We are going to examine the Homeowners Insurance Crisis in Florida. Is it a real crisis or has it been manufactured by the insurance companies in order to boost their profits and minimize claim payouts.
My name is Mike Keeler, I am a licensed Public Adjuster in Florida. My job is to help people get money to repair their home after a loss damages their home. My job came into existence because insurance companies were denying and underpaying claim. As a result, an advocate was needed for Homeowners who can fight for them against the insurance company cartel.
Over the last 18 months, I’ve noticed a dramatic shift in the way ALL insurance companies are handling claims. They have basically taken the approach to deny 90% of the claims and the ones they make an offer on, make the offer so low that the Homeowner has no choice but to file a lawsuit. Essentially, I’ve seen over the last 18 months insurance companies pushing us into filing a lawsuit 90%+ of the time. Doesn’t matter what type of claim: Roof Replacement Claims, Water Damage Claims, Cast Iron Pipes, Hurricanes, Storms, etc…
Let’s review what the insurance companies are talking about when it comes to the issues at hand. While there are multiple issues, the main 3 seem to be:
Fraudulent Roof Claims
We are going to break down what’s really going on.
1. Fraudulent Roof Claims Assertion
Where? Who? When? This argument holds absolutely no value. Fraudulent Homeowners Claims is less than .01%. Are there roofers that go door to door then say “Oh we see from the street you have damage to your roof. Don’t worry we can get the insurance company to pay it” Yes there is. I do not agree with this type of business conduct. Those roofers should be punished to the full extent of the law. With that said, there are probably less than 5 Roofing companies in the entire State of Florida who partake in this action. Rather than punish homeowners, the State of Florida needs to punish those roofers. Finally, they talk about Fraudulent Roof Claims but you just can’t fabricate damage to your roof. Who is committing these frauds? When? Why hasn’t anybody been arrested?
2. Amount of Lawsuits
In 2020, there were over 80,000 lawsuits filed against Homeowners Insurance Companies in Florida. That is a lot of lawsuits, no hiding those numbers. But let’s take a look as to why these lawsuits are being filed:
- People don’t want to have to file a lawsuit, they just want to get their home repaired, and they want the insurance company to treat them fairly by paying the damages covered under the policy. Is that so bad?
- Insurance companies have decided to deny or underpay almost every claim. There is nothing a person can do but sue the insurance company if they refuse to pay or want to pay $2,500 when the cost to repair everything is over $40,000.
- Pushing almost every claim into a lawsuit then creates a “crisis” as we have now
3. Attorney Fees
The insurance companies complaint about the amount of attorney fees that they are having to pay in Florida. In Florida, if you get $1 more than what the insurance company offered, then the insurance company has to pay all the fees. However, remember this important point, the defense attorneys representing the insurance companies and the insurance companies have all the say on when to settle a case. Here’s the problem, when a lawsuit is filed, the insurance company hires a defense attorney to represent them in a case. That defense attorney makes NO MONEY but quickly settling the case. The defense attorney has a beautiful office, office staff, other attorneys to pay, and a variety of other costs. With that in mind, the only way the defense attorney makes money is by dragging the case out for 6 months, 1 year, and beyond. If they were to quickly settle a case they would make $2,000. If they can drag a case out at least to 6 months they can easily make $25,000. Do you see the difference? Since I work directly with attorneys, I can tell you that in every case, multiple times, the plaintiff attorney tries to settle the case with the defense attorney and insurance company but they want no part of a settlement. Think about that!
My feelings are this whole “crisis” has been created by the insurance companies. Much like OPEC, where you have several countries that produce oil who get together to establish prices, I believe two years ago the insurance companies in Florida had their “OPEC” moment. The insurance companies want reform for roof damage claims. That’s their goal. As a result, they are willing to destroy the insurance marketplace in order to get their way. It’s a sad day when billion dollar companies are not happy about paying claims when people have a loss and damage to their home.
Also as a result, Florida homeowners insurance increase 2022 and homeowners are being dropped at an alarming rate. People who have never filed a claim are being dropped and rates are skyrocketing.
New Florida homeowners insurance laws are coming and it won’t be good for Homeowners.
So, let me ask you, based on what you’ve read, is the crisis in Florida organically created or was it created by the insurance companies?
Watch the video I posted above for an even deeper understanding the of The Homeowners Insurance Crisis in Florida.
Mike Keeler, Public Adjuster