In 2021 alone, Florida gained more than 200,000 residents. Despite people being drawn to the Sunshine State for its traditionally cheap real estate and the absence of income tax, becoming a Florida resident isn’t as affordable as it appears to be. Insurance, in particular, is becoming harder and harder to find as top carriers in the state continue to stop writing new homeowners’ policies.
- Orlando-based insurer St. Johns Insurance was declared insolvent. The company was the eighth-largest insurance carrier in the state and wrote more than 160,000 policies.
- In February, Progressive reported that it would no longer cover homes with roofs more than 15 years old, leading to the carrier dropping coverage for more than 56,000 older homes.
- United Property and Casualty Insurance Co announced that it would stop writing new homeowners’ policies in Florida at the beginning of 2022.
- Florida Farm Bureau and TypTap stated that it would no longer write homeowners’ policies or dwelling fire policies in the state.
- Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance announced that it would go into receivership in the state to help the company avoid bankruptcy. The carrier had about 37,000 policies.
- Lexington Insurance, an AIG company, announced that it would pull out of the Florida homeowners market by August 2022, leaving around 8,000 customers to look for coverage. Most of these property owners won’t be able to get coverage from Citizen’s as their homes are worth more than what the last-resort carrier can cover.
United Insurance Holdings announced that it wants to merge with two other local insurance carriers to support the state’s struggling homeowner’s lines.
For those existing carriers, double-digit rate hikes are becoming the norm with the average rate increase reaching 25%. An unnamed carrier even asked regulators for a 111% rate hike. Currently, Florida residents pay the highest in homeowners insurance rates in the country ($3,600).
- Universal North America announced a 14.9% rate increase for certain homeowners policies effective February 2022.
- United Property and Casualty requested a 14.7% rate increase for existing policies effective March 2022, blaming hurricane losses, higher loss-adjustment expenses and reinsurance costs for the rate hike.
A handful of startup carriers like VYRD and Slide stated that they would provide coverage for Florida policyholders, but the state legislature is looking for quicker and more definite answers to alleviate the market.