Florida insurance commissioner shares tips on homeowners insurance and what to expect in 2024
Florida Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky provides tips to Floridians who face challenges with homeowners insurance.
Earlier this month, Gov. Ron DeSantis unveiled his 2024-2025 budget proposal, which includes a one-year exemption on taxes, fees and assessments for homeowners insurance policies. A news release from the governor’s office claims the tax holidays will save taxpayers $409 million and lower the average insurance premium by up to 6%.
Florida Insurance Commissioner Michael Yaworsky spoke about homeowners insurance Friday with Tom Hudson on The Florida Roundup.
He said he supports DeSantis’ proposed tax holidays.
“I think it's something that we can do when we're looking out there at the measures and tools that are available to the state to reduce the impact of the situation on the current homeowner’s market to consumers directly,” Yaworsky said. “This is something that we can directly pull and see some relief going to homeowners.”
Florida has eight different insurance premium taxes, most of which are imposed on insurers. Yaworksy explained what’s needed to ensure the tax holiday for insurance companies are passed onto homeowners.
“In the cases of the ones that are being placed on hold or are going to be permanently held back, those particular ones are statutorily required currently to go to the end consumer or the end user," Yaworski said. "And so by by pulling back on those taxes and passing them directly, it'll ensure absolutely that that there is no collection technique taking place.”
The savings homeowners insurance policyholders may see also depends on which insurance products they use, according to Yaworksy.
He also described the type of insurance premium change requests he expects to see from the commercial market in 2024.
“We're seeing for the first time in a long time, we're seeing 0% rate increase requests that we think will be, are indicative based on our early analysis of the impacts of the legislation that passed last year,” Yaworksy said, clarifying the changes are for standard HO-3 homeowners’ policies. Anecdotally, his office has also received a very slight decrease request from one insurance company.
“But there's some good trending in that sort of direction that indicates we're entering a stability phase of the market after all the upheaval we've had over the past six years.”
With all the challenges brought on by property insurance, Yaworsky provided guidance to Floridians who have paid off their homes but are struggling to get insurance.
“I think the bottom line is there are a couple of things that I would recommend right off the bat if they haven't pursued this, one of which is not every agent has access to the same companies. People should feel free to talk to multiple agents and make sure that they are getting the best deal that suits their current problems or their needs," Yaworski said. "A different agent may have a company that would be willing to work around that or may not require a four-point inspection up front and kind of get through those initial hoops.”