TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — It’s déjà vu for Florida homeowners.
Industry experts warn property insurance premium rates are expected to increase.
So, can anything be done to stop this?
8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi continues her coverage of this crisis.
John Rollins is a former Chief Risk Officer at Citizens Property Insurance, the state insurer of last resort.
“The sticker shock which we’ve all been experiencing for the past two or three years is not only not over, June 1st could result in the worst sticker shock yet,” said Rollins.
He says your premium could soon go up as much as 25%.
The main driver is the cost of reinsurance, that’s insurance for insurance companies.
Citing industry data, Rollins says in the past four years, reinsurance rates have increased 100%.
Experts expect another jump, 50%, by June 1.
Rollins says when insurance companies have to pay more for their insurance, so do you.
It’s all connected.
“So, when the reinsurers raise their rates 50% in a single cycle like June 1st, that could lead to 25% rate increases for the average Floridian,” said Mr. Rollins.
“Right now, it’s at a generational high and probably representing 50% or more of the average consumer’s premier dollar.”
This bad news came, despite two special legislative sessions intended to address the crisis.
Last year’s reforms made the market less volatile, but lawmakers didn’t cap rates.
This week, the new President of the Florida Senate made a promise about premiums.
“We believe that hopefully within a year or so, your property insurance rates will go down and if they don’t there will be hell to pay,” said State Sen. President Kathleen Passidomo.
Unfortunately, Rollins doesn’t think rates will decrease that fast, but he says they could stabilize if Florida helps insurers get insurance.
Lawmakers already expanded state support for reinsurance last year.
Rollins says it needs to happen again and the support should sunset after three years.
“If the state helps insurance companies with reinsurance, can it be guaranteed that the savings are going to go down to the policy holder?” asked Investigative Reporter Mahsa Saeidi.
“It is guaranteed that any savings from the cost structure associated with state support or a state funded bridge would be passed through to consumers almost immediately in the next round of rate filings, that is true,” said Mr. Rollins.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation oversees insurance companies.
Each year, companies make a rate filing request.
They must report reinsurance costs.
Rollins says if their costs go down, OIR can force them to drop your rates too.