By Sharon Barger, CPIW PIAM
Florida property insurance is currently in crises, starting with several carriers going under due to financial issues. These financial issues were mainly caused by roof claims. Roofers were going into neighborhoods door to door and asking to look at the roof. They would tell the homeowner there was damage to the roof and they could get them a new roof. Most of these roofs were not damage but merely old. Then attorneys would get involved. At that time, attorneys were getting three times their fee. Since this did not come under “reinsurance”, many carriers could not stay strong financially.
A special legislative session was called by the governor and steps were taken to resolve some of these issues. The main issue of attorney fees was addressed and prior to the July 1, 2023 effective date, one carrier received 300 lawsuits relative to roof claims.
While carriers have had significant rate increases, they are limiting what they will accept for new business (generally home and roof age). Also, many are watching their capacity and not writing new business and/or issuing non-renewals for capacity. Of course, inflation is now an additional issue with repairs costing more.
The Florida auto market is now reflecting the need for higher rates. Of course, inflation is a factor, but the Florida special legislative session also addressed “windshield scams”. Glass lawsuits increased from 591 in 2011 to 37,000 in 2022.
Sharon Barger, CPIW PIAM
Tampa Association of Insurance Professionals
Sharon has been in the insurance industry since 1968 and a member of IAIP since the mid-80s. Currently she is the president of Tampa Association of Insurance Professionals. She has been employed for the past 11 years with Great Florida of Brandon as a licensed agent.