Drudge Retort: The Other Side of the News
Friday, September 30, 2022

Long known as the nation's most hurricane-prone state, Florida has achieved a new status that is aggravating hurricane anxieties and threatening real-estate values. Florida has the worst property-insurance market. Four Florida insurance companies have declared bankruptcy since April, and others are canceling or not renewing policies. Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to buy property coverage through the state-created insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp.



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The number of Citizens policies recently passed 1 million for the first time since early 2014 and could reach nearly 2 million by the end of 2023, according to a Citizens projection. Two years ago, Citizens insured just over 510,000 Florida properties.

Floridians now have the highest property-insurance rates in the nation, according to the industry-funded Insurance Information Institute. The average premium is $4,231 - nearly triple the U.S. average of $1,544. "It's reached a point where Floridians cannot find affordable coverage for their homes," Institute spokesperson Mark Friedlander said.

At the same time, from October through June, nearly 160,000 Floridians dropped the flood insurance policies they bought from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as it raised rates on some homeowners. Flood insurance is separate from homeowners' coverage.

The instability in the homeowners' market is the result of a unique mix of circumstances including costly litigation against insurers and the exposure of Florida insurance companies to storm damage in nearby states. Many Florida-based insurers expanded to cover properties in Louisiana, which has faced tens of billions in losses from Hurricane Laura in 2020 and Hurricane Ida in 2021. Insurers were hammered.

While the number of Citizens-insured properties has doubled since September 2020, the value of the insured properties has nearly tripled to $360 billion from $133 billion, Citizens records show. The growth has been concentrated in hurricane-prone southeastern Florida, which has some of the state's highest property values.

"One major hurricane event or a series of hurricane events like Louisiana had in the past few years could easily wipe out Citizens' reserves to pay claims," Friedlander said. Barry Gilway, the Citizens CEO, said at a July meeting that Citizens has $13.6 billion in reserves to pay insurance claims.

"Citizens is in a phenomenal financial position, and we're prepared for whatever comes," Gilway said.

Look at that last sentence and ask yourself whether Barry Gilway would repeat it today while staring at the $100+ billion damage left in the aftermath of Ian compared to his $13.6 billion reserves.

I'll leave it to you Florida citizens to educate us on your takes about the above information. But it appears that Citizens is about to exhaust all their reserves if these damage estimates prove correct.

#1 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-09-30 10:47 AM | Reply

If these insurance companies are smart they'll stop doing business in Florida altogether. Building houses or businesses or anything really where hurricanes continually wreak havoc is as stupid as building them in mudslide or fire country.

#2 | Posted by qcp at 2022-09-30 01:16 PM | Reply

If these insurance companies are smart they'll stop doing business in Florida altogether.

I don't know... if you can manage to collect premiums but never have to pay out it's a good way to make money.

#3 | Posted by REDIAL at 2022-09-30 01:38 PM | Reply

Florida is becoming the boat of America.

Bust Out Another Thousand.

It's a money pit that either shouldn't exist or, if it weren't run by showboating, retarded morons, would increase the code requirements for building and development.

Instead, the US taxpayers will pay how many billions more to rebuild that -------- just so another storm can destroy the area again in the near future.

It's lunacy driven by greed and "c-c-conservative" stupidity.

#4 | Posted by jpw at 2022-10-01 12:37 AM | Reply | Newsworthy 1

Yeahhhhh... this is the state that sealed Gore's loss.

Oh well... a lot can happen in 20 years I guess.

Now... what are we going to do about all the Canadians displaced by this catastrophe?

#5 | Posted by RightisTrite at 2022-10-01 06:23 AM | Reply

But it appears that Citizens is about to exhaust all their reserves if these damage estimates prove correct.

I fault politicians for allowing Citizens to have such a small reserve, allowing people to build in flood plains, failing to adopt building codes that would force buildings to be more "hurricane proof", etc. But, such is life when you have a bunch of (red state) politicians that eschew regulations. Who suffers when calamity strikes: average citizens most of whom prioritize social issues, gun rights, etc. over common sense regulations.

I get it that Fl can be a beautiful place to live. So can other areas that aren't so prone to hurricanes. Why should the federal government keep coming to the rescue of places that repeatedly keep being destroyed yet REFUSE to update their flood prone maps and put into place common sense regulations to minimize future damages? Talk about a colossal waste of federal money.

If you want to live in disaster prone areas, be prepared to lose everything and stop expecting the feds to come to your aid.

#6 | Posted by FedUpWithPols at 2022-10-01 07:20 AM | Reply

If you want to live in disaster prone areas, be prepared to lose everything and stop expecting the feds to come to your aid.

