HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Jon Zepnick said he has been living at his home in Hollywood since 2011, and although he has never filed a claim, his insurance carrier has continued to increase his annual rate.
Zepnick said he pays over $12,000 for homeowner’s insurance, and when he adds the cost of flood insurance, he ends up paying between $13,000 to $14,000 annually.
“I have got no choice because when you have a mortgage it’s mandated that you have to have insurance to cover it,” Zepnick said.
Florida homeowners are paying more on average for insurance than any other state in the country and rates increased about 40% this year, according to Mark Friedlander, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute, a U.S. industry association based out of New York.
There is no limit to how much private insurance carriers can increase rates in Florida. Friedlander and other industry experts attribute the cost increase to weather-related risk, claim frequency in the region, legal costs, and fraud.
“The average home premium in Florida is about $6,000,” Friedlander said. “That is nearly four times the U.S. average of $1,700.”
Friedlander said the rates have also soared for the owners of condominiums since the homeowners’ association has to cover the cost of the building’s insurance and they have to cover the cost of the insurance for their specific units.
“We are seeing rates jump two to five times what they were two years ago,” Friedlander said.
Frank Beal said he owns two condos in Hollywood Beach. He also owns a condo in Cape Coral that Hurricane Ian damaged last year. He said his HOA costs tripled this year.
“I would say $600 to $700 per unit,” Beal said. “It’s a big hit for some people. I do not know how some people can hang in there.”
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is considering increasing the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, which recommended homeowner multiperil policy rates increase by an average of 13.9% and condo owners by an average of 14.6%. If the state’s OIR approves, the increase would go into effect for new and renewal policies after Nov. 1.