Could the Florida home insurance crisis end with wind mitigation investments?

Florida home insurance Crisis - Analyzing Stats

The property coverage ecosystem in the state does appear to be easing compared to the last dramatic years.

While the Florida home insurance market looks like it may be leveling out, it remains clear that considerable funding is still required to harden homes in the state against the extreme winds that come with the increasingly common and severe hurricanes blowing through every year.

This could help to prevent substantial losses for both policyholders and insurers, said risk experts.

“Mitigation is a huge issue. If you think about how do you reduce losses going forward – you harden homes,” said risk management and insurance professor Charles Nyce from Florida State University at the Florida Chamber’s Insurance Summit which occurred in Orlando earlier this month. “If the insurance companies don’t have to pay for the loss, that will reduce costs.”

Florida home insurance - Florida Republican Governor and presidential candidate Ron DeSantis greets supporters at the Iowa State Fair
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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has proposed an additional $107 million for the My Safe Florida Home program in next year’s state budget. That program matches grants as high as $10,000 for homeowners who invest in hardening their homes against wind damage such as through additional door and window protection and stronger roof connectors. This can help to reduce the risk of having to file a Florida home insurance claim or at least decrease the size of the claim.memory test

The Summit experts agreed that more needs to be done to truly impact the Florida home insurance market.

While the Summit experts such as Nice did broadly agree that the increase in the grant budget was helpful, they also agreed that it was inadequate in a state that is being hit by a minimum of one major hurricane per year.

“It needs to be bigger. Much bigger,” said Nyce, who went on to suggest that a program for mitigation requires a budget of billions of dollars, not millions, in order to effectively protect properties against losses.

Jeff Brandes, a former state senator well known for speaking out in favor of an overhaul to the Florida home insurance laws in recent years, agreed with Nyce. He said that the proposed new funding wouldn’t come close to covering the total of homeowners who could stand to benefit from it. According to his calculations, at this level of funding for the property hardening program, it would take 554 years to secure all the state’s homes.

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