Progressive stops renewing some home policies in Florida as lawmakers target roof claims (2023)

Published Feb. 8|Updated Feb. 8

TALLAHASSEE — Progressive Insurance is shedding roughly 56,000 policies covering Florida homes with roofs older than 15 years, putting the squeeze on homeowners who already find it difficult — and expensive — to insure their houses.

It’s the latest sign of trouble in Florida’s turbulent property insurance market.

“This is an all-hands-on-deck situation,” Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, warned fellow senators last week. “We are not far off from homeowners paying more for their insurance premium than they’re paying in the mortgage.”

Last week, Farm Bureau Insurance said it would no longer write homeowners’ policies in the state, joining at least a dozen other insurers that have recently suspended new business, limited the types of homes they cover or canceled policies outright. A handful of property insurers have already gone out of business. The ones that haven’t are requesting double-digit rate increases — last month, one requested a 111-percent increase.

Lawmakers’ solution, so far, is to target what insurers say is hammering away at their business: fraudulent roof claims. The way legislators are going about it could make it more expensive for homeowners to replace damaged roofs.

Insurers and lawmakers say roofers have been going door to door asking to go up onto homeowners’ roofs to inspect for damage. The companies then tell homeowners their insurance can replace the entire roof, and if the claim is denied, then the homeowners can litigate their claims.

Lawmakers are now considering legislation that could eliminate the incentive to replace the entire roof.

Currently, insurers must offer policies that cover the replacement cost of a roof. Senate Bill 1728 would allow insurers to offer policies that would only pay the depreciated value of the roof, or an “actual cash value” — amounts that would almost certainly leave homeowners footing much of the bill.

The companies could still offer policies that cover the replacement value — which is often required by the banks that hold the mortgage loan — albeit at a higher price.

The bill would have a few exceptions. Regardless of policy, the insurer would still have to cover the replacement of the roof if it’s less than 10 years old, if the home is declared a total loss or if the roof is damaged from a National Hurricane Center-named hurricane.

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Insurers, including Progressive, publicly support the idea. Sen. Jim Boyd, the bill sponsor, said more and more Florida homeowners have been treating their homeowners’ policies like a warranty, rather than something that’s used after a disaster. He said that’s a mentality that has to change.

“After 15, 20, 25 years, most people have to replace their roof, and that’s something that’s sadly a cost of homeownership,” Boyd, R-Bradenton, said last week.

But some lawmakers noted that the policy could disproportionately affect the owners of older homes.

“I do believe that the victim here is the homeowner,” said Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg. “They’re caught in between a battle between an insurer who does not want to pay full replacement cost on a home that may need it and unscrupulous roofers.”

Progressive stops renewing some home policies in Florida as lawmakers target roof claims (1)

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Progressive is one of a number of companies that in recent years have refused to insure homes with older roofs. Boyd, who owns an insurance agency, said he’s seen some carriers refuse to take on policies on homes with roofs older than five years.

A Progressive spokesperson said the company is not renewing the 56,000 policies because they “do not comply with our underwriting guidelines, and losses that are having a disproportionate impact on our loss ratios.”

Filings show the company’s guidelines changed last year, from requiring composition shingle roofs be 15 years or newer to now requiring all roofs be 15 years or newer.

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“While we know this is not welcome news for those that are affected,” spokesperson Jeff Sibel wrote in a statement, “we are committed to doing business in the state and are taking this unavoidable action now to ensure we can continue to offer home policies in Florida.”

A spokesperson for the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation encouraged affected customers to shop around and use its online comparison tool.

The spokesperson did not say whether the state agency supports the legislation.

While insurers have complained about a sharp rise in litigated claims, and lawmakers have followed suit by adopting laws to stop those lawsuits in recent years, it hasn’t stemmed a rapid rise in property insurance rates.

Lawmakers last year passed a law prohibiting roofers from soliciting homeowners to file roof damage claims through a “prohibited advertisement,” such as emails, door hangers, flyers and pamphlets. But a federal judge temporarily blocked the state from enforcing the statute last year, and the case has yet to go to trial. (To get around the judge’s concerns, Senate Bill 1728 would require contractors to instead include disclaimers in their advertisements.)

Allowing that provision to be enforced would go a long way to stopping fraud, said Nancy Dominguez, managing director of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters, which represents adjusters who work with consumers in insurance claim cases.

Dominguez said her organization is not opposed to the legislation, but they’re worried that lawmakers’ solutions are essentially requiring homeowners to pay more for worse coverage.

“We just don’t want to see policyholders carry the entire burden of this situation,” Dominguez said.

