Florida Has Recovered from Decade-Long Home Insurance Cost Crisis

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  • Over the past decade, millions of homeowners in Florida have likely been significantly impacted by the fact that insurance rates for those properties have been extremely high, and therefore created major issues for residents and their household budgets. But those problems have largely abated at this point, and may allow individuals to be a little more flexible with their finances going forward. That might also be good news for insurance agents, who could be better positioned to deal with a larger amount of customer loyalty now that price isn’t quite so considerable a factor.

    In 2004 and 2005, the hurricane seasons experienced by the state of Florida were extremely problematic, as five major hurricanes pummeled shorelines and interior homes alike, including four that hit the southern part of the state in particular, according to a report from Palm Beach radio station WBZT 1230. For South Florida, that two-year number was a record. But now, state officials say that the government’s ability to deal with these issues on its own – and the resultant cost passed on to residents in the form of higher home insurance prices – has fully recovered.

    In all, the state now has its special hurricane emergency fund fully stocked for the first time since those storms hit nine or 10 years ago, and it stands at a total of $13 billion, the report said. Meanwhile, the state’s affordable Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has reduced its policy count by a full 40 percent, meaning that more people are once again buying coverage in the private market. In all, CPIC now has fewer than a million enrollees for the first time since the 2004-05 season.

    What does this mean for private insurers?
    When people are transitioned off the CPIC coverage they might have had for a period of many years, private insurers with lower-cost coverage than was offered in the past can move in to better accommodate the needs of those consumers, the report said. However, because there’s now more competition among insurers, that could lead to additional savings for many buyers.

    Improved prices can often be combined with high-quality service from insurance agents to quickly establish customer loyalty and satisfaction that many consumers might not have previously expressed about their high-priced home policies. When there’s little wiggle room to find with prices in general, it’s often superior interactions that distinguishes successful agents.