More Evidence Florida Property Insurance Companies Don’t Insure Older Homes
TAMPA BAY, Fla. — We’re learning more about what Florida home insurance companies are doing to circumvent the state’s new roof legislation to stay in business for homeowners.
Independent insurance agents say it’s not like insurance companies are being sneaky about insuring old roofs, but instead they simply can’t take the financial risk of being sued anymore.
New laws from the May special session banned businesses from denying home insurance because of the age of their roof. If he’s over 15, they have to let them do an inspection and a waiver proving he’s still at least five years old.
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However, several insurance agents told ABC Action News that they are now seeing new requirements coming from several companies with things like limits on the age of an entire home.
This week, Southern Oak sent a notice to agents stating that starting July 30, they will only cover homes at a minimum of $250,000 and that all homes must have been built in 2022.
They are also temporarily closing new business in 10 counties due to rising reinsurance costs:
- indian river
- palm beach
Southern Oak’s explanation in the notice states:
“The property insurance market in Florida is facing many challenges that have resulted in increased rates, reduced capacity and some companies exiting the market. With buoyant positive growth so far this year, we are exceeding the expected growth in reinsurance and believe that the temporary limitation of our capacity will maintain the level of financial responsibility and exposure management that our policyholders and agency partners know and trust.
Florida Strategic Insurance Partner and Agent Mike Puffer explained, “They just want to minimize the risk as much as possible. And they also try to do that by mitigating the risk of all their current policyholders. That’s why we get a ton of non-renewals, and we get a lot of memos saying people have to make changes if they want to keep their coverage.
We’re told that at least five other companies now have age limits on homes, including:
- American traditions
- American Integrity
- Universal Property and Casualty Insurance
- First line
“American Integrity started with a few territories, saying they weren’t going to write a house that was over a year old, so it had to be a brand new house. And now I believe they’ve opened that up to the whole state of Florida,” Puffer explained. “So insurance companies have just gone into an incredibly protective mode where they want to be able to stay in business and manage all the policyholders they currently write.”
Aside from the price increases, this is good news for owners, as several companies are no longer writing.
In addition to the nine companies that have already been placed in receivership and several that have left the state entirely, Bankers Insurance is the latest company to announce that it is withdrawing from home insurance in Florida in order to continue writing commercial insurance. and against flooding.
In a statement Monday, Bankers said:
“Unprecedented reinsurance costs in recent years are forcing many insurers, including bankers, to seek viable options to continue offering a range of products in a struggling market. Recent legislative measures, unfortunately, have failed to adequately address the immediate financial challenges facing property and casualty insurers, including the fight against fraud and litigation that exponentially overtakes all other states. We have therefore made the difficult decision to notify the Office of Insurance Regulation that Bankers is exiting its Homeowners (HO3) and Dwelling Fire (DP3) lines in Florida.
Michelle Mosher, agent and owner of Southshore Insurance Professionals, said she also sees other new requirements.
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“Now I have a company that will take your roof if it’s over 15 years old, but it needs to have a secondary layer of water resistance as part of the wind attenuation, and if not it’s not okay, so if you didn’t 15 years ago when you got your roof, you can’t go to them as an option,” Mosher explained.
Some insurance companies like American Integrity still offer coverage for homes up to 30 years old or even older with a qualified inspection. There are also some programs that tailor coverage to the age of the home and its characteristics. Agents who write for multiple companies can help homeowners find the best insurance for their home.
While we await possible downgrades from Florida ratings agency Demotech, Puffer’s advice is that owners with older roofs start budgeting to get a new one soon to ensure they can keep going. to receive coverage.