Insurance in florida

15 Replies

I have a duplex in PC fla. Paid little over 20k for it. I'm getting quotes of over 2k a year for insurance. They are saying replacement is 160k. Is florida that high?? I was paying 300-600 a year for similar properties in tn. Anybody have any suggestions? I can't see paying 2k a year for a 20k property!

Unfortunately, Florida has some of the highest insurance rates in the U.S. Here are couple of articles about it: 

http://www.nbc-2.com/story/22912984/why-are-your-h...

http://www.housingpredictor.com/homeowners/

A lot of carriers have pulled out and won't even write policies in Florida anymore. The high level of natural catastrophes (hurricanes, flooding) just make it a difficult market to write policies in and not pay out more than they charge. Also, the increase of the flood insurance policies were said to be upwards of 68% higher rates! The governmental agencies are still duking this out, but the bottom line is that it's expensive to insure properties in Florida.

Yeah, I have a "stray child" of a house in Florida and it gripes me every year when I get the latest insurance increase.  The same home here in Olympia, Wa would run me less than $400/yr but in Florida its almost $900!!!

Aaahhh Florida. The state where you pretty much have one option for insurance: Citizens. Even the "other" insurance companies are a part of the State's wind pool. Hurricanes happen and are destructive. Insurance companies want to avoid undue risk, which means they don't really want to be there. Government run insurance programs means poor coverage at high rates just what everyone wants out of their insurance company. Yay for Florida! To cut the sarcasm and get to the point... Florida insurance rates are out of control, and the worst part is that there are few options so you can't really shop around to find better rates the just really are "that high."

It's probably an older wood frame house.  Newer concrete block houses are not as expensive (but not cheap).  

You can go with a cash value policy that doesn't cover replacement cost 
(plus some other stuff, so check the coverage) if you don't have a mortgage. (DP1 vs DP3 I believe).  Last time I checked DP-1 was about half or less than DP3. Insurance rates have gone up tremendously in FL since the 2004 hurricane trifecta. You can also increase the hurricane deductible up to 5% and increase the standard deductible as well to save some cost.

American Integrity and Florida Family are a couple of insurance companies that may be writing policies.

I feel the pain too. We have 7 investment condos in FL, and the only way we can afford it is that the complexes themselves carry the primary covered for the building and we just have liability. We also have Citizen's, and as others have said, there's really no other competition. 

Try Security First as well, and yes, crazy insurance premiums from companies you may never have heard is just part of doing business in FL.

Shop around, there are plenty out there.  Try Olympus Insurance, just got a fantastic rate from them - $1300 on a $850K property.  Mind you it has all the wind mitigation features built in.  Let me know if you want the agent's name who set me up.  

I'm dealing with this same issue, today as a matter of fact.  I'm in the process of purchasing a house in Kissimmee, Fl and the lender needs proof of insurance before they'll lend the money.  So I've been working with an insurance broker (Dehlinger Insurance) who apparently represent 30 "A" rated companies.  I just received 2 quotes, with the higher one (from Olympus) being close to $2k per year.  The lower quote is from St. John's Insurance, and pending the results from the wind mitigation test, should come in close to $1300.  They're listing the replacement value of the house at $299k, even though I'm only paying $188k.

In my experience, the lowest value they will allow you to assign as your replacement cost is $115/sq ft.  This is ridiculous as average building costs are $80/sq ft in Florida, plus at least 20% of the value is the land upon which it sits.  

It also helps to have an alarm system installed, as you can save an additional 20% off your premium which in most cases should offset your monitoring dues.  However, probably not practical on a $20K duplex.  

ahhh yes....Florida! The land of sunshine...AKA the hurricane state! I haven't found any bargains on coverage. That $115 sf price is probably spot on. If you have CBS your rates will be well less than wood frame. I just covered a new purchase: CBS, built in 1988, 1400 SF. Insurance was just under $1200. I also have a smaller frame house, about 1100sf, built in the 80's. When they started quoting me almost $1900 a year (I paid 40K for the house) I decided to go self insured on that particular property. I do know people that are 100% self insured but I am not into taking that kind of risk.

"ahhh yes....Florida! The land of sunshine...AKA the hurricane state!"

Hasn't been one for 8 years.  ;)  Lightning and water leaks are a bigger deal than hurricanes here.  

Citizens is in the process of shedding policies off their books so they may not be the best option right now.  New companies like SafePoint, US Coastal or one of the other "Citizens take out companies" (Google phrase for you right there) may provide what you're looking for in a DP-3 or DP-1 policy for your rentals.  Some of the rates people are throwing around here sound like HO-3 rates.  Why?  It's a rental.

Actually I had Citizen's for my new rental property (July 2014) in Seminole, Fl and just received a letter from Olympus saying they will assume my policy in November if I do not opt out. So they are definitely trying to get more and more people off of Citizen's. What I don't like is that I have no idea if Olympus will be price competitive without having to do a lot of research and I find that annoying to do just 4 months after getting an annual policy!

I have Citizen's for our rental condos, but only use them for liability. Too expensive otherwise. I'm curious what other options there are for SFRs in SoFlo should we decide to invest in those.

Originally posted by @Jolene Perry :

Actually I had Citizen's for my new rental property (July 2014) in Seminole, Fl and just received a letter from Olympus saying they will assume my policy in November if I do not opt out. So they are definitely trying to get more and more people off of Citizen's. What I don't like is that I have no idea if Olympus will be price competitive without having to do a lot of research and I find that annoying to do just 4 months after getting an annual policy!

 Nothing about your policy changes.  The only thing that's different is if you have a claim, the claim is administered by Olympus.  So don't panic.  I was a claims supervisor for the administrator that handled SafePoint claims when they did their portion of taking over Citizens policies.  A lot of people were incensed by the acquisition and tried to stay with Citizens, only to get significant policy increases.

significant rate increases I mean....  Typing tired...

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