Florida has not been able to catch a break from hurricanes over the past two years and has made homeowners’ insurance companies push for drastic premium increases. With Hurricane Irma in 2017, and Hurricane Michael in 2018, insurance companies have paid out over $15 billion in claims. With the increase in claims that were filed in the past year, insurance companies want to raise policy premiums. Insurance companies have even canceled their customers’ policies. Is your property safe?
Why Are Insurance Companies Raising Homeowners’ Insurance Premiums?
The premium that you pay to your insurance company is profit for them. That is how they make money and have funds to pay out claims. With the increase of claims for wind damage and water damage, insurance companies don’t have as large of a profit margin and are left scrambling. Each year, insurance companies are proposing premium increases to the Office of Insurance Regulation.
Florida homeowners already pay 90 percent more than the national average on homeowners’ insurance premiums. The average homeowners’ insurance policy premium in Florida is $2,055. Whereas the national average is an annual premium of $1,083. Depending on where you live in Florida, your insurance premiums can be even higher than the average. Florida homeowners pay the highest average premiums in the country.
The states that pay the highest premiums are the states that are most likely to be hit with a widescale natural disaster, such as hurricanes, floods and tornadoes. Florida residents already pay 67 percent more annually versus the typical U.S. resident. While we already pay more, insurance companies want more money from their insureds in the coming years.
Areas That Will be Affected by Homeowners’ Insurance Premiums Increasing
Unfortunately, all of Florida will be affected by increasing homeowners’ insurance premiums in the next year. Rates can change drastically from zip code to zip code in the same town. For example, the average rate in West Palm Beach for a home insured at $200,000 in the zip code 33401, the average premium on a homeowners’ insurance policy is $6,600. While in the same town and neighboring zip code, the average homeowners’ insurance premium is $6,075.
Areas that have the lowest average homeowners’ insurance premiums are in the Tallahassee area, while areas that have the highest homeowners’ insurance premiums are in the Florida Keys. Geography and the probability of being hit by a natural disaster or incurring damage that would result in insurance claims play a huge role in the rates of homeowners’ insurance premiums.
How Can You Keep Your Homeowners’ Insurance Premium from Increasing?
Aside from uprooting and moving somewhere else, there are a few ways to keep your homeowners’ insurance premium lower. Since major storms like Hurricane Andrew hit, building codes in Florida have changed. There are necessary precautions and codes in newer homes that are followed by contractors and builders. Older homes can still be updated to be more resistant to hurricanes and wind damage.
Although there are precautions, and homeowners can dump money into their homes to make them more disaster-resistant, disasters still happen. Storms like Hurricane Michael still happen, and even flash flooding during the rainy season can severely damage a home.
Another popular option to save on your insurance policy premium is to raise your deductible. While saving on your premium, you may hurt yourself in the long run by raising your deductible. Your deductible is what you have to pay out of pocket toward a loss. After you’ve paid your deductible, your homeowners’ insurance company will start to pay on the damage.
Your deductibles depend on your homeowners’ insurance policy, and certain coverages may have different premiums. For example, those on the coastlines, especially the east coast, will typically have a separate windstorm deductible. A deductible can be a set amount or can be on a percentage scale. For example, if you insure your home for $200,000, and your windstorm deductible is 2 percent, your deductible will be $4,000.
What To Do If You Must File A Claim on Your Homeowners’ Insurance Policy
Florida isn’t out of the clear yet for hurricane season. With homeowners’ insurance premiums on the rise in the coming year, homeowners are worried. If your home sustains damage, you do have options to help you get the proper compensation on your claim to restore it to pre-loss conditions. A licensed public adjuster can help you get the most payout on your insurance claim.
With the rising premiums, ensuring that your home is returned to the proper condition and up to code is imperative to helping you keep your premium within an affordable range. Having your home updated also allows it to withstand potential losses from another disaster.
What is a Florida Public Adjuster?
A Florida public adjuster is a licensed professional that advocates on behalf of home and business owners to their insurance companies in the event of damage to property. Public adjusters are on your side. Homeowners’ insurance companies will often try to pay the bare minimum of what it will take to repair the damages. A public adjuster can help you by writing a comparative estimate that we will submit to your insurance company to show what the damages will cost to repair. Most homeowners are left struggling when their homeowners’ insurance company pays out on their claim. Being shortchanged leaves homeowners to pay their initial deductible and then pay out of pocket again to have their home repaired.
How Can Sentry Public Adjusting Help You File a Claim With Your Homeowners’ Insurance Company?
Sentry Public Adjusting’s claim process involves handling your claim from the beginning until your home has its repairs. Our licensed and experienced adjusters will start by performing a free inspection of your property. We will collect any related documentation from you to help us better understand your policy and how we can best help you. Your dedicated adjuster will review your homeowners’ insurance policy and determine your coverages to set us up for the next step in our claim-handling process. During the initial inspection, your adjuster will take photos and document all damages to your home. After our initial examination, we will send information to your homeowners’ insurance company that we are representing you.
Our licensed public adjusters will handle everything from that point on with your insurance company. While most homeowners aren’t well versed in the world of homeowners’ insurance language, our adjusters are. We can handle any negotiation that may be necessary. Our adjusters will meet the insurance company personnel at any appointments you will have with them. We submit our estimate to your homeowners’ insurance company and ensure that you get adequate compensation to repair your home.
How Does a Public Adjuster Play Into Homeowners’ Insurance Premiums Going Up?
Hiring a public adjuster does not mean that your homeowners’ insurance premium will go up. Filing a claim does not necessarily mean that your premium will increase either. If you have a pipe break or an air-conditioning-line leak that causes damage, that’s an isolated incident. Those incidents don’t guarantee any adverse effects on your homeowners’ insurance policy premium. Homeowners’ insurance premiums are increasing due to the widespread natural disasters that have struck Florida in the past two years.
If you need assistance filing a homeowners’ insurance claim, contact Sentry Public Adjusting at 844-443-4357. We can help you return your home to normal.