Southwest Florida homeowners still feeling effects of rising insurance rates

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CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Gov. DeSantis signed several homeowner’s insurance bills two weeks ago to try and get a handle on premium increases, companies denying coverage and even dropping policies.

To explain what the legislature passed and how it’ll impact homeowners, the City of Cape Coral will host a town hall on June 7 with state and local representatives, plus two insurance agents. Some wish they could attend, like Carol Pace.

The Cape Coral homeowner says she found out over the weekend that her insurance rate went up. Pace says it’s more than doubled in just two years.

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It went up $900 last year. She says she was frustrated, though it heightened when her premium went up to $3,500 this year.

“Our insurance went up another $1,600 so now we’re paying $3,500 a year for a 1,500 sq. ft. home, but our dwelling stayed the same,” Pace said. “I’m very frustrated.”

Pace’s roof is 16-years-old, though she has never filed a claim.

Homeowners insurance rates went through the roof for people like Pace, and insurance agents say that’s because of claims and lawsuits.

80-percent of all property insurance lawsuits nationally came from Florida.

“I don’t understand, it’s insane,” Pace said. “That’s ridiculous. You’re going to up somebody’s insurance that didn’t file a claim, but I guess it bundles in with everybody that lives in the state of Florida.”

Gov. DeSantis called a special session for late May to get a handle on the crisis. Some of the parameters in the bill include a $2 billion reinsurance fund and rules on coverage denials.

The intended domino effect: to stablize costs.

“It’s probably not going to help us in a year, it’s probably going to be two years before they can help us,” Pace said.

Some legislators agree and say it will take between 12-18 months to see any relief. Pace says she will try and shop for the best price right now.

“I’m going to change it because I think I can get it a little lower if not a little lower, I can get my coverage up higher,” she explained.

If Pace can’t, she says she may have to get a second job to make it through before she retires in four years.

“It’s worrisome. It’s stressful, very stressful,” Pace said. “At my age, I should not be having to worry about if I can make my payments.”

If you would like to attend the town hall, it starts at 6:30 p.m. at the Cape Coral Yacht Club ballroom. You’re encouraged to bring your declaration paperwork and ask the agents on site any questions you may have.





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