Insurance Cuts in South Florida

The Sun Sentinel recently reported that some insurance companies are reducing their homeowners’ coverage in certain areas of South Florida. Some are not writing new policies. Some are not renewing current policies. And some are increasing the cost of premiums or decreasing benefits.

These changes are because of increased water damage claims in the region, the article reports.

Why coverage matters

Fixing damage immediately after a disaster reduces restoration costs… and can even prevent the loss of your home.

Ignoring damage only makes it worse.

  • Fire can weaken a structure, even if it looks OK. If not addressed early, it could eventually collapse without warning.
  • Water damage can weaken structures too, and can also cause mold. If dried immediately, a mold infestation can be prevented.
  • Once mold begins, it grows and grows. The longer it is left untreated, the larger the damaged area becomes. Mold spores can fill the air, even causing some people respiratory irritation or disease.

Immediate treatment by a trained professional addresses all these issues and more. It keeps the long-term cost to a minimum, and reduces the risk of injury and illness to the homeowner.

Having enough insurance coverage makes immediate restoration possible.

Finding coverage

If you need of coverage, or are in danger of losing what you have, the Florida Market Assistance Plan (FMAP) may be able to help. Visit their website at www.fmap.org, or call 800-524-9023, to receive information on companies or agents who can meet your need.

Still can’t find coverage? All is not lost. Citizens offers coverage for those who cannot find it on the free market. You can learn more by visiting their website at www.citizensfla.com.

If all else fails, you may be able to find coverage through a Surplus Line company. Because these companies are not covered by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Act, this is the riskiest type of insurance you can buy. To apply, you must have a minimum of three rejections from admitted companies. But we recommend that you exhaust all other options before turning to a Surplus Line company, because of the risk involved.

Before purchasing Surplus Line insurance, read the policy completely. Understand the fine print. Ask questions. Surplus Line policies may not cover the same things as standard insurance, so be sure you know what you are getting.

To learn more about property insurance in South Florida, download your copy of the Homeowners’ Insurance Toolkit from the Florida Department of Financial Services at www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers/UnderstandingCoverage/Guides/documents/HomeownersToolkit.pdf.