Home Insurance Quotes Ocala Florida – Whether it’s driven by a booming job market or a delicious year-round tropical setting, nearly half a million people decide to move to our state each year. However, the rising cost of home insurance can dampen many individuals’ dreams of moving to the Sunshine State or reconsidering their second home investment here. Sometimes called “Florida’s insurance crisis,” rates have risen to four times the national average, and some areas of our state have even higher rates. With years of experience in the Florida real estate market, we know the high costs of homeowner’s insurance here – but we also know ways to lower your costs and reach your home ownership goals, despite these costs. In this guide to Florida homeowners insurance, we’ll discuss the reasons for our higher-than-average rates, things you can do to lower your costs, and options you should consider to help you live or move on. vacation in our excellent condition within easy reach.
If you currently live in Florida, it may be hard to miss all the stories about the rising cost of homeowners insurance. While all housing costs have risen in recent years, homeowners insurance has grown exponentially. In fact, since 2020, premiums have increased 100% in our state. In addition to increasing premiums, many insurers are abandoning Florida altogether. As state legislator Anna Escamani recently explained to Fast Company, “When people get a renewal, they’re scrambling to open the letter from the insurance company, because either there’s a ridiculous premium increase or they’re let go. In recent years, major companies including Progressive, Bankers Insurance, Lighthouse Property Insurance, FedNat Insurance, Avatar Property and Casualty, Leckington Insurance and St. Jones Insurance, Southern Fidelity, Weston, UPC and Farmers have pulled out of the Florida market. Fortunately, NOAA is predicting a “near normal” hurricane season this year, which could lead to more stability in insurance rates. Although many insurers have gone out of business, many companies, large and small, still serve our area. Including (as of this writing) State Farm, Citizens Property, Travelers, First Florida, Nationwide and USAA.
Home Insurance Quotes Ocala Florida
There are two main reasons why our insurance rates are so high: bad weather and legal fees (including fraudulent claims). These two causes have an astronomical impact on insurance costs. As BankRate notes, “Due to fraudulent litigation and large total loss exposure in Florida, insurance companies have faced two consecutive years of net insured losses exceeding $1 billion.” Let’s take a closer look at both and why they have such a big financial impact.
Ocala Home Insurance
As we mentioned above, hurricanes are the driving force behind rate increases in the Florida homeowners insurance market. Many areas are still recovering from Hurricane Ian, the Category 4 hurricane that hit South Florida last year, and some individuals are still waiting for insurance payments when it hit. In fact, Hurricane Ian cost about $112 billion in damages, making it the costliest hurricane in Florida history (and the third costliest in US history). Because of this, coastal and island communities—areas more affected by storms—tend to have higher insurance rates than inland communities. However, while storm surge from hurricanes and tropical storms may be limited to areas along the coasts, high winds and flooding from above-average rain can put every home in our state at risk, leading to higher premiums. Extreme heat, lightning and other weather events, as well as our state’s unique geological features, lead to other costly natural disasters, including tornadoes, floods and more than 100 wildfires each year. All this means that there will be more insured losses per resident, and thus higher insurance costs.
Even longtime residents may not be aware that a large factor in high insurance costs is actually due to fraudulent lawsuits related to homeowners insurance claims. The biggest culprit is roofing fraud. What exactly is the roof scam plaguing Florida? In this scam, contractors visit unsuspecting homeowners and promise a free roof if they sign papers to file a roof insurance claim on the homeowner’s behalf. When insurance companies refuse to pay a claim (or the entire claim), the contractor sues the insurance company. Since in Florida the insurance company is often responsible for legal fees, instead of going to court which can be more expensive, insurers give in and pay for a new roof – even if it wasn’t actually a valid claim. All those free roofs resulted in higher bills for homeowners. These scams are so pervasive, as the governor’s office points out, while Florida accounts for 9% of US homeowner insurance claims, 79% of all homeowner insurance claims in the country occur in our state. Although measures have been taken to reduce them, including new laws to help fight fraud, key aspects of the law have been blocked by the courts, potentially limiting its effectiveness. In the coming years, we will see if the frauds will decrease and the interest rates will decrease.
In addition to high premiums, many homeowners’ policies also have high deductibles for hurricanes, often 2-10% of the loss (or the maximum the company will pay). Some homeowners cannot afford the high deductible costs, which can run into the thousands or tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the value of the home and the extent of the damage. Finally, water damage from storms often requires additional, expensive flood insurance—if a homeowner doesn’t have this, they could pay significant out-of-pocket costs.
Homeowner’s insurance is optional – unless you have a mortgage on your home. In fact, lenders often require a certain amount of protection on the mortgaged property to make sure the value of the home (and their investment) is maintained. However, due to property risks in Florida, maintaining your home policy can help you avoid potential financial ruin, even if you are not legally required to have one. Even domestically, it is not unheard of for homes to suffer significant damage from storms and other natural disasters. Without adequate coverage, you will have to pay the full cost of repairs to your home, no matter how extensive, or face potential homelessness. Due to the prevalence of extreme weather in Florida, it is not a risk that most homeowners can afford financially.
Regency Insurance Group
Homeowner’s insurance rates are unusually high in many parts of Florida—a trade-off for living in a climate that, in most cases, is highly desirable. If you’re struggling to find an affordable plan, you may want to consider alternatives to private insurance, although in some cases they can be just as (or more!) expensive.
With so many Floridians struggling to find insurance, Florida created a state-backed insurance option, the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. If you can’t find home insurance, this may be an option for you. Insurance can be expensive and is only available to those who cannot find insurance elsewhere for less than 20% more than what they would pay through Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Additionally, if you are covered by Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and a private company offers to insure your home within 20% of the current rate, you need to switch, as VESH in Orlando reports. However, if there are no other options, it may be the only option to protect your home. Interested homeowners can visit their Get a Policy page for specific eligibility requirements.
Some homeowners choose to forego traditional homeowner’s insurance to “self-insure” their homes, setting aside money they would otherwise spend on an insurance plan to cover potential expenses. While this is only possible if you own your home outright (homes with a mortgage must have adequate insurance), if you are able to set aside a significant amount – ideally if you can save the value of the home – you may choose to take the risk and avoid paying for insurance. However, if you can’t spare enough money for major repairs, up to replacing the entire home, self-insurance is not recommended. Even if you can build up a large nest egg over several years, your home is at risk in the meantime, and one severe storm can mean a dramatic loss.
Out-of-state home buyers may find that their current insurance company serves their new community. It’s never a bad idea to check there first, as you may be able to get a discount for being a long-term customer or having multiple policies.
Ocala Renters Insurance
If you’re looking for a new policy, there are many reputable places online that allow you to research local options, including US News and World Report Insurance Quote Comparison. Be careful when giving out your email address or personal information, especially on sites you don’t know.
Perhaps the best advice is to speak to your estate agent for advice. Because they often help homeowners buy and sell on a regular basis, they know which companies write policies in your new neighborhood and
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