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Property insurance rates climb in Florida

The governor is expected to put pen to paper on a new law that aims to address skyrocketing...
The governor is expected to put pen to paper on a new law that aims to address skyrocketing homeowners insurance rates by reducing litigation.
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 9:19 PM CDT
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Finding affordable property insurance is becoming difficult as rates continue to soar in Florida.

Inflation isn’t the only thing to blame.

“Insurance rates in Florida are among the highest in the country right now,” Hutt Insurance Agency President Trey Hutt said. “People tend to assume that’s because of hurricanes, but we don’t really have a hurricane problem, we have a fraud and litigation problem.”

Hutt said some attorneys use the high rates as an opportunity to take advantage of the system.

“This problem has been getting worse over the last several years,” Hutt said. “There’s some quirks in the Florida law that make it really easy to sue insurance companies, and some attorneys, who have questionable ethics, will take advantage of this to enrich themselves rather than defend their clients.”

He said a majority of the money paid out to insurance claims doesn’t even go to homeowners for repairs.

“Most of the money goes to fraud and litigation,” Hutt said. “It mostly goes to attorneys.”

Governor Ron DeSantis says he is stepping in, though.

He recently said he intends to hold a special session to address the steep property insurance rates.

Hutt believes that will help.

“Hopefully what we can do is get some meaningful reforms that will bring down costs and will help to eliminate the fraud,” Hutt said.

There are a few things the general public can look out for when finding a reliable property insurance agency.

“Get a four-point inspection and a wind mitigation inspection and have that to give to the agent you’re shopping with,” Hutt said.

He also said you should ask lots of questions regarding the finances of the insurance company.

If it can’t answer these questions, look elsewhere.

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