Will Victims of Irma Also Be Subject to Insurance Policy Renewal Surcharges?
Property owners in Florida may be subject to a likely unexpected policy surcharge due Hurricane Irma claims at their next policy renewal.
BRADENTON, Fla., February 8, 2018 (Newswire.com) - Nearly 500k residential property owners across the State have already incurred substantial out-of-pocket expenses due to Irma losses because of high hurricane claim deductibles that are standard policy across most insurers, usually 2 percent of the dwelling value. Some of these same consumers will also be subject to a likely unexpected policy surcharge due to their Irma claim at their next policy renewal.
As many consumers already know, authorized property insurers in Florida are required to annually submit their premium changes to the Office of Insurance Regulation for approval. In addition to those approvals post-Irma, some insurers already have built into their existing pricing structure an automatic surcharge for specified claims, including hurricane claims.
“Florida insurance consumers need to know that Florida Statute does not protect them from hurricane claim surcharges and our review indicates approximately 15 percent of insurers have established surcharges,” said Joseph DiMartino, Ph.D., Founder of Consumer Insurance Trust LLC, and a former President/CEO in the insurance industry. Hurricane claim surcharges range from approximately 2 to 7 percent of the policy premium.
Homeowner policy premium increases approved by the Office of Insurance Regulation during the nine months preceding Irma averaged 6.6 percent, according to external data analyzed by Consumer Insurance Trust. But those consumers also impacted by a hurricane claim surcharge, which averages 5.3 percent, will be subject to a total premium increase of approximately 12 percent.
Florida insurance consumers who want to determine if their policy renewal will be subject to a hurricane claim surcharge can visit http://www.claimforward.com/. Claim Forward is a free service that identifies how each insurer surcharges and underwrites for claims by sorting through hundreds of thousands of pages of insurance company regulatory filings required by the State of Florida. This information is analyzed relative to each user-submitted inquiry to provide:
- an estimate of the expected claim surcharge,
- a comparison to other insurance company surcharges,
- an assessment of non-renewal risk and personalized service offerings.
Claimforward.com provides consumers a necessary resource in assessing the financial impact associated with their decision to file not only a hurricane claim but any home, auto, condo, or motorcycle claim.
Joseph DiMartino, Ph.D.
Source: Consumer Insurance Trust LLC