The ‘Hurricane Tax’ Hitting Florida Alongside Idalia
Thanks to a broken home insurance market, Floridians are suffering
In Florida, it won’t just be those with homes and businesses hit directly by Hurricane Idalia that might be stuck picking up the pieces. Thanks to a broken home insurance market, a particularly bad hurricane could spread financial fallout throughout the state, leaving residents from Pensacola to Key West stuck paying repair bills for years.
Beset by hurricanes made more severe and more frequent by climate change, as well as rampant fraud and tides of frivolous lawsuits, dozens of insurers in the state have closed up shop or stopped selling new home insurance policies in the state in recent years. (Farmers became the most recent big insurer to pull out of the state last month). Residents have increasingly turned to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, a public entity established by the Florida government as the state’s so-called "insurer of last resort" for people unable to find affordable rates from private insurers.
For more and more residents, though, Citizens is becoming the first and only option, especially for those with coastal homes at particular risk from hurricanes. In 2019, Citizens had about 400,000 home insurance policies on its books; today, it has more than 1.3 million, about twice as many as the state's next-largest insurer.
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