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Florida has historically been a tough market for house insurers. The uncertain nature of yearly weather events--such as hurricanes and tropical storms--thousands of miles of coastline susceptible to flooding and a long history of sinkholes have resulted in billions of dollars in claims from Florida homeowners. These losses have caused many insurers to stop writing policies in Florida, while others have been driven into bankruptcy. Insurers still in business have been forced to request rate increases and have limited some types of coverages in Florida.
House Insurance Companies
As a result of continued loss and excessive liabilities, many house insurers have ceased to cover Florida homeowners. This trend has left many homeowners with little or no choice of insurer. Faced with a lack of insurance options, the state of Florida created Citizens Property Insurance Company, a state-operated "insurer of last resort." While many major insurance companies are still willing to write a limited number of house insurance policies in Florida, homeowners who cannot obtain house insurance anywhere else can apply for coverage though Citizens. As of 2009-2010 fiscal year reporting, Citizens held more than 16 percent of all house insurance policies in Florida, with State Farm Insurance Company coming in second with nearly 13 percent.
Many factors are considered when
calculating the cost of house insurance policies in Florida. Some of these include geographical location, applicable flood zone, age of house, construction method, design, updates or remodeling, storm retrofits and prior claim history. These factors and many more can influence the cost of house insurance and even result in a decline of coverage. One of the most common factors used to reduce house insurance costs is the installation of hurricane or storm protection, such as storm windows, shutters or other custom protection.
While an actual cost for house insurance in Florida is impossible to calculate, the state of Florida has provided the following example policy cost. For a Florida masonry home, located in Brevard County, built after 2005, with a current replacement value of $300,000, a $500 non-hurricane deductible, a 2 percent hurricane deductible, no claims in the past 3 years, minimum premium discounts for limited wind mitigation features and no hip roof, yearly insurance premiums range from $1,366 to $3,027, depending on insurer.
House insurers in Florida are regulated by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR). The FOIR is responsible for administration and compliance for all insurers and can help homeowners with questions and complaints related to house insurance. The FOIR can also provide a wealth of information to aid homeowners in locating house insurance.