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Will Florida’s high home insurance rates decrease? These signs indicate maybe

Sheldon Dutes Updated: 9:01 AM EST Feb 21, 2024

Florida homeowners are paying, on average, $6,000 a year to insure their homes, outpacing the national average of approximately $1,700 a year. But changes in Florida’s property insurance market could eventually lead to lower rates. 

“This is a result, clearly, from the significant legislation passed, especially in the December 2022 Special Session,” said Insurance Information Institute spokesman Mark Friedlander. “We are seeing two key trends to improving conditions in the Florida home insurance market.”

Those two trends are fewer citizens’ policies and new insurers entering the Florida market.

The depopulation of Citizens’ policies has helped lower the overall number of policies. Depopulation is the process whereby citizens policyholders are no longer eligible for coverage from Citizens and instead receive their home insurance through a private company.

“More than 200,000 policies moved in the fourth quarter and they are expecting another 300-400,000 to move this year,” Friedlander said. “That is essential to a stable market.”

According to data from Citizens, 76,316 of its policies were taken over in January 2024. Citizens said those policies were assumed by the following companies: Edison, Florida Peninsula, Monarch, Slide, Southern Oak, TypTap and U.S. Coastal.

“The Florida property insurance market is improving,” said Citizens spokesman Michael Peltier.

It’s unclear, however, how many depopulation letters Citizens will send out this year because Peltier said it depends on a variety of factors, including the number of policies the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) approves.

“We expect about 300,000 Citizens policies to be assumed by private insurance companies in 2024,” Peltier said.

New insurance companies getting approval to write policies in Florida is the other trend the Insurance Information Institute highlighted. According to Friedlander, seven companies will enter the market.

“This will finally give Florida homeowners some choice on shopping their home insurance. As we’ve seen in other states, when new companies move into their markets the competition leads to more competitive pricing,” Friedlander said.

WESH 2 Investigates asked Friedlander when Florida homeowners could finally start to see some relief with their insurance rates.

“We’re hoping some relief could be coming this year,” Friedlander said.

It’s certainly a hopeful update, but Friedlander also stressed the importance of what’s currently happening.

“I want to paint a realistic picture. It’s still expensive. There are still problems getting coverage. The new companies, once they’re fully writing, will help,” he said. “Heading in the right direction to becoming a stable marketplace.”

Have your insurance rates gone down over the past few years? WESH 2 Investigates wants to hear from you. Email Investigates@wesh.com.

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