TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Another insurance company has failed. And now, Floridians are on the hook.
An assessment is coming on top of some staggering premium hikes for property owners all across the state.
Jane Lawson’s property insurance bill increased more than $2,000.
Next month, Jane’s annual bill goes from less than $3,000 to more than $5,000.
Now, she’s thinking about renting or moving.
“First thing I thought of is we’re going to have to sell the house and move to another state,” said Jane. “We’ve never seen anything this high.”
Despite recent reforms, homeowners like Jane are still getting hit with dramatic premium increases. Starting Oct. 1, Jane’s premium and yours will increase again by 1%.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky approved the request from The Florida Insurance Guaranty Association or FIGA, a non-profit, state entity that steps in to help cover claims when an insurance company fails.
In a letter sent to Commissioner Yaworsky on April 4, FIGA’s Executive Director Corey Neal wrote “the emergency assessment is necessary” to process claims.
No specific company is named.
But insurance experts say FIGA revealed more during a board meeting on March 31.
“With that UPC insolvency, FIGA’s pending claims went from around 9 thousand to now they have almost 25 thousand pending claims,” said Rob Samuels, an insurance broker. “It’s a mess but people with UPC are very very thankful right now that FIGA is stepping in there instead.”
8 On Your Side tracked the demise of United Property and Casualty Insurance or UPC. At one time, one of the biggest providers, now, they’re insolvent and we’re all on the hook for unpaid claims.
“It’s just another added little thing to think about,” said Jane.
Before retiring, Jane worked in insurance. She was an underwriter, reviewing policies, and identifying the risk for companies.
“We’re kind of subsidizing everybody living too close to the water and then, we’re subsidizing all the people putting in fraudulent claims too and that’s not fair,” said Jane.
We’ve seen multiple companies fail in Florida. That’s why you are already paying a FIGA fee. This new increase is fairly minor.
If your premium is $3,000, starting Oct. 1, you’ll be paying $30 more.