Orlando, FL -- (ReleaseWire) -- 03/26/2013 -- As insurance industry leaders prepare for the upcoming state legislative session, they are faced with a seeming contradiction: even though Florida has not been struck by a hurricane in the past six years, property insurance rates have continued to increase.
“There are a number of factors that may cause property insurance rates to increase,” said a representative of FloridaInsurance.com. “However, well-informed consumers will still be able to find good deals on homeowner's insurance.”
Lynne McChristian, a representative of the Insurance Information Institute, said that insurance rates were increasing because of the increase in non-catastrophe losses. Even with no hurricanes, property insurance claims in the state have gone up by 17 percent per year for the past five years. This includes rising sinkhole claims and water losses, which are a frequent claim with older homes.
According to McChristian, the increase in rates is also due to the rising cost of construction materials, which makes rebuilding more expensive. She said that the price of homeowner's insurance compared to coverage is actually lower than in 2005.
McChristian also spoke out against Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state-run “insurer of last resort,” which covers homeowners who cannot get property insurance elsewhere. She said that Citizens can charge all Florida policyholders through assessments on their insurance bills, and that many people are unaware of this because they do not read or do not understand their insurance policies. According to McChristian, this means people are paying an assessment and not receiving coverage for it.
By some measures, Citizens is one of the largest insurers in the United States, but all of its risk is concentrated in the state of Florida. The Florida Insurance Council wants the state legislature to raise Citizens' rates and lower its overall risk.
Citizens was created from two other entities in 2002 to provide general property insurance and hurricane coverage for homeowners who could not otherwise obtain it. It is the largest insurer in the state, with $2.8 billion in revenue. Barry Gilway is the President and CEO.
To learn more call 1.888.525.2210 visit http://www.floridainsurance.com.