Home Owners Insurance Rates Going Up

If you are with Florida’s state run insurance company, your home insurance rates are going up by up to 10% this year. If you have your Florida home insurance with a private company, you’ll be facing rate increases from 10-15%. However, if Florida insurance companies have their way, you could be losing significant discounts that could dramatically increase the cost of your homeowners insurance.

At the present time, Florida homeowners enjoy what is known as a wind mitigation discount for various home features that make your home more resistant to hurricanes. Home insurance companies are required to give you this discount under Florida law and a specific formula must be used to calculate it. It includes discounts for things like the shape of your roof, whether your roof has a secondary backup system for removing water, the methods used to attach your roof to the walls of your home, and whether or not your home has hurricane shutters among others.

Home insurance consumers in Florida have enjoyed these discounts which can be up to 50% of the wind premium on a home. However, homeowners sometimes are disappointed with those discounts as well. One homeowner who was showcased in the St. Petersburg Times invested $5,225 to strengthen the garage door and for hurricane shutters on his home in Spring Hill, Florida. He was very upset to find out that his $5,225 investment would only give him a discount of $16.11! Other homeowners in Florida have saved a lot more.

Started in 2002 along with improvements to the Florida building code, these wind mitigation discounts were an important step in the process to deliver lower Florida home insurance rates to those with homes less likely to sustain serious damage in a Florida hurricane. Those discounts were doubled by the state of Florida in 2006 in order to provide some rate relief after the 2004/2005 hurricane season.

At the moment with the approach of the 2010 Florida legislative session, home insurance companies are asking legislatures to reduce some of those discounts. Check Internet #1 Home Owners Insurance Rates right now!In some areas the companies might have a point. For starters, there does seem to be a certain amount of fraud associated with those discounts. This fraud can be the result of homeowners misrepresentations and also due to errors in the findings from the home inspection. In any event it could lead to homes being granted discounts they aren’t entitled to. Companies also point out that the doubling of these discounts in 2006 was more of a political reaction to high rates than a scientific process to properly price the discount based on the real way a home would perform during a hurricane.

Some companies are ordering and paying for new mitigation inspections to get a more accurate picture of the home hardening mitigation steps that have been performed on your home. If a re-inspection on your home produces discrepancies, you might lose some of your discounts and face a massive increase in your Florida homeowners insurance premiums.

From your perspective as a homeowner, rolling back these discounts would add significantly to the cost of your Florida homeowners insurance. And this would happen during one of the worst recessions during our lifetimes. For some Florida homeowners having these mitigation discounts modified or eliminated could result in thousands of dollars in additional premium costs.

This is a critical development that all Florida homeowners should be following. Even slight changes to the mitigation discounts could cause massive increases in Florida home insurance premiums that will make the rate increases already approved look like small change! Check Internet #1 Home Owners Insurance Rates right now!

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