The state’s property insurance crisis has several causes. The Office of Insurance Regulation has cited companies’ underwriting practices along with factors such as excessive litigation and door-to-door solicitation.

The Department of Financial Services said it has deployed two squads to Tampa and Orlando to investigate property insurance fraud and received more than 2,600 consumer complaints since July.

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The real financial state of many property insurers is also not clear. Florida-based insurers are allowed to divert revenue to side businesses. Doing so often takes away money that would pay for claims and makes insurers’ financial positions appear weaker. Last year’s legislation allowed the Office of Insurance Regulation to request more data on those side businesses.

Brandes, who has been warning about the state’s insurance crisis for years, said this year’s ideas are “not enough” to save homeowners or the industry. He’s proposed tapping into the state’s $15 billion hurricane catastrophe fund to cover a larger portion of storm-related losses — an idea that the Florida Chamber of Commerce has adamantly opposed.

He also said Gov. Ron DeSantis needs to “get engaged” on the topic “on a level that he has, to date, not been engaged at.”

DeSantis spokesperson Christina Pushaw said the governor “recognizes we need to continue to reduce cost burdens on Florida families” and is following the proposed legislation.

“Floridians will be priced out of their homes,” Brandes said. “Poor individuals will be forced to put roofs on that they can’t afford to put on.”

• • •

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FAQs

Is Progressive Home insurance pulling out of Florida? ›

“Unlike other home and property carriers who have left the Florida market, Progressive Home remains committed to the state, and we're taking this difficult step now to ensure we can deliver on our long-term vision and continue to support agents like you for years to come,” reads the emailed memo to agents.

Is Progressive writing homeowners policies in Florida? ›

Finding homeowners insurance in Florida can definitely be a complicated process. But thankfully, Progressive does offer home insurance in Florida. A standard homeowners insurance policy with Progressive will include protection for your home, other structures on your property, and your personal belongings.

What companies are dropping homeowners insurance in Florida? ›

Southern Fidelity became the fourth insurer in Florida declared insolvent since late February, following Lighthouse Property Insurance Corp., Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Co. and St. Johns Insurance Co. FedNat dropped 68,000 policies, nearly half their customers, and Lexington Insurance pulled out of the state.

Can you insure a 15 year old roof in Florida? ›

For example, new laws prohibit companies from refusing to write or renew policies on homes with roofs that are more than 15 years old solely because of the roof's age. They must allow the homeowner to get an inspection to prove a roof has five years or more of useful life.

Is Progressive giving money back to customers 2022? ›

As long as coverage is canceled before the policy term ends, Progressive customers will get a refund. Customers who have automatic monthly payments set up with Progressive will get their refund within two or three business days of canceling their policy.

Why did homeowners insurance go up in Florida 2022? ›

The reason for the price hikes? The soaring cost of reinsurance, insurance for insurance companies.

Is Progressive Insurance good in Florida? ›

Yes, Progressive is a good insurance company in Florida. Progressive has a 4.3/5 rating from WalletHub editors, as well as an impressive A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau and a decent score of 1.7 from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

Will my homeowners insurance go up if I file a roof claim Florida? ›

Home insurance claims and your policy rate

Filing a claim increases your risk in the eyes of your insurance provider, and as your risk goes up, so do your premiums.

Is Progressive a good Homeowners company? ›

Progressive home insurance is good for homeowners who are interested in bundling coverage and who want several add-on coverage options. Many policyholders appreciate Progressive's HomeQuote Explorer tool, which helps compare coverage and quotes from other providers.

What insurance companies in Florida are being downgraded? ›

On August 1, 2022, Demotech downgraded the FSR for United Property and Casualty Insurance (UPC) from an A to M. Demotech signaled that it would withdraw UPC's FSR, and in response, UPC withdrew its business from Florida, Texas and Louisiana on August 25, 2022.

Does insurance cover a 20 year old roof in Florida? ›

Homeowners insurance covers roof replacement if the damages are caused by a covered peril such as fire, wind, or hail storm. Your insurer might refuse to renew the policy if your roof is 20 years or older and it doesn't pass a roof inspection.

What Florida insurance companies are in trouble? ›

Companies in Liquidation
  • AMERICAN CAPITAL ASSURANCE CORPORATION.
  • AVATAR PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY.
  • FEDNAT INSURANCE COMPANY.
  • FLORIDA SPECIALTY INSURANCE COMPANY.
  • GUARANTEE INSURANCE COMPANY.
  • GULFSTREAM PROPERTY AND CASUALTY INSURANCE COMPANY.
  • PHYSICIANS UNITED PLAN, INC.
  • QUALITY HEALTH PLANS, INC.

