Florida’s homeowner’s insurance crisis hits The
Article Courtesy of WFTV Channel 9
By Christopher Heath
August 29, 2022
LAKE COUNTY — For the last two
decades Steve and Alice Smith have enjoyed their quiet retiree life in
“Florida’s Friendliest Hometown”, better known as The Villages.
“It’s nice here, everyone gets to know
each other, we’ve made a lot of good friends,” says Alice.
But recently their tranquil life has been turned upside down
all because of where they live, or rather the age of the
place they live; their home just turned 20.
“We received our renewal policy maybe a month or more ago,
and since then, we were shocked when we got the bill,” says
Alice holding up her homeowner’s insurance renewal notice to
show a price increase of 69%. “The insurance companies, they
can kind of threaten Florida that they won’t offer policies,
so what can we do?”
Steve and Alice are like more than 500 homeowners in The
Villages and millions more statewide, now facing one of two
options: higher prices, or coverage sent off to the
state-backed Citizens Property Insurance.
For its part Citizens recently crested one million polices
in its portfolio for the first time since 2013.
Additionally, starting September first, many homeowners
using Citizens will see their rates climb too.
Florida’s Homeowner’s Insurance Crisis Hits the
Villages In the last year at least 16 insurance companies have
either been forced to drop policies, been declared insolvent, or
stopped accepting new business.
“We are seeing more volatility in the homeowner’s
insurance market today than we have seen in the last two years,” says
Mark Friedlander of the Insurance Information Institute, noting that
Florida resident already pay the highest average property insurance
premium in the nation, at almost three-times the national average. “It
is getting more expensive; it is getting more difficult to find
In the last year at least 16 insurance companies have either been forced
to drop policies, been declared insolvent, or stopped accepting new
business. This all as lawmakers in 2021 passed a reform to try and
stabilize the market, and then passed another set of reforms in May of
this year during a special session as the crisis continued.
Meanwhile for residents like the Smiths, there are few options.
“We didn’t have a 69% increase in my retirement or social security, so
what are you going to do?” asks Steve. “You got to have insurance, if
the house burns down and you don’t have insurance, you’ve lost