That's not how things work in "capitalist" America. Here's exactly what's going to happen in the affected areas virtually destroyed by Ian. First, all of the working class people who'd managed to carve out their own little piece of paradise will now find themselves relocating further inland or back north because they either don't have insurance or they don't have enough insurance to rebuild to the new standards which will be implemented that structures must be able to withstand 200 mph winds and 15-20 foot storm surges. Only those with money will be able to afford such expenditures, so these most desirous areas will become home to even more wealthy people and the hotels, condos, and businesses that cater to the same.

Our beautiful coastline beach areas will never stop attracting people because they're so alluring. It's been the latter day history of hurricane rebuilding that gentrification becomes the norm, while seldom do coastal communities even think of, much less prioritize affordable housing for those of modest means - meaning the workers who cater to visitors and residents. It's almost certain that when this is over, Ian will have tacitly created the opportunity to build even more expensive beachfront properties for the top 5% and I doubt that you see many of the mobile home parks occupied by retirees of lessor means remain as near to the water as they were before Ian. Expect more gated communities and fortress-sized mansions built to withstand the most extreme weather Mother Nature might throw at them. It's simply the Nuevo American Way.

#7 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-10-01 08:51 AM | Reply

Good rant TonyRoma.

Whoever wrote

"If you want to live in disaster prone areas, be prepared to lose everything and stop expecting the feds to come to your aid."

Described the exact opposite of Capitalism.

You start a disaster prone business, you are shielded from personal liability for every bad decision you make.

Thats the reason corporations exist. To shield Capitalists from personal liability for their actions.

Another way to characterize how DeSantis will use Ian to fleece the poor is: Never let a crisis go to waste.

#8 | Posted by snoofy at 2022-10-01 09:00 AM | Reply

#7 | Posted by tonyroma


That's how it should be.

People who live there should be able to afford the once a decade rebuilding costs.

That's not some discrimination worthy of social justice warrior wrath. That's how it SHOULD be and SHOULD have been for all these years of damage and rebuilding.

#9 | Posted by jpw at 2022-10-01 10:30 AM | Reply

Flood insurance reforms have started last year. Subsidies are being phased out. They are now taking into account square footage and other things. Many's rates jumped 5 to 10 times with many's annual rates soaring well into the thousands. Soon anywhere near the water will be out of reach of anyone who can't afford to rebuild on their own.

#10 | Posted by GalaxiePete at 2022-10-01 11:37 AM | Reply

That's how it SHOULD be and SHOULD have been for all these years of damage and rebuilding.

But it's NOT that way and it won't be for the foreseeable future. The public will pay for all the infrastructure necessary to maintain life on these weather vulnerable locales, and the wealthy who set up shop there will need plebeians to serve and support their lifestyles and labor needs.

I completely understand where you're coming from but until these lands are seceded from both federal and state governmental authority, these continuing rebuilds and losses will be underwritten by American taxpayers - and insurance payers - who themselves may live nowhere close to these places. The best we can hope for is a hardening of structures and mitigative planning to both maximize survivability and minimize catastrophic loss.

#11 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-10-01 11:59 AM | Reply


Why many homes and buildings in Punta Gorda still stand, even after Ian

How is it possible that the coastal city wasn't more devastated by a storm that ranks among the most powerful to ever strike the United States? One major factor, according to some experts, are modern building codes.

"It's a demonstration that updated building codes really work," said Nicholas Rajkovich, an associate professor in the School of Architecture and Planning at the University at Buffalo, who specializes in adapting buildings to a changing climate. "Buildings built to newer codes consistently have fared better during hurricanes and other storms than older homes."

Buildings constructed using modern codes have a slew of structural advantages that can help them better withstand extreme weather, including major storms. For instance, updated codes often have stricter requirements around "structural load continuity," which involves ensuring that a roof is well-connected to walls and the walls are well-connected to the structure's foundation, Rajkovich said. Even a small failure in the "building envelope," or the walls, roof, foundation, doors and windows, can lead to catastrophe.

"Our built environment protects us as human beings," Baughman McLeod said. "The stronger that built environment is against the winds and the water and the rain, the more we survive and the more protected our economic assets are.

"Building codes are one of the strongest ways that government can protect people and property from climate-driven hurricanes."

#12 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-10-01 12:45 PM | Reply

Just aw this truism:

You know who isn't in denial about climate change?

The entire insurance industry.

#13 | Posted by tonyroma at 2022-10-01 09:21 PM | Reply | Newsworthy 2

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