For now, Florida’s homeowners’ insurance market is strong, thanks in part to the fact that it has been over 10 years since the last major hurricane hit the state. In the past 10 years, the homeowners’ insurance marketplace has shifted first to, and then away, from Citizens Property Casualty Insurance Corp., currently relying heavily on the private marketplace.
After seriously damaging hurricanes struck Florida in 2004 and 2005, many homeowners and hurricane insurance companies pulled out of the state in order to reduce their risk exposure. This left many homeowners with no choice but to take out Citizens insurance, the state insurer intended solely to insure those without other options. Citizens was created in 2002 by the Florida legislature to provide insurance options. It had just 600,000 policies in place the year of its creation. By 2004 and 2005, over 1.5 million policies were written through Citizens.
Citizens took steps to move insurers to private companies starting in 2013. Since this time, and due in part to the lack of major disasters in the state, Citizens has reduced its market share to just 600,000 policies once again.
Understand Your Coverage as Hurricane Season Continues
We have been fortunate thus far to experience 10 years without a major hurricane, but this large storm free gap has left many questioning whether 2015 could be the year that a storm forms near the state. Hurricane season is still upon us and will not officially end until November. August and September have traditionally been dangerous months for hurricanes, due in part to the warm Gulf waters.
With several months left to hurricane season, now is a great time to review your hurricane insurance policy so that you understand your coverage in the event of a storm. If you elected to forego purchasing a hurricane insurance policy this year, it may be too late to do so as many insurance companies prevent the purchase of policies once hurricane season begins. However, it is always a wise idea to call your insurance company and inquire as to the late purchase of policies.
Most hurricane insurance policies will cover homeowners for losses associated with the storm, but exact coverage terms vary. Pull out your policy or call your agent to investigate the following important items:
- Examine your deductible: Your hurricane insurance deductible could either be a flat figure or a percentage of your home’s value. For instance, if your home is injured at $200,000 with a two percent deductible, the first $4,000 will be out of pocket expenses. Be sure you know what your deductible is so that you can be prepared in the event of a storm.
- Understand your coverage limitations: Many hurricane insurance policies will not cover flood damage that can accompany a storm. Investigate your policy to be sure that you understand all the important terms and can assess whether you need to purchase an additional policy for items left uncovered.
Greenberg Stone and Urbano: Assisting in an Array of Homeowners’ Insurance Issues
If you are involved with a homeowners’ insurance dispute, contact the Miami Homeowners’ Insurance Attorneys at Greenberg Stone and Urbano We have over 130 collective years of experience representing policy holders across South Florida. We have the experience and knowledge to provide you with top notch legal representation. Our firm has received a coveted AV rating from Martindale Hubbell and the Miami Herald recognized us as a top firm in South Florida. Allow our exceptional attorneys to provide you with superior legal services in the South Florida area. Call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400 or visit our website to schedule your initial consultation.