Florida’s property insurance market shows signs of stabilization, says Senate President

by | May 17, 2024

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo informed lawmakers that while Florida’s property insurance market shows signs of stabilization and positive trends due to recent legislative reforms, continued efforts are necessary to ensure these benefits effectively translate into tangible savings for homeowners.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo apprised lawmakers in a memo sent on Thursday that Florida’s property insurance market, while showing signs of stabilization, still requires concerted efforts to ensure these advancements benefit homeowners effectively.

In the transmission, Passidomo highlighted data from the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), which indicates that recent legislative reforms are beginning to yield positive outcomes in the market. For the first time in several years, rate filings for 2024 reveal a modest downward trend, with ten insurers filing for no rate increases and at least eight requesting rate reductions.

“Rate filings for 2024 show a slight trend downward for the first time in years, indicating the beginning of stabilization of the property insurance market. Ten companies have filed a zero percent increase and at
least eight companies have filed a rate decrease to take effect in 2024,” she said. “Every little bit helps. This news, in addition to our action to cut $500 million in taxes associated with flood insurance and property insurance premiums, is very positive, and important for families trying to make ends meet as our insurance market strengthens.”

Despite this, the Senate President acknowledged that the cost of property insurance remains a significant concern for Floridians. Despite the favorable trends, many individuals have yet to experience reductions in their premiums. She emphasized that market improvements must translate into tangible savings for consumers.

Reinsurance costs, a key component in premium rates, have also begun to stabilize. The OIR reported that, contrary to initial projections of a 50-60 percent increase, reinsurance costs rose by 27% in 2023. Early projections for 2024 are similarly optimistic, with a statewide average decrease of 7.38 percent anticipated for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund rates.

“In 2023, Florida domestic insurer companies reported they produced a combined net underwriting gain/loss that almost broke even, a dramatic improvement from losing over a billion dollars in the past three consecutive years,” the memo reads. “When combined with investments, these domestic carriers showed a net positive income in 2023 for the first time since 2016.”

The OIR has also taken action against companies mishandling claims from Hurricane Ian or failing to meet reporting requirements. Five insurers were fined, including one penalty of $1 million, among the largest in state history.

Recent legislative measures aim to alleviate the financial burden on homeowners. A $500 million tax cut related to flood and property insurance premiums has been enacted. Additionally, the My Safe Florida Home program has been expanded to help more homeowners afford critical improvements like new roofs and storm windows, which can reduce insurance costs. The program prioritizes lower-income residents and seniors and will extend to condominium associations.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state-run insurer, has reduced its policy count. From September to December 2023, Citizens’ policies decreased by 179,087. Another 62,851 policies were shed between December 2023 and January 2024.

New insurers are entering the Florida market, and existing companies are expanding their operations. Since the reforms, eight new insurers have been approved to write homeowners policies, and additional companies have increased their market presence. Simultaneously, major national carriers such as State Farm, Kin, and AAA have reaffirmed their commitment to the state.

The memorandum also addressed the impact of recent legal reforms aimed at reducing abusive litigation practices, which have inflated insurance costs. These reforms have led to a decrease in non-catastrophe claims, suggesting a return to more rational claims practices and potential rate reductions for consumers.


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