Three More Insurance Companies File for Rate Increases

Three more companies are filing requests to increase their Florida homeowners’ insurance rates. USAA, St. John’s and Atlantic Mutual filed their requests just after a voluntary moratorium on rate increases ended last week. Homeowners are concerned it's only the beginning.

Eleven insurance companies have raised their homeowners’ rates an average of 15 percent since last fall's hurricanes.

State Farm customer Sharon Whiddon saw her rates go up, and though she believes it's part of the price you pay to live in Florida, she's a little worried about future increases.

“I'm getting close to possible retirement, and the costs going up more and more is a concern in retirement, limited dollars and things like that.”

Rate hike requests are now in the works for USAA, St. Johns, and Atlantic Mutual. The request for USAA, the state's 5th largest insurer, ranges up to 33.4 percent for Monroe county, that’s the Florida Keys area. The Florida office of insurance regulation will have the final say.

Lawmakers did pass several insurance reforms this spring designed to bring rates down eventually. The changes allow customers to get a clearer picture of exactly what their policies cover, and don't cover.

Assuming Jeb Bush signs the bill (sb 1486) into law, homeowners will have a checklist to read through of what's in the policy, and the real dollar amount of their hurricane deductible.

Valerie Beynon is with the Office of Insurance Regulation and says, “They'll be able to sit down with their agents and make a determination as to what kinds of discounts they could take advantage of, and whether they need more or less coverage depending on what property they're actually insuring.”

With the start of hurricane season now less than three weeks away, you can expect additional companies to request rate hikes sooner rather than later.

The state Office of Insurance Regulation has 90 days to approve or reject the rate hike requests from USAA, St. John's and Atlantic Mutual.