Florida Homeowners See Hurricane Insurance Costs Decline Slightly

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  • Over the past several years, many homeowners living along the Eastern Seaboard and Gulf Coast have seen their costs for home insurance against hurricane damage hovering at high levels. However, Florida residents are finally starting to see that trend reverse, as many residents are going to see their hurricane insurance costs decline for 2015. At this time, it might be a little easier for agents to explain to consumers what may drive their premiums for their various types of coverage overall.

    Home insurance costs in many parts of Florida are going to decline, albeit slightly, this year, as a result of the termination of the state’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, according to a report from Clearwater television station WTSP. For some time now, residents of those areas have been assessed a 1.3 percent surcharge – an uptick from 1 percent charges seen from 2007 to 2010 – to pay for damages caused by previous hurricanes that happened several years ago, even if their homes weren’t affected. For many people, that will come to a savings in just the tens of dollars.

    What costs remain?
    However, in many cases residents will still have to pay a sizable “hurricane recoupment charge” above and beyond their premiums, the report said. That added charge alone could add hundreds of dollars to homeowners’ coverage costs. For these reasons, they may not feel as though they’re getting much relief from these declines.

    “There hasn’t been [a hurricane] in this area in 15 years,” James Andersen of Clearwater, who remains concerned about his insurance costs, told the station. “[That storm] blew away a lot of mobile homes and went up through the state. [Since then, it’s mostly been] just a lot of wind didn’t affect us at all.”

    The more insurance agents can do to explain to consumers what does and doesn’t impact their insurance costs, and what they can do to keep those down over the course of the year, the better off they’re likely to be in terms of generating positive relationships with those clients. The most important reason for doing so is that providing good customer service can often be more valuable in terms of retaining clients than providing discounts from time to time. That, in turn, can really serve to drive customer satisfaction, and even retention rates, to higher levels.