If you have homeowners insurance, your premiums are probably going up. And for some, the race is on to replace their aging roofs before their insurance companies cancel their policies.
Over the past few years, dozens of companies have pulled out of Florida. And, within the last week, another round of insurance companies have left. This is scary for policyholders considering it is about 100 days until the beginning of hurricane season.
Those who write the policies say things could get worse before they get better.
And, whether you’ve lived in SWFL for decades or you’re new to the area, everyone knows a policy isn’t something you can go without.
Now, some of those roofing companies are stepping up to help homeowners. These roofing companies are going from company to company, pointing out what their customers can do to save money on their homeowners insurance.
Newer roofing when necessary, better pipes, stronger windows are all things to protect a Southwest Florida home from our, at times, dangerous weather.
Ken Kelly has been in the roofing business for quite some time. He is the president of Kelly Roofing. “I was working with my father coming out of high school, and he fell off the roof in front of me and crushed both of his wrists. So, I took over the family business,” said Kelly.
But this homeowners insurance purge is unlike anything he has ever seen. “We have some customers who have quoted us that their insurance rates are almost doubling,” Kelly said.
So, in order to save some money, homeowners are spending money to make their homes more attractive to insurance companies.
But what does that entail? Kelly says it begins with hardening your home, starting with the roof.
“Hardening is really just taking steps to mitigate damages in case there was a storm, for instance, putting a roof on that meets the current wind codes that would be hardening, putting in hurricane-proof or resistant windows and doors that would be hardening,” said Kelly. “Increasing the strapping from the roof to wall connection.”
He says upgrading what is above your head helps you get ahead. “So just by replacing your roof and bringing it up to the latest code, you get four of the seven major discounts,” Kelly said. “Three being related to opening protection like windows and doors.”
Experts say metal is the best kind of roofing to get. Because, if it is your forever home, it is worth investing in an excellent roof. Insurance companies will also recognize that that roof has higher wind resistance, so they’ll give you a lower rate.
Reid McDaniel is the president of Mcdaniel Insurance Solutions. “There’s a lot of carriers that are offering a ‘Water Mitigation Discount’. So not wind mitigation but water. So somebody that has a leak detection system in their home can save money gated community discounts, you know,” he said. “Retiree discounts, burglar alarms huge with a lot of the new burglar alarm systems that you can do yourself those qualify for discount as well.”
“Yes, there are a lot of carriers that have increased rates. However, there’s a lot of carriers that haven’t done a rate increase this year, or there’s discounts that could be missing from your policy that you would qualify for,” McDaniel said.
So, for McDaniel, his job is to ease consumer concerns. “I can help you,” he says to customers.
“What we’ve seen is people coming to us with 16% to 26% increases,” said McDaniel.
Insurance companies who do business in Florida say they lost almost $1.6 billion doing business here in 2021.