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Wednesday, May 22 2024

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has noted that it continues to see overall market stabilisation following the “historic” legislative reforms of 2022/2023 that have reportedly enhanced consumer protections, strengthened Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and encouraged investment by re/insurers.

This news follows the signing of House Bill 1611 by Governor DeSantis, aimed at ensuring the OIR has the tools and authority necessary to maintain accountability within the market.

According to the OIR, rate filings for 2024 show a slight downward trend for the first time in years, which indicates a stabilisation of the property insurance market.

“Ten companies have filed a zero % increase and at least eight companies have filed a rate decrease to take effect in 2024,” the state’s regulator said.

As Reinsurance News understands, rate decreases are being announced by some Florida specialist property insurance carriers, and in some cases, the regulator is pushing carriers to reduce rates after they reported better-than-anticipated underwriting income in 2023 after years of consecutive underwriting losses.

While this is all a sign of an improving marketplace in Florida, some are asking whether rate decreases are too early given the forecasts for a very active hurricane season.

Nonetheless, early signs from the 2024 reinsurance purchasing season are showing further positive indications. The OIR observed that reinsurance is a direct and significant cost to consumers, and relief in this area is “a significant sign” that the reforms are working.

As of Q4 2023, the regulator has noted there are approximately 7.45 million residential insurance policies in force in the Florida property market.

81% of those policies are written by admitted insurers, as opposed to Surplus Lines companies or Citizens.

Eight new companies have also been approved to write homeowners policies in Florida since the reforms, and an additional company was acquired to expand its footprint in the state. Meanwhile, approximately 389k policies have been taken out of Citizens from January 2023 through March 2024.

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