Florida condo owners brace for rising insurance rates

Published: Nov. 28, 2022 at 4:20 PM EST
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Many South Florida condo owners are getting a holiday surprise they weren’t expecting — paying more for insurance. It’s all part of the state’s insurance crisis that has hit homeowners all year.

"The insurance this year is hitting us hard," Johannes Neckermann, who sits on a condo board on Singer Island, said.

The rate hikes are not only hitting condo owners but also condo associations, which then pass on the costs to the condo owners.

"We raised this year the rate on unit owners just to afford the insurance," Neckermann said.

He said in some cases the costs were up 40% over last year.

Florida property owners are already paying the most in the country for insurance, and it's only getting worse.

Many condo owners are just discovering this, especially the part-time residents who are now arriving for the winter months.

"There's a little bit of a sticker shock for people who don’t follow Florida year-round," Robert Norberg of Arden Insurance in Lantana said.

Experts said there are several reasons for the increase in rates, all of which are making it very tough for insurance companies to stay afloat.

"It's been several years of claim problems, and things like, that impact associations, as well as individual unit owners, plus now the Surfside [condo collapse in 2021], plus the issues with recent hurricanes," Norberg said. "They're all taking losses, and it hits not only the unit owner but the association in a big way."

Condo owners are getting hit twice on those fees and then with their own insurance going up.

As with homeowners, it's likely to drive condo dwellers to the state-run Citizens Property Insurance, which is already ballooning with more than a million policies.

Florida lawmakers are supposed to meet Dec. 12 for a special session on fixing the insurance issues, but there are no promises anything can be fixed quickly.

"They can't force insurance companies to charge," Norberg said. "The only thing they can do is help regulate the rates of admitted carriers."

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