TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Florida’s property insurance crisis hits close to home and one Tampa Bay teacher is facing a head-spinning premium increase.
This is all unfolding as lawmakers are in Tallahassee for a special session to stabilize the market.
8 On Your Side Investigator Mahsa Saeidi continues her coverage of this crisis.
“I nearly lost my heart, I couldn’t believe it,” said Megan Lucas, “we all work really hard for our money. If this insurance just keeps going up, I’m not going to be able to afford to live here at this beautiful home that I worked so hard for.”
Megan can’t wrap her head around the dramatic premium increase. Last week, she received her annual policy renewal from Security First Insurance Company. Megan’s premium jumped from less than $4,000 to nearly $7,000.
“I called them and I wanted to see what happened,” Megan said, “and their answer was pretty generic just about the increases over the whole state.”
Unsatisfied, Megan called 8 On Your Side.
In 2016, Megan moved into her New Port Richey home. In 2021, she filed just one claim after a pipe burst. Megan found a contractor and said Security First approved the estimate and paid out the claim.
“Less than $5,000,” Megan said. “Am I the only one with an 80% increase? Are there other people in the same boat as I am?”
We wanted to know if Megan’s premium nearly doubled just because she filed a claim.
Insurance brokers told 8 On Your Side that filing a claim can impact your premium — big time. But in a statement, Security First said that’s not what happened here.
“There has been a substantial increase in the cost of building materials … and that results in a need to make the appropriate adjustments…”
The company pointed out that rate increases are happening across the state.
“The cost of reinsurance, litigation and fraud all play a role,” the company said
“I would really like to see some caps on these sorts of things,” Megan said.
There is a special session happening now but there’s no talk of capping premiums.
Security First said there are some different pricing options available for Megan. We’ve put her in touch with the company.
If you have a property insurance story to share, email Mahsa Saeidi at MSaeidi@WFLA.com