Florida's Property Insurance Rates Continue to Rise

Florida's Property Insurance Rates Continue to Rise

Opinion
Opinion
|
March 21, 2022

Dear Editor,

As a small businesswoman, I have to watch every dollar that flows in and out of my business.  Unfortunately, that dollar seems to have become a lot less valuable over the last several months.  For most of us working families out here, inflation is killing us.  Right now, most of us Floridians feel blessed to live in our state.  Our economy is doing much better than other places in the country, but there are some major costs beginning to creep up on us.  Property taxes and the cost of property insurance, particularly in this Miami market are really beginning to hurt.

Unfortunately, with the property insurance, many of our friends who either have invested in property rentals or who may be in the process of buying a new home, finding property insurance is getting harder and harder.

I know that my local county commission has more to do with my property taxes than the legislature, but I was disappointed the legislature did not accomplish anything on property insurance in the last legislative session.

I had been following Senate Bill 1728 which dealt specifically with some of the litigation costs associated with roofing issues.  I am informed enough about the litigation crisis in Florida to know that curbing those costs are the only way that we are going to get property insurance costs under control.  Not dealing with it means the legislature left a lot of us small businesses and consumers on the hook in a major way.

I hope that Governor DeSantis will call the legislature back into session to deal with this issue.  I get so tired of seeing the constant billboards and tv ads almost encouraging people to file a lawsuit.  No doubt that some people who are defrauded have no other recourse, but the way that the advertising presents it, anyone is only one lawsuit away from being set for the rest of their lives.  Why is this a problem?  Mainly because every time someone files a lawsuit, it makes a business go into a defensive posture, increases their costs, and prices rise as a result.

Again, legitimate lawsuits have their place, but frivolous lawsuits, even the unsuccessful ones dig hard into a business’ bottom line, and those businesses pass those costs right along to the consumer.

Also, as a small businesswoman myself, we would simply not be able to survive if we were hit with multiple lawsuits at the same time, which means that the services we provide would be removed from the marketplace, and I would no longer be able to contribute to my family’s bottom line.

It is my hope that the legislature will go back into session to deal with the litigation issue and to keep our property insurance options open for consumers.  In Florida, I know we may not ever be able to have the cheapest property insurance, but it would be nice to actually be able to get it and afford it.

Karen Cardenas

Miami, FL

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