Florida Homeowners Are Relocating in Droves Over Insurance Crisis – Newsweek

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The skyrocketing cost of home insurance in Florida is causing some residents to sell their properties and relocate, according to a survey by real estate brokerage Redfin and data available on Zillow.

Some 11.9 percent of homeowners in the Sunshine State who told Redfin that they plan to move in the next year said they were doing so because of climbing insurance costs, roughly twice the number of U.S. homeowners who, on the national level, are planning the same (6.2 percent). The survey was commissioned by Redfin and conducted by Qualtrics in February 2024 among 2,995 U.S. homeowners and renters.


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The Sunshine State has also got the highest number of motivated sellers in the country on real estate marketplace Zillow, according to data on the platform that Newsweek has previously reported on. Motivated sellers are those open to accept lower offers on their properties compared to the listed price to sell quickly. As of April 24, there were a total of 218,050 properties listed for sale on Zillow in Florida; 5,790 of these were listed by motivated sellers.

Read more: How to Sell Your Home

Florida’s property insurance market is facing an ongoing crisis that has left homeowners struggling with higher premiums and lawmakers in the state scrambling for solutions. Newsweek contacted Redfin for comment by email on Tuesday.

While the main reason behind the crisis can be traced back to the increased risk of extreme weather events, which are being made more frequent and more severe by climate change, there are other factors at play. These include excessive litigation in Florida—a state that accounts for 9 percent of claims nationally, but 78 percent of all litigation—widespread fraud and the climbing cost of reinsurance.

Florida home flood
A man looks on as he stands outside of his flooded home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 13, 2023. The skyrocketing cost of home insurance and changes in coverage are leading Florida homeowners to…
A man looks on as he stands outside of his flooded home in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on April 13, 2023. The skyrocketing cost of home insurance and changes in coverage are leading Florida homeowners to relocate to areas with stable premiums, a survey found.

CHANDAN KHANNA/AFP via Getty Images

Private insurers have been trying to cut their losses in the state by reducing coverage or refusing to renew policies. Since 2017, 11 companies that offered homeowners insurance in Florida liquidated—five of which did so in 2022. Other insurers are canceling policies or choosing not to renew them, leaving Florida homeowners with fewer options and higher premiums.

The challenges faced by the Florida insurance market are painfully felt by homeowners in the state.

Nearly three-quarters (70.3 percent) of Florida homeowners said they or the area where they live in has been affected by rising home insurance costs or changes in coverage in the past year. This was a much higher number than what was reported at the national level, where less than half of U.S. homeowners (44.6 percent) said they had been affected by insurance changes or had seen premiums climb.

It was even higher than in California (51 percent), though the Golden State is also facing its own insurance housing crisis as providers back out from fire-prone areas and limit their coverage.

Some 12 percent of Florida homeowners surveyed by Redfin who have faced insurance changes said they have been dropped by their insurance company, against 8.3 percent of respondents overall. Some 27.7 percent said they are or have been concerned that their insurer will stop offering coverage for their home in the future.

Read more: How to Buy a House With Bad Credit

“Homeowners living in areas where insurance premiums are surging are at risk of seeing their properties gain less value than homeowners in areas with stable premiums—and in some cases, they may even lose money,” Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in a statement. “Homes with low disaster risk and low insurance costs will likely become increasingly popular, and thus more valuable, as the dangers of climate change intensify.”

Update 04/24/24 at 9:30 a.m. ET: This article was updated to add more information on the number of motivated sellers in Florida.

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Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

Newsweek is committed to challenging conventional wisdom and finding connections in the search for common ground.

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