What is the new roof law in Florida? ›

The newly passed legislation in Florida's special session may allow insurance companies to patch rather than replace significant portions of your hurricane-damaged roof. Previously, if a roof was damaged more than 25%, it had to be replaced. Florida's Building Commission had the following law in place: 706.1.

What is the average cost of a roof in Florida? ›

The state average cost range for replacing a roof in Florida is $11,000 to $30,000, with most homeowners paying around $15,000 for replacing existing roofing with a 2,000 sq. ft.

What makes a home uninsurable in Florida? ›

An “uninsurable property” can mean one of two things: The home is not in good enough condition to qualify for FHA mortgage insurance (and thereby for an FHA loan). The home is ineligible for property insurance because the insurance company considers the home too great a risk to insure.

Is Progressive giving money back to customers? ›

If you pay your full premium upfront, then you'll typically get a refund when you cancel your policy. If you pay your premium monthly, then you may or may not get a refund depending on when you cancel.

Is Progressive good with paying claims? ›

Progressive was rated below average for consumer satisfaction with auto insurance claims and shopping in 2021 J.D. Power studies. No. 7 out of 8 companies.

Does Progressive give fair settlements? ›

Filing suit basically tells Progressive that if they do not offer you a fair settlement, you will take them to court. Since they want to avoid this, Progressive's offers become far more reasonable once a lawsuit exists.
...
Maryland Progressive Auto Insurance Claims.
Medical BillsOffer
$4,768.48$6,268.48
16 more rows

What 5 insurance companies are pulling out of Florida? ›

Her policy was recently cancelled for the same reason. Five Florida insurance companies have gone out of business so far this year. Weston Property & Casualty, Southern Fidelity, Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation, Avatar Property and Casualty Insurance and St. Johns Insurance Company.

What is the average homeowners insurance cost in Florida? ›

The average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is $2,122 a year, or about $177 a month, according to a NerdWallet rate analysis.

Who insures the most homes in Florida? ›

State Farm ranks first in Florida in both home and auto insurance, offering a 21% discount for those who bundle — which is the highest average offer in the state. State Farm has several unique coverage packages for both home and auto insurance.

Is Progressive leaving Florida? ›

One of the nation's largest insurers, Progressive, announced in 2021 that it planned to non-renew about 60,000 Florida policies. In a financial statement, it said it had begun this action starting in the second quarter of 2022.

Who is the number one insurance company in Florida? ›

In terms of customer service, Esurance scored as the top insurer in Florida. The best insurance providers in Florida for customer service are: Esurance: MoneyGeek score of 95 out of 100.

Is Geico or Progressive cheaper in Florida? ›

For example, Geico offers the cheapest rates in Florida at $717 per year, on average, for minimum coverage car insurance for a 35-year-old driver with a clean driving record.

How do you fight an insurance denial roof? ›

If your roof damage insurance claim is denied and you disagree with the decision, contact the insurance company and schedule a re-inspection. During this inspection with the insurance adjuster, have reputable roof repair contractors on-site to document the list of damages along with the adjuster.

What Age Does insurance cover a roof in Florida? ›

The law prohibits insurance companies from automatically denying coverage solely based on the age of a roof so long as it's less than 15 years old. Similarly, if the roof has at least five years of life remaining, insurers can't refuse to issue a policy.

How do I become a successful roof leak claim in Florida? ›

Due to Florida's weather, it is common for Florida homeowners to have to deal with filing a roof leak insurance claim.
...
  1. Assess the Damage to the Roof.
  2. Check What Your Insurance Cover.
  3. Document the Damage.
  4. Contact Your Insurer.
  5. Contact a Local Roofing Company.
  6. File Your Claim.

Which home insurance company has the highest customer satisfaction? ›

Best Overall: USAA

It swept the competition in The Zebra's customer satisfaction survey, securing first place in every category. With nationwide availability and a decades-long history, USAA is trusted by many homeowners policyholders.

What is the rating of Progressive home insurance? ›

Customer Satisfaction Rating

MoneyGeek gave Progressive a 3.61 out of 5 for customer satisfaction, based on J.D. Power ratings. In the J.D. Power 2021 U.S. Home Insurance, Progressive received a score of 821 out of 1,000.

Who is Progressive Insurance biggest competitor? ›

State Farm is the number one auto insurance company in the country in terms of market share and premiums written, followed by Geico, Progressive and Allstate.

What age does insurance go down in Florida? ›

Key Takeaways. Our data shows car insurance premiums decrease the most at ages 19 and 21. It contradicts the common belief that rates drop once you turn 25. Your car insurance premium is less likely to be affected by age when you reach 25, which is why rates stabilize at this point.

