Some Florida homeowners may feel like they've been paying higher insurance rates in recent years. According to a study by an online insurance quote website, this is exactly what has been happening across the nation over the past decade. The study shows that rates have gone up as much as nearly 90 percent in some instances. Part of the reason for this trend may be the increase in natural disasters over the same period.
On average, homeowner's insurance rates increased 67 percent over a 10-year period, according to the study. Tornadoes, in particular, were a significant factor. In fact, most of the states with the highest rate jumps were located within what's considered Tornado Alley, which includes Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, and eight other states.
In some cases, homeowners might not be aware of the rate increases. This is because premiums are paid from an escrow fund when a homeowner has a mortgage. Since this is part of their monthly payment, increases in rates may seem small even though the full amount is being paid. Homeowners in Alaska, California, Nevada, and other western states enjoy the lowest insurance rates. However, homeowners in Florida pay the highest rates for premiums in the country. During the study period, Oklahoma policyholders experienced the biggest increases. Nevada homeowners, on the other hand, benefited from the most stable rates over a 10-year period.
Because of the many variables involved, a hurricane damage claims attorney may not be able to do much about rates unless they are clearly unfair or out of proportion with what similar policyholders are paying. A lawyer usually steps in if there are claim-processing issues, such as an unreasonable wait period or a claim denial without a stated reason. Florida also has a "bad faith" law that has stipulations for how claims must be handled in the state.