John's Florida Real Estate Blog


Insurance Rates in Florida Headed for Increases - Give Your Policy a Check-Up and Shop Around

Insurance Policy0001 Thanks to the work of our "wonderful" governor and his friends in the 2011 Florida legislature, sink hole insurance and other parts of the insurance statutes were rewritten. And in my opinion, not in favor of consumers.

For example, Citizens, the state's insurance company, is now requestions over a 400% increase in the premiums for sink hole coverage. In Pasco County, I believe that it is supposed to be closer to 800%! So someone now paying $400 for sink hole coverage could be paying $3,200 for it after January 2012. And that is in addition to the other coverage items on their policies!

Thank goodness, unless your bank requires it, sink hole coverage is usually optional. Check with your bank to confirm this. In the near future many people are going to have to determine if they can afford to keep this coverage or if they will have to drop it.

When I got my renewal this year, I noticed that, sure enough, my own sink hole coverage had doubled (and I am not with Citizens). My total premium to insure my home was over $1,800! And I have a very tiny house. Just 900 square feet with 300 sq ft of that being my garage. So we are not talking about a mansion. The agent said it was because my home was built in 1979. Right, that is ancient isn't it??

So I made it plain to my agent that 1.) I wanted to cancel my sinkhole coverage and 2.) raise my hurricane deductible from 2% of the home's value to 5%. She mentioned that she thought that Tower Hill was now writing new policies in our area and said she would check on their costs. When she called me back she told me that for the coverage I requested the yearly premium would be $850! Talk about a drop! That is what I paid when I first bought my home in 2005. Needless-to-say I am going to switch companies and get my costs down. Way Down!

The moral to this story is that you should keep an eye on what his happening with your home's insurance costs and coverage. You want to make sure that you are not over-paying and that you have the coverage that you want and need for your property. What I did was the best way for my particular circumstances. Yours might be very different. But it never hurts to shop around with several agents to see if you can save some money or get better coverage for the same fees.

Don't just keep paying the bills when they come in without knowing if you are getting the most and best bang for your bucks. A yearly insurance check-up is a great idea! Especially in Florida where homeowners insurance is always a matter of concern.  

For questions about this issue, call your insurance agents or feel free to call me: John Elwell - REALTOR at CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc813-783-4444 or e-mail me at:

John Elwell - REALTOR


Bill Nye Realty, Inc.


Licensed in Florida


Comment balloon 2 commentsJohn Elwell • August 12 2011 01:49PM


Yes, that kind of increase is really crazy. I read about that in our local Saint Augustine paper. I think that there needs to be more attention paid to what the insurance companies are doing and what they are allowed to do. From what I understand, if there was a major storm, Citizens does not have enough money to pay out to all the people it has covered anyway. How do you stay in business if that is a known fact??

Posted by Diane Grady (Endless Summer Realty) almost 9 years ago

Somewhere along the line, someone dropped the ball. We need insurance reform, but I do get tired of it all falling on the backs of the consumers. I remember about 3 years ago or so, there was a special session in the winter to initiate insurance reform. How many people saw their premiums go down or saw the insurance companies stop asking for ridiculous increases? No one I know. And it has been ages since we got battered yet the premium checks keep rolling out. And how can Tower Hill offer coverage that is $600 less than the other company I was using (not Citizens)? How can they make money and the other one cannot.

I am sure I don't have all the answers, but it will get to the point where people cannot buy homes. Not because they cannot afford the mortgage payments, but because they cannot afford the insurance!

Posted by John Elwell, You Deserve a Full-Time Agent, Not Reduced Results (CENTURY 21 Bill Nye Realty, Inc.) almost 9 years ago

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