There is a seemingly never-ending list of financial concerns plaguing today's homeowners. A new survey of Florida homeowners clearly indicates that the rising cost of homeowners insurance is of even greater concern to them than the burden of property taxes on their residences.
A full 48 percent of those surveyed in the state indicated that property insurance costs imposed a greater burden on their family finances than rising property taxes, with only 24 percent, or less than one in four of those surveyed, indicating the opposite. The remaining 22 percent did not indicate one or the other, for whatever reason.
This is not entirely new. Four years ago, in a similar survey, it was only 36 percent of those responding who selected property insurance as the greatest burden, over the 31 percent who indicated their main worry was property taxes. The trend has obviously greatly shifted since then, with each annual survey since 2008 showing a greater number of homeowners concerned about insurance costs.
A very troubling fact is that the costs of homeowners insurance seems to have continued to rise, even as the value of homes has dipped, in some cases resulting also in a lowering of property taxes. Citizens Property Insurance, operated by the state of Florida, recently sought and was granted an average 10.8 percent rise in homeowner's rates. It is currently the biggest insurer of Florida properties. Another company, an affiliate of Allstate, has requested regulatory approval for a brutal 33 percent rate increase.
According to a University of South Florida political science professor, the trend is not working to lawmakers' advantage. Homeowners, the professor said, are more and more convinced that state government and insurance companies are in league to rip them off. In a tough election year, legislators may find out just how bothered Floridians are in another 10 days.
Source: Herald-Tribune, "Home insurance high on Florida stress list," Zac Anderson, Oct. 21, 2012
Our firm works with homeowners whose insurance companies have delayed or denied their claims improperly. You can find out more about our South Florida practice by visiting our homeowners insurance claim disputes page.