When people purchase a residence in Florida, they incur the cost of homeowner’s insurance premiums because they want to protect their family’s investment. Unfortunately, there are a number of myths that often discourage homeowner’s from benefiting from the protection their insurance policy is supposed to provide in the event of loss from hurricanes, broken water pipes, tree damaged roofs and other hazards. One of these persistent myths is that any claim against your homeowner’s policy will result in a substantial increase in premiums. While this may not be entirely untrue, the situation is far more complicated for property owners who live in Florida.
A study conducted by InsuranceQuotes.com reveals that Florida homeowner’s do not appear to be as prone to rate increases after making an initial claim for loss under their homeowner’s policy. While the study revealed that policyholders in some states may experience more than a twenty percent increase in their rate after filing a claim, Florida residents were among those subject to the lowest rate increase of about 2 percent. The study detailed the states subject to the highest and lowest average rate increases based on filing an initial claim.
Highest Rate Increases Following a Claim
Minnesota 21 percent
Connecticut 21 percent
Maryland 19 percent
California 18 percent
Oregon 17 percent
Arizona 17 percent
Alaska 17 percent
Lowest Rate Increases Following a Claim
Texas 0 percent (state law prohibits an increase after an insured’s first claim)
New York 1 percent
Florida 2 percent
Vermont 2 percent
Massachusetts 2 percent
While this study appears to dispel the myth that Florida homeowners will be punished by their insurance carrier with a substantial rate increase if they file a claim, the news is not all positive. The reason that Florida policyholders experience a relatively meager rate increase is because their insurance rates are exceptionally high prior to making a claim. The researchers found that in states like Florida that are prone to experiencing severe storms and hurricanes, they do not receive the initial discounted rate extended to new policyholders in certain other jurisdictions. In other states, a preliminary discounted rate is routinely offered to new policyholders, which essentially reverts to a substantially higher rate once the policyholder makes a claim.
Although the notion that your homeowner’s renewal rate will jump dramatically after a claim in Florida is inaccurate, this practice in other states is just one of the ways insurance companies discourage policyholders from enforcing their legal rights under an insurance policy. When insurance companies fail to process and settle your property damage claim after a hurricane or other peril covered by your insurance policy, you may have the right to pursue a legal claim to compel your insurance company to fulfill the terms of your policy. Depending on the nature of the insurance carrier’s conduct in denying, delaying or lowballing your claim, you may even have a right to pursue a claim for insurance bad faith.
If you have not been dealt with fairly by your homeowner’s insurance company, our Miami insurance coverage law firm invites you to contact us. Florida bad faith insurance claims lawyer J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo handles property damage claims against insurance companies in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.