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FL - Florida Looking at Increasing Insurance Premiums

Homeowners in Central Florida should be prepared to face higher property insurance rates next year, increases fueled by busy lawyers and record-setting hurricane seasons.

Some insurance companies have asked the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for increases of more than 30% in the coming year. While such skyrocketing costs were often felt in coastal cities, the insurance industry contends rising legal costs are spurring premium increases across the state.

Alexis Bakofsky, director of communications for OIR, said the increases are the results of busy hurricane seasons combined with higher costs for reinsurance and litigation.

This year set a record for named Atlantic storms and for named storms making landfall in the U.S. Companies are increasingly turning to reinsurance — the practice of being insured by another insurance company — to cover catastrophic exposure. When more natural disasters such as hurricanes happen, the price of reinsurance goes up.

“Unfortunately, these developments have presented challenges not only to our property industry but also to our consumers,” she said. “After multiple years of rate decreases, OIR is seeing an increase in proposed average annual premium increases for Florida homeowners’ rates.”

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