Insurance

Ratings agency plans to reduce 27 Florida-based property insurance companies and see how it implements

CBS4 has learned a ratings agency plans to minimize 27 of the 40 Florida-based property insurance companies.  It’s a move that could leave millions of owners of house statewide paying high amounts, even leaving some to find a new insurer around them. “Very strong impact the market here, the real estate market, the housing market, everything,” said Alex Ray, Director of Marketing and Sales for John Galt Insurance. “It’s kind of fortune that have quite frankly,” added resident of parkland Gordon Light. He’s lived in Parkland for nearly three decades of his life.  Recently, two different insurance companies left him in the past year, including inter-state Citizens. Multiple insurers have canceled his property insurance, and he’s also been paying thousands more annually in insurance premiums. “I don’t know what needs to be done, but something needs to be done,” said Light. John Galt Insurance connected Light to a new policy. 

“The harsh reality is people will have to sell their houses because they can’t afford the insurance,” mentioned Ray. It’s a grim outlook based on projections that the firm Demotech will reduce financial stability scores for 27 insurers to an “S” for substantial or “M” for moderate. Big picture: If your mortgage carrier is backed federally by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, they won’t accept anything less than an “A” rating.  Ray adds people would then be in danger of defaulting on their home loans.

“Forced to find alternate insurance in this market or take force-place insurance from their lender,” said Ray. He says mortgage company force-placed insurance tends to be more costlier and provides less coverage. And with less qualified insurers, “trying to add all these policies that need to be rewritten is not a best solution,” continued Ray. State Rep. Danny Perez says he understands the financial burden homeowners face.

“Anything that could potentially raise the rates for the home and land owners” insurance market is concerning for us,” stressed Perez.  “It should be.”

He mentions that’s why legislation was passed in a special session in May to address this problem.

“It’s disheartening to see the market trend in the wrong direction,” said Perez.

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