Amid homeowner’s insurance crisis, residents brace for Hurricane Ian

Windermere resident Geoff Goetz isn’t a meteorologist, but lately he’s been keeping eye on the forecast.

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“I watch the weather in a very different light now when a named storm starts coming up through the gulf and heading towards Florida, yeah I have full exposure,” says Geoff who recently lost the wind coverage for his home.

READ: Gov. DeSantis suspends tolls in Tampa Bay, urges Floridians to prepare, not panic for Hurricane Ian

“The roof is still good, but I can’t find coverage,” says Geoff.

For people like Geoff, the approaching hurricane only highlights the precarious position Florida is currently in with its property insurance market.

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Since the first of the year six private carriers have gone into liquidation, with the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance seeing its ranks swell to more than one million policies.

“We are definitely in a hard market which is characterized by a lack of coverage and lack of availability,” says property insurance attorney Gina Clausen Lozier. “There are costs that are pushed down to consumers, and so we are all essentially footing the bill for the state of the market right now.”

READ: Gas prices continue to drop in Florida

For homeowners, the market has devolved into higher rates or dropped coverage, with many who were able to find insurance now worried about what happens when their policy is up for renewal.

“We found the home we wanted and saved up, but then we couldn’t get anyone to cover us,” says Orlando homeowner Ashley Haering. “We were able to find coverage, but I’m already dreading next year.”

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