As a Florida resident, you are definitely aware of what is at stake if a hurricane hits. Your property is in danger of being obliterated by a hurricane, and you can only do so much to protect your cherished belongings, including your home, your cars, your boat, and all of your personal property inside your home. Luckily, it's been a while since we have had a damaging hurricane like Hurricane Andrew and Hurricane Wilma. However, many Florida citizens are wondering why insurance rates keep going up. You contribute a good portion of your hard-earned money towards property insurance premiums to protect your property in the event of a hurricane.
According to annual reports, our Miami hurricane damage claims lawyers find that the Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation has continued to approve greater than 100 requests from insurance companies each year since 2009 to increase the insurance rates. This is a huge burden on all Florida residents with property insurance, but especially those with the state-created insurer, Citizens, as nearly 1.3 million Florida residents have insurance policies with Citizens. There have even been requests by carriers to raise rates by double-digits, a seemingly astronomical amount that many Florida residents simply may not be able to afford.
Further, not only are insurance rates increasing, but Citizens has been eliminating discounts they previously allowed for customers and reducing coverages. Citizens is insurance intended for individuals who are not able to get private policies, therefore, a decrease in discounts in addition to an increase in rates is hitting hard and many homeowners have to reevaluate how to they spend their income, allowing more and more to be devoted to insurance premiums.
So, Why the Increase?
There are differing opinions as to why the hurricane property insurance rates keep going up. One reason is that some people expect volatile hurricanes in Florida's future. Others believe the cost is to offset the amount of money insurance companies have to pay for the surge in sinkhole claims in Florida. And even others believe that the Florida legislature is simply siding with insurance companies, allowing them to increase rates incessantly regardless of any particular reason.
The change in weather is likely the most legitimate reason for an increase in rates over the years. With Hurricane Sandy hitting the northeast coast, and the recent typhoons in the pacific, insurers may be afraid that disaster will strike in the next couple of years in the Sunshine State and they want to be prepared. However, insurers are not allowed by law to increase rates in an effort to recover money they paid out for claims during a previous storm.
Is There An Upside To The Rate Increase?
While Citizens and other insurers will likely continue to ask for rate increases in the coming years, it is important to understand that if these property insurers are adequately funded, they should have no trouble paying out claims in the event a large hurricane strikes. Therefore, if your home or other personal property suffers damage during a hurricane, and you file a claim, you should get paid on that claim. If an insurance company is not adequately funded, it may scrutinize claims more and find ways to deny claims that otherwise would be approved.
If a hurricane strikes and you file a claim that is denied, you should remind your insurer that with the high rates, what legitimate reason could there be for a denial of your claim? When dealing with a denied hurricane damage insurance claim, you should consult with an attorney experienced in dealing with this type of dilemma. A skilled hurricane damage claim attorney will fight to prevent an insurance company from wrongfully denying your claim.
Contact Our South Florida Hurricane Damage Claims Lawyers Today To Schedule Your Free Consultation
The Miami Hurricane Damage Claims Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have over 100 years of combined experienced in successfully helping clients with their hurricane damage claims. Our attorneys will fight to protect you against the bad faith denial of claims. Our attorneys have been voted "South Florida's Top Rated Lawyers" by the Miami Herald, have been rated "AV" by Martindale Hubbell, and have been listed as "Superlawyers," a title putting them in the category of being some of the best lawyers in America. The Miami Hurricane Damage Claims Lawyers of Greenberg Stone and Urbano have also been invited to be members of Primerus, an international society of leading law firms. Call Greenberg Stone and Urbano today to schedule your free consultation to evaluate your potential claim with one of our attorneys. You may contact us through our website or call us at (888) 499-9700 or (305) 595-2400.