Thank you for checking out my first blog on the new agency website, and we are all very proud of it. We are hopeful that all will find it as a valuable resource which you can refer to often and be a site that you visit regularly. WELCOME.
In this first installment, I wanted to discuss briefly what is going on in the insurance marketplace here in Florida particularly with regards to homeowners insurance. Well, it seems that we are beginning to feel the effects of the devastating effects of Hurricanes Irma and Michael in terms of both rates and willingness of insurers to take on new policies.
First in terms of rates, or prices for homeowners insurance here in Florida. I will speak primarily about my own area here in the Naples/Bonita Springs area because that is where I am most familiar, but I am told that story holds true pretty much statewide. We are seeing many carriers that are putting through some significant rate increases, some between 20% and more.... The cause of these increases is largely due to increased cost of re-insurance to our carriers. The re-insurers are charging higher rated due to the enormous losses that we have been experiencing not just in Florida, but throughout the US in the past few years, but thinking just Florida.... we had Irma and Michael both very costly storm that continue to generate claim activity even now several years after the events.
Another effect of this market turmoil is the "hardening" of the market. This term means that consumers will have fewer carriers to choose from as homeowners insurers seek to limit their exposure and shrink their books of business in certain areas. It could also mean that the insurers modify their requirements to limit the homes that they will accept making fewer options available unless your home happens to be built in 2020 85 miles from the Gulf of Mexico.... Many times the decision to do this may be "suggested" by the carrier's re-insurer in order to get favorable terms for the coming year. This is all good business, as we all want our property insurance companies to be profitable and healthy so they can sustain claims in the future and serve the needs of the citizens of Florida for many years to come. The bad part, is that sometimes we have to go through times such as these to evaluate, underwrite and make sure that the carriers are financially stable so they will be around for many years. We all should take the long view on this one.
There is good news. When I was considering getting into this business, my father (who was also in this business) advised me to be an independent insurance agent. By being independent, I would have access to multiple carriers that would offer a wide range of policies and coverage to better serve my clients. I am so grateful with my carrier partners, they are professional and responsive to meet our needs. This is a tremendous benefit of dealing with a Trusted Choice Independent Insurance Agency....like ours. If you would like to discuss something please feel free to give me a call or drop me an email.