” for moderate.

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis criticized the ratings agency for the downgrade planned for later this month.

They said the decision was based largely on the company’s opinion that legislative reforms enacted over the past two years were not enough to bring the state’s overall insurance market back to health.