The Effect of Hurricanes on Florida Insurance Costs


Florida is a state well known for oranges, tropical weather and hurricanes. Like other natural disasters, the cost of insurance in Florida continues to rise as a result. Most Florida residents consider flood insurance a necessity. The cost is always separate from a homeowners or renters insurance. Even a mild or category one hurricane in Florida can cost insurance companies upwards of millions of dollars. Stronger storms can range into the billions. Florida has seen it’s share.

We can learn from history by taking a look at some prior storms, their costs and the result on insurance costs in Florida as a result. In 1997, cost of homeowners insurance in Florida for the top rated insurer was about 500 Million dollars. Over the next six year, with no major hurricanes, the cost first dipped slightly, down to under 450 million in 1999. An expected slow and steady rise followed, topping out at around 900 million in 2003. That’s an average of 100 million per year.

In 2004, the calm ended in Florida and there were three major storms. Charley was a category 4 hurricane and caused 13 Billion in damages. The other two storms, Ivan and Jeanne were both category 3 hurricanes. Between the two there was more than 20 billion in damages. As a result, the insurance cost for the same top insurer jumped over 200 million in one year. That is double the growth seen in the previous six years.

The following year (2005) Florida was hit by hurricane Dennis and Wilma, both category 3 storms that left more than 30 billion in damages in their wakes. Once again, the insurance cost in Florida went up by another 200 million dollars. It is fairly clear that an active hurricane season can as much as double the cost of insurance for the Florida homeowner. While the actual insurance premium is not likely to double in one year, we have seen rate increases as high as 25%.

Flood insurance costs, and the Florida unique sinkhole insurance have seem similar rises as well. While not as dramatic, the consumer can expect to see rates go up by between 5 and 20 percent. Consider that there is an indirect tie to an active storm season as well. Increased storms bring a higher rate of both floods and sinkhole activity.

As with many other consumer goods, the cost of insurance in Florida will continue to rise. While you may not be able to directly control the cost, finding a great local agent who cares about your needs can help. Investing in homeowners or renters insurance, flood insurance or sinkhole insurance is just one cost of living in Florida. A cost well worth the price!

For more information about obtaining insurance in Florida, visit Floridian Insurance today.

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