Florida-based homeowners insurance companies cancel thousands of policies with little notice

You wouldn’t want to head into Hurricane Season without this necessity. Some homeowners insurance carriers are canceling thousands of policies with little notice to their customers.

When Becky Ghrist’s homeowners insurance dropped her just weeks before hurricane season was set to begin, she was floored.

“This isn’t just. I thought it was just happening to me because my house was older, but that’s not the case at all. I’m finding out that it’s happening to many people all throughout the state,” Ghrist said.

“Especially the coastal areas. A lot of these companies are pulling out because of risk assessment they say. And they just don’t, you know, it’s not profitable for them anymore,” said Ghrist.

Tens of thousands of Florida policyholders are in that same boat. They are now in search of new homeowners insurance carriers after several Florida-based companies dropped them.

The Insurance Information Insitute says the reason for this is over-the-top expenses hitting insurers, who lost $1.6 billion last year alone.

Mark Friedlander works with the Insurance Information Institute. “What led to those losses primarily were roofing schemes, door to door solicitations for roof replacements, where they don’t necessarily need to be roof replacement,” Friedlander said.

“More than 100,000 property lawsuits were filed against Florida insurers last year,” said Friedlander.

These lawsuits, plus costs from last year’s record-setting Hurricane Season put heavy pressure on insurers. Now, they are looking to reduce risk by canceling policies, policies like Ghrist’s.

“And even what I was told if I even do get a policy, I can expect rates to go up 30 to 50% which is a huge increase,” Ghrist said. “And it makes you wonder how you were going to afford it. But like I said you know you have to have coverage. Especially with hurricane season coming. It’s a very scary thought not to have coverage.”

Joyce Ramos’ insurance company told her to put on a new roof or she’d be canceled. “It’s upsetting,” Ramos said. “I just think that’s it’s very unfair.”

After she complained, the company changed its tune and renewed her policy.

If you’ve received a notice of your policy being canceled, the Insurance Information Institute says the best thing for you to do is talk to your insurance professional to see what your options are before making any decisions.

Reporter:Taylor Wirtz
Writer:Drew Hill
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