The Truth About Lending urges all Florida residents to write to their state representatives to appeal the recent decision of the Office of Insurance Regulation to all insurance carriers to hike up insurance rates. Right now is not the time to allow our homeowners or perspective homeowners to be affected by dramatic increases in insurance rates.
There are many homeowners who are scraping together every penny just to be able to make ends meet. In light of the pandemic our residents are feeling the pinch more than ever in their monthly budget. By the Office of Insurance Regulation allowing this it becomes literally a nightmare for homeowners for many reasons.
First of all many homeowners pay their taxes and insurance payments with their mortgage payment, which is called “escrowing” for taxes and insurance, not only will this increase their monthly payments but will cause their escrow accounts to be short. This will cause their mortgage lender to collect double, enough to make up the shortage and also increase their payment to the correct amount. Many homeowners will not be able to afford such a dramatic increase. Ultimately this can lead to foreclosure of default especially when there is such poor education on this matter for consumers.
We urge our State Representatives to take action now before we have a flood of homeowners facing these huge increases in insurance rates. The specific hurricane deductible seems so high anyways that it seems ludicrous that this rate hike is needed. Something must be done and be done quickly. We are already seeing people have 50% or more increases in their annual insurance, sometimes exceeding the amount of their annual taxes.
What can homeowners do?
You can call your insurance agent and ask them if they have the best possible wind mitigation ratings. Older houses may have a 4 point rating as well. Sometimes there are things you can do like add straps or nails in the attic or add a shutter to a window that may not be covered. Homeowners need to be proactive in understanding how their rating is established.
What if you are in a Forbearance?
If you are in a forbearance situation and the rates go up, that will cause you to be in a bigger hole with your lender so you need to discuss your repayment options with the lender that you have.