Hurricane Nicole Reiterates Florida’s Home Insurance Hardship

NOT ONLY BECAUSE OF THE DAMAGE THAT IT CAN CAUSE, BUT WHAT IT DOES TO YOUR POCKETBOOK.

>> Reporter: ONCE AGAIN, FLORIDA BEARS THE BRUNT OF INTENSIFYING EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS. NICOLE MAKING LANDFALL IN THE MONTH OF NOVEMBER. THE LAST TIME THAT HAPPENED WAS 37 YEARS AGO. MIKE AND PAULA STRACHAN RECENTLY MOVED TO VERO BEACH AND HAVE JUST EXPERIENCED THEIR FIRST HURRICANE.

> THE BEACH IS GONE RIGHT NOW. THAT’S PRETTY AMAZING. THAT HAPPENED IN ONE DAY.

> Reporter: OTHERS LIKE RESIDENTS OF VOLUSIA COUNTY NOW LEFT WITH LITTLE CHOICE AFTER THE STORM ERODED THE ENTIRE BEACH.

>> TOTAL DEVASTATION.

WE ARE HAVING TO CALL PEOPLE AND LET THEM KNOW THEY CAN’T COME HOME. IT WAS THAT TRIFECTA OF IAN, KING TIDES AND NICOLE, AND IT JUST MADE US SO INSTABLE THAT THINGS STARTED COLLAPSING.

Reporter: JUST OVER A MONTH AGO, HURRICANE IAN, A CATEGORY FOR MAC, DEVASTATED ENTIRE NEIGHBORHOODS IN SOUTHWEST FLORIDA.

>> WOW, THIS IS UNBELIEVABLE.

>> Reporter: RESIDENT MARYELLEN FLAHERTY LOST EVERYTHING THEY OWNED WHEN HURRICANE E LINDY AT THEIR HOME ON SANIBEL ISLAND.

A PERFECT STORM THAT NOT ONLY FLOODED THEIR HOME.

A GENERATOR MALFUNCTIONS AT THEIR HOUSE ON FIRE, CLAIMING THE LIFE OF A LOVED ONE.

> MY MOM WAS HERE AND SHE HAD DEMENTIA. IT WAS REALLY HARD FOR HER TO UNDERSTAND WHAT WAS GOING ON, AND I SAID THERE’S A FIRE AND WE GOT TO GO BECAUSE OTHERWISE WE ARE GOING TO DIE HERE.

> Reporter: LIKE HUNDREDS OF FLORIDIANS, THEY’RE IN THE MIDST OF REBUILDING THEIR HOME, AWARE THAT IT WILL NEVER BE BACK TO ITS FORMER GLORY.

> IT WAS JUST A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE, BUT NOW WE ARE ONLY BEING COVERED FOR — BE BACK HALF OF WHAT IT’S WORTH.

> Reporter: PART OF THE PROBLEM, THE RISING COST OF HOME INSURANCE PREMIUMS IN THE STATE. >> EVEN LONG BEFORE TWO HURRICANES STRUCK THE STATE OF FLORIDA, WE WERE FACING A TREACHEROUS PRIMARY INSURANCE MARKET IN FLORIDA. THIS IS BECAUSE OF A MAN-MADE CRISIS DRIVEN BY ROOF REPLACEMENT FRAUD SCHEMES COMBINED WITH EXCESSIVE LEVELS OF LITIGATION FILED AGAINST INSURERS.

>> Reporter: ACCORDING TO THE INSURANCE INFORMATION INSTITUTE, FLORIDIANS PAID THE HIGHEST HOME INSURANCE PREMIUMS IN THE U.S., AN AVERAGE $4231 PER YEAR, THREE TIMES HIGHER THAN THE NATIONAL AVERAGE.

THE TREASURY’S FEDERAL INSURANCE OFFICE ANNOUNCED IN LATE OCTOBER IT WILL BEGIN ASSESSING HOW EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS MIGHT IMPACT THE COST OF INSURANCE IN THE U.S., SAYING THE RECENT IMPACTS IN FLORIDA FROM HURRICANE IAN DEMONSTRATE THE CRITICAL NATURE OF THIS WORK AND THE NEED FOR AN INCREASED UNDERSTANDING OF INSURANCE MARKET VULNERABILITIES.

> AT THIS POINT WE ARE NOT SURE WHAT THE FEDERAL INSURANCE OFFICE IS GOING TO DO WITH THIS DATA, BUT INSURANCE IS A STATE REGULATED MATTER. IT’S NOT A FEDERAL REGULATED MATTER. SO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WILL NOT SET RATES FOR INSURANCE IN FLORIDA OR ANY OTHER STATE.

> Reporter: AND WITH MORE INTENSE AND MORE FREQUENT HURRICANES EXPECTED, IT’S NO SURPRISE THAT SOME FLORIDA RESIDENTS LIKE BRENDAN AND MARYELLEN THE, ARE CONSIDERING RELOCATION.

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