Insurance concerns spike in Florida as hurricane season begins

Insurance expert suggests flood insurance for homeowners, renters

ORLANDO, Fla. – News 6 spoke with an insurance expert, who said there are a number of things policyholders need to be aware of as we head into hurricane season, especially on the heels of what Florida saw last year with Hurricane Ian.

“Ian has taught us that the entire state of Florida is in a flood zone,” Tom Cotton, president of Hugh Cotton Insurance, told News 6.

In September 2022, Hurricane Ian flooded homes all across Central Florida, from the coast inland, forcing many to evacuate their homes.

“If your home or neighborhood flooded during Ian, then you should certainly be considering the purchase of flood insurance, whether you are a homeowner or a renter,” Cotton said.

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But the rate might look a lot higher this year.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, they are projecting policyholders’ premium rates will see an average statewide increase of 40% or more.

Cotton attributed the rate increase to reinsurance renewal, which he said companies are required to purchase.

Reinsurance is insurance for insurance companies.

“So they don’t have to sustain the entire loss that they made during a catastrophe. Once their losses go over a certain amount, reinsurance kicks in and pay the rest of the losses,” Cotton explained.

He said with that driving the rates up, people are likely to pay a lot more.

Cotton said individuals have told him they were paying $2,500 or $3,000, and then it went to $4,500, and then they got a renewal at $6,000.

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