JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Homeowners insurance rates are skyrocketing throughout the state and experts say it is expected to increase even more as hurricane season approaches.
Comparion Insurance Agency in Jacksonville says the best thing homeowners can do now is to take their time shopping for the best insurance plan and company that fits their needs because cheaper is not always better.
"Most people are calling in with homeowner issues that have had a roof done within the last like five years," Comparion Insurance Agency Lead Sales Representative Jose Lopez said. "Also, people who have done frequent water claims are the ones that are getting most of the rate increases, as well as some of the clients that were combined with other companies that have now left Florida."
According to the Insurance Information Institute, numerous insurers left the state last year and property insurance rates are expected to rise about 40% this year. Comparion Insurance Agency Lead Sales Rep Jose Lopez many factors determine the cost of insurance protection.
"Sometimes it's your volunteer fire department now that used to be fully staffed, is now volunteer, and that changes the rate for a home. A lot of times the risk in that area went up," Lopez said. "Coincidentally, rate increase has happened around the same time prior to hurricane season for a lot of companies."
Homeowners insurance covers damage or loss from theft, and other damage like fires and storms. Lopez says there are plenty of things you can do around your home that will help lower the price you pay.
"If you have an older home that you've taken care of any leaks, things like that. Alarm systems are always a great discount for you. You can get smart devices like water meters that can actively turn off if it sees a leak," Lopez said. "If you can fix it without having to contact your insurance, do it."
Lopez says by law, homeowners are supposed to be notified by mail or email of rate increases so pay attention if you receive a letter in the mail from your insurance company as it could have important information inside.