Can your homeowners insurance drop you Florida? ›

Florida companies have considerably more latitude when it comes to the non-renewal of a policy. Property insurance policies have a specific term length. Once a policy term comes to an end, both you (the policyholder) and the insurer have the right to decide not to renew the coverage.

What is the Florida replacement rule for insurance? ›

Any replacement policies must be advantageous to the client; otherwise, illegal activities such as churning may occur. The replacement of existing life insurance policies with new contracts of life insurance requires a written comparison and summary statement at the policyholder's request.

How much is a roof replacement in Florida? ›

Even though the average cost range of a roof replacement in Florida is between $10,000 and $20,000, this value may still change depending on several factors (it's not uncommon for roof replacements to cost significantly more). Let's look at the considerations below.

Is a 20 year old roof too old? ›

Many insurance carriers will simply not cover a roof that is 20 years old or more. Instead, they will recommend that you replace the older roof.

Do you have to replace roof every 10 years in Florida? ›

Homeowners with shingle roofs should be prepared to replace them around the 10-year mark in order to keep their insurance, according to Friedlander. Metal and tile roofs last much longer, according to Pyland.

What is the most trusted insurance company? ›

  • USAA. 4.3. U.S. News Rating. USAA is the best insurance company in our ratings. ...
  • State Farm. 4.2. U.S. News Rating. ...
  • Farmers. 4.1. U.S. News Rating. ...
  • Nationwide. 4.1. U.S. News Rating. ...
  • Geico. 4.1. U.S. News Rating. ...
  • Allstate. 4.0. U.S. News Rating. ...
  • Travelers. 4.0. U.S. News Rating. ...
  • Progressive. 3.9. U.S. News Rating.
4 days ago

What is the strongest insurance company? ›

By assets
RankCompanyCountry
1AllianzGermany
2AxaFrance
3Prudential FinancialUnited States
4Ping An InsuranceChina
21 more rows

Can you sue an insurance company in Florida? ›

You can sue an insurance company when it acts in bad faith under civil remedy with your policy. Florida law allows you to pursue a civil claim when your insurance company fails to honor your contract or otherwise works against your best interests.

Is Progressive Insurance valid in Florida? ›

From Tallahassee to the tip of the Keys, when looking for dependable auto insurance in Florida, all roads lead to Progressive. Explore more on Florida's auto insurance requirements, optional coverages, and available discounts. We'll help you get a car insurance quote in Florida that best fits you and your budget.

Is State Farm pulling out of Florida? ›

TALLAHASSEE - Little more than two weeks after state regulators turned down its request for a 47.1 percent rate hike, State Farm announced Tuesday it would stop offering property insurance in Florida. And although policy holders will have up to two years to find another insurer, Gov.

Why is Florida homeowners insurance going up so much? ›

Insurance companies operating in Florida say they have been forced to raise rates to cover the costs of handling lawsuits.

Does Progressive have a good reputation? ›

Progressive is rated 4.3/5 by WalletHub's editors, based on sample quotes, reviews from customers, and ratings from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and J.D. Power. Progressive customer reviews highlight the company's low prices, but they also describe poor customer service experiences and lackluster coverage at times.

Who is the largest homeowners insurance company in Florida? ›

The largest home insurer in Florida is a state-run company, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which was set up in 2002 as an insurer of last resort for those who couldn't find coverage in the private market.

What 5 Insurance companies are pulling out of Florida? ›

Her policy was recently cancelled for the same reason. Five Florida insurance companies have gone out of business so far this year. Weston Property & Casualty, Southern Fidelity, Lighthouse Property Insurance Corporation, Avatar Property and Casualty Insurance and St. Johns Insurance Company.

What is the average cost for homeowners insurance in Florida? ›

Although Florida can be appealing to those who enjoy warm weather, living in the Sunshine State has its hazards, too. The average cost of homeowners insurance in Florida is $2,122 a year, or about $177 a month, according to a NerdWallet rate analysis.

How many people in Florida don't have homeowners insurance? ›

According to the US Census Bureau's American Housing Survey, 12.8 percent of owner occupied homes in Florida don't have insurance.

Can an insurance company drop you Florida? ›

Florida companies have considerably more latitude when it comes to the non-renewal of a policy. Property insurance policies have a specific term length. Once a policy term comes to an end, both you (the policyholder) and the insurer have the right to decide not to renew the coverage.

How much has homeowners insurance increased 2022? ›

Based on S&P data from January 1, 2022 to May 18, 2022, home insurance companies have been approved for rate increases in almost every state, