Because of the large number of particularly damaging tropical storms and hurricanes that have made landfall there in the last decade or more, many Florida residents have likely become accustomed to paying extremely high home and auto insurance premiums every year. However, in the last few years, this has become far less of an issue, and as such, it seems that many will now see those annual insurance costs start to fall. Meanwhile, it may also be wise for insurance agents to do more to connect with clients and further help them find ways to reduce their costs in various ways.
Florida recently announced that it would finally stop tacking on a surcharge to various types of insurance coverage starting next year, some 10 years after the fund that this money went into was established, according to a report from the Associated Press. This charge, amounting to 1.3 percent of their total premiums for auto and home insurance, among others, was intended to help feed the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund that basically ran out of money after the dangerous Hurricane Wilma struck the southern part of the state in 2005, making it the eighth such storm to make landfall in Florida in the previous two years.
Why is this a shock?
This news should come as something of a welcome surprise for residents, because the small surcharge – added to most types of plans in the state – was supposed to remain on people’s monthly bills until July 2016, the report said. However, a recent spate of settlements with insurers operating in the state gave the FHCF a little bit of money left over to pay down the remainder of the bonds it had left. Now, as of Jan. 1, 2015, there will no longer be any such additional charge added to residents’ insurance bills.
The ability of an insurance agent to find their clients a little bit of wiggle room in terms of cutting costs is certainly valuable, but studies show that high-quality customer service might actually end up being even more important when it comes to building a rapport and loyalty. Therefore, the more that can be done to make sure people fully understand what they’re paying for every month, and what that covers, the less likely current customers might be to start shopping around.