Thousands of homeowners hit with non-renewal insurance letters

Published: May. 4, 2022 at 7:21 AM EDT
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Dave Leftkowitz has lived under this roof in his Wellington home for more than two decades.

"I love living here. I've lived here for 22 years," Leftkowitz said. "I've raised my kids here. It's a wonderful neighborhood."

His roof is likely the reason his insurance company dropped him this year.

He said the roof is in great condition, and he's never filing an insurance claim.

"This is just another straw that's thrown on my back," Leftkowitz said. "You know, there's just so many additional costs right now."

His non-renewal letter included a reason for dropping his coverage "to reduce the overall exposure level to related catastrophic loss."

While it didn't specifically say his roof caused the non-renewal, Leftkowitz's insurance agent told him because the roof is more than 20 years old they recommend replacing it if he wants to get on with another insurance company.

Over the past year, more than 150,000 Florida homeowners have received similar non-renewal letters.

Insurance agents like Lee Wiglesworth are busy in Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast, and roofs seem to be a big problem.

"When roofs of a certain age are getting replaced by the neighborhood, they're closing zip codes, closing counties," Wiglesworth said. "They're saying, 'Hey, we're not going to do any roofs 12 years or older.'"

It's leaving homeowners facing tough decisions with few options.

Insurance Information Institute spokesman Mark Friedlander recommends calling around to other companies and trying to get a better premium.

Friedlander adds installing wind mitigation measures like impact windows or hurricane shutters will help.

Wiglesworth said addressing the roofing issue through an insurance agent is the smart move.

"They can call the underwriter. They can speak reason. We've been able to, it's not a common thing, but we've been able to overturn non-renewals," Wiglesworth. "We've been able to show either a roof's been replaced or a roof's been repaired."

"I'm really glad you're bringing attention to this. I hope the right people see this," Leftkowitz said. "I hope the legislators, I hope the government officials see this and something's really done because consumers need additional protection."


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