Suul is joining us live in Tampa tonight, so Lenny, can you provide more information about the decision they’re making? I understand there are mixed feelings about it. Good evening, Josh.
Yes, it’s a decision that has consequences, but some homeowners believe they have no other choice. This specifically applies to homeowners who have paid off their mortgage. They are taking a risky decision and choosing to go without insurance.
It is a choice that Hilda Wick Conley made after living in her Lakeland home for nearly 25 years. Many refer to this concept as “going bear,” where homeowners completely eliminate coverage.
Despite the annual savings of $8,000, Conley admits it is worrisome when facing hurricanes or storms, as the fear still lingers. This decision is not made lightly, as realistically, insurance is not affordable for everyone.
Conley is not alone, as the insurance information Institute reports that 15 to 20% of Florida homeowners are scrapping coverage altogether, which is above the national average of 12%. Insurance broker R CCE suggests that the steep price increases may level off, as five new carriers are entering the Florida market this winter.
However, they warn homeowners that going without insurance can be extremely dangerous. The risk is as high as losing $500,000 in the event of a fire when all you have saved is $25,000. Conley is aware of the risks, so she diligently maintains her home to minimize potential damages. R CCE mentions that the high prices started appearing about four years ago after hurricane Irma, and the subsequent disasters have contributed to this.
As for saving money, homeowners should review their wind coverage and explore any eligible discounts. Reporting live in Tampa, I’m Lenny Suul for 8 on your side..