Florida homeowners see insurance premiums spike after Hurricane Ian

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A Bonita Springs veteran sees a post-Ian homeowner’s insurance price hike that could leave him homeless. (CREDIT: WINK News)

One of the most annoying things many of us have experienced since Hurricane Ian is trying to hit your wallet again.

From poor customer service, wrong claims, and not a single cent seen by hundreds of people trying to recover, homeowners insurance has been anything but a walk in the park.

And the headache isn’t over.

The Florida property insurance crisis has always been complicated and usually not beneficial to the masses.

Now, Hurricane Ian could cause even more damage to your insurance premiums.

Vietnam veteran Richard Brown of Bonita Springs is facing massive damage to his livelihood. His homeowner’s insurance premium skyrocketed.

A Bonita Springs veteran sees a post-Ian homeowner’s insurance price hike that could leave him homeless. (CREDIT: WINK News)

“I have a little retirement income,” Brown said. “I think they’ve really taken advantage of people and I think that’s criminal.”

Brown has lived in her home for 20 years and trusts UPC property and casualty insurance to protect it.

He has never filed a claim and said his last premium with UPC was about $1,500.

“There are no accidents. Even with the last two hurricanes. I have had nothing. I don’t have a flood. And I just feel like I’m really high,” Brown said.

After UPC folded earlier this year, about 90,000 of its policyholders were automatically transferred to Slide Insurance, according to the state, including Brown.

That was fine until the renewal notice came.

“The bill is still $6,117 a year now. And that’s a total of $600 a month payment,” Brown said. “The insurance payment will be more than all the other bills combined. And if I pay my insurance and my house payment, there won’t be anything left for food.

A Bonita Springs veteran sees a post-Ian homeowner’s insurance price hike that could leave him homeless. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Brown said he will likely sell his home.

“My house was to be left to my daughters when I died,” he said. “I won’t have that now. I mean, I see no alternative but to sell this house and move out of state. And that’s the last thing on the planet I want to do or ever thought I’d ever have to.”

Southwest Florida residents have faced this problem for years.

Hurricane Ian made it worse.

Earlier this year, the Insurance Information Institute released a 2-page paper discussing trends and insights targeting the state’s property insurance crisis.

The industry-backed company predicts homeowner premiums will rise by 40% or more.

This is much more than the 9% that homeowners in other countries will have to budget for.

“It’s not fair to people who work their whole lives and fight for their country and live clean lives and don’t have a problem with anybody and just go about their business and pay their bills, and it’s just not fair to people like that,” Brown said. .

WINK News reached out to Slide Insurance asking why the big jump in prices.

A spokesman responded with some of the same reasons Florida lawmakers called for two special sessions on insurance: frivolous lawsuits, fraud, double-digit increases in the value of homes and building materials and record increases in reinsurance rates.

This is insurance for the insurance companies.

Destroying Ian (CREDIT: WINK News)

The company also said that “UPC is insolvent because it failed to charge adequate rates and purchase a full reinsurance program.”

Unlike UPC, Slide is solvent and purchases a full reinsurance program that ensures we can protect policyholders even in the event of large losses.

“I’ve lived here for 20 years. But most importantly, I am a Vietnam Marine Corps veteran. And you almost always do, so thank you for your service. You can’t go further than that. And only that I serve my country and everything else. And that’s what you get,” Brown said.

Now Brown is waiting for his insurance agent to find something cheaper so he can hopefully stay in Florida and the place he’s called home for decades.

“I haven’t even slept. I was just worried about it. I was on the phone,” Brown said. “It just drove me crazy.”

Some lawmakers believe the new laws that came out of the two special sessions last year will help homeowners with the cost of their premiums, but not right away.

It can take up to a year and a half.

A number of other bills passed through the legislature aimed at reducing the cost to keep your home protected. They are now awaiting the governor’s signature.

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