New year, same insurance crisis: What 2024 means for insurance prices and access

Spotlight on California, Florida and Louisiana

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Susan Meyer

Senior Editorial Manager

Credentials
  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

Susan is a licensed insurance agent and has worked as a writer and editor for over 10 years across a number of industries. She has worked at The Zebr…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

Credentials
  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Ross h…

The year 2023 was a mixed bag in terms of the economy. While 2.7 million jobs were created in 2023, layoffs also affected many[1]. Inflation was also top of mind for many, and while it had cooled somewhat by the end of the year, it still remains above the Federal Reserve’s target[2]

One thing that worried many, especially in certain states, was how to afford insurance…and, in some cases getting a policy at all. With a new year looming, we wanted to check in on where we see the insurance crisis going in 2024. What is being done? Is there hope things are turning around?

What’s causing insurance to be hard to get?

To start, let’s look at why insurance prices rose and why insurance policies were harder to come by in certain states and areas. 

From our perspective as consumers, insurance is all about protecting us from risk. We pay money for home and auto policies for peace of mind, to protect our financial assets and because, in many cases, it’s required by law or our mortgage lender.

From the perspective of the insurance company, it’s a business. And in order to keep operating as a business, they have to take in more money than they pay out in claims. Herein lies the problem: There have been a lot of very expensive disasters in recent years. From hurricanes to wildfires, the number of extremely expensive property damaging events continues to rise. 

Add to that the cost of repairs increasing (related to inflation) an increase in uninsured motorists (again due to rising cost of living leading to people not carrying policies), and the risk isn’t matching the potential for profit. Thus, many big insurance companies simply stopped writing new policies.

Why not just raise prices?

If it’s more expensive to do business, why stop writing policies? Why not just raise prices? Well, as anyone who has tried to renew a policy recently probably knows: that is one thing that is happening. However, insurance is also a state-regulated industry, and governments place limits on how much insurance can increase rates. When the economic and climate factors change faster than the regulations, sometimes it’s easier to just stop taking new business.

Outlook for insurance crisis in 2024

Insurance rates are expected to rise in 2024. And we don’t anticipate significant weather events lessening any time soon. While inflation is cooling, it’s still not completely down yet, meaning cost of living and repairs remains high. All of these factors mean insurance companies are continuing to experience poor loss ratios and will need to increase rates to cover those losses.

So what about from the government and regulation side of things? As is the case with anything labeled a crisis, actions are being taken. Let’s look at some of the states most affected.

California

Largely due to the recent prevalence of wildfires, California is experiencing insurance instability. In the past two years, many of the major companies in California’s home insurance market have paused or restricted new business. California’s Fair Access to Insurance Requirements or FAIR Plan, which is intended as a last resort, has become the only option for some of the riskiest homes. 

There have also been big spikes in premiums, which will likely continue in 2024. State Farm, the largest home insurer in California received approval from state regulators to raise rates. Taking effect in March, the average increase upon renewal will be 20%[3]

In response to the crisis, California in 2024 is rolling out its new Sustainable Insurance Strategy. The goal of the plan is to decrease the number of people on the FAIR plan while increasing insurance availability nationwide[4].

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Florida

Due to several bad hurricane years in a row, Florida has seen their insurance rates skyrocket and also seen some insurance companies leaving the state. According to the Insurance Information Institute, homeowner’s insurance has increased 102% in the last three years in Florida and costs three times more than the national average. The state is also expected to see double-digit increases in 2024[5]. With the crisis continuing to create issues for Floridians, it is predicted to be a major focus of the legislative session which runs from January to March in 2024.

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Louisiana

Louisianans already pay some of the highest auto and home insurance premiums in the country. Homeowners in Louisiana pay about 39% more than the national average, in part due to the threat of hurricanes and flooding in the state. Much like California’s FAIR Plan, Louisiana’s state plan of last resort, Louisiana Citizens, has seen an increase in policies as more and more insurers leave the state. 

A special session of the Louisiana legislature is expected in 2024 to search for solutions to make Louisiana a more attractive market for insurance companies[6].

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Wrapping up

If you live in an area where it’s hard to get insurance, it’s unlikely that 2024 will see an immediate turnaround. The weather and disaster factors contributing to the problem are unlikely to change for the better, but governments are working to try to find solutions to this new reality. 

If you use The Zebra’s comparison engine to search for and compare insurance companies, and we aren’t able to find any at this time, we now offer an SMS feature so that we can reach out in the future when rates become available.