Posts Tagged ‘Florida hurricane season’

Florida Home Insurance Cancellations-What if You Lose Your Coverage This Year?

January 5, 2010

Just when you thought that most Florida homeowners insurance cancellations were behind us, new threats to your coverage are appearing on the horizon.  This new round of dropping policies is happening at a time when Florida home insurance rates are about to go through the roof again as our economy continues to struggle.

To begin with, the largest private homeowners insurance company in Florida is still moving forward with its planned exit from the state.  If that exit goes forward, over 700,000 homeowners insurance policies in Florida will be cancelled.

Some of the newest Florida home insurance companies are cancelling policies in selective zip codes to balance out their risk or to comply with their reinsurance requirements.

Many Florida home insurance companies are embarking on ambitious home inspection plans.  If those inspections uncover issues that the companies were not aware of, your Florida homeowners insurance policy could be at risk of cancellation.  That could include anything from a home in poor condition to one that is missing hurricane shutters.

Lastly, homeowner insurance rates in Florida are beginning to increase again – the majority will experience double digit increases.

If your Florida home insurance policy is cancelled here is what you can do to find new coverage.

For starters, don’t panic.  Florida law requires insurance companies to give you proper notice before cancelling your policy.  That will provide you with enough time to find a new policy in advance of the Florida hurricane season.

Talk to at least five different independent Florida homeowners insurance agents about your situation.  That will give you the best chance of reaching most of the homeowners insurance companies in Florida still taking on new business.  While your present home insurance agent in Florida can give you some options, odds are that you won’t be given access to all the companies capable of covering your home.

Look for Florida home insurance companies that have shown a willingness to cover older Florida homes.  Some companies will not deny your home coverage due to its age if the major systems in your home have been updated.

Ask each Florida homeowners insurance agent to provide you with companies that are interested in covering homes in coastal counties and those near the coastline.  Again some companies will offer you a policy if your home is near the coast if it meets their distance from water setback and if it has Florida hurricane shutters.

Get a quote from as many companies that are interested in covering your home and make sure each quotes has identical coverage.

Determine the length of time each company has been selling homeowners insurance in Florida.

Research each company’s records for customer service and complaints.

Ask your agent about the company’s risk diversification across Florida and in other states as well.  What you are looking for are companies that have spread their risk across a significant number of Florida counties and into other states.

Investigate the financial ratings of each company and determine the amount of surplus the company has accumulated to pay claims.  If you are considering two different companies that have the same financial rating, select the company that has a larger surplus and more risk diversification.

While it is not good news to lose your Florida homeowners insurance coverage, stay calm.  Contact several Florida independent insurance agents and obtain all of the information described above.  This will increase your probability of finding a new Florida homeowners insurance company if your coverage is cancelled.


Michael Letcher is a Fortune 500 executive and a licensed Certified Public Accountant.  His on-line guide can help you find low cost home owner insurance in Florida.  Learn more in his free newsletter at =>