Opinion: Overcharged or uninsured; Florida homeowners need real insurance reform

The Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis must focus on better protecting Florida property owners.

Doug Heller and Sharon Cornelissen
Opinion contributors

Addressing the homeowners insurance crisis in Florida will require greater political will than we have seen in Tallahassee in recent years.

Floridians face skyrocketing homeowners insurance premiums and many have received letters that their policies will not get renewed. Homebuyers struggle to find affordable insurance, which they need to close on a mortgage. More and more homeowners are “going bare,” forgoing insurance altogether, as they see no reasonable alternatives. We found that nationwide more than 6 million homeowners are uninsured. But metro Miami stands out, with nearly one in seven homeowners lacking insurance — twice the national average.

Nobody wants to think about insurance until they need it. But insurance is essential for economic security and resilience, as most owners carry the majority of their wealth in their home. When disaster strikes an uninsured home, government relief is often woefully inadequate. The Federal Emergency Management Agency pays out about $3,600 on average after declared disasters (with a maximum of $42,500), which is not nearly enough to recover from a catastrophic loss. Without insurance, the risk of going from homeowner to homeless is only one major storm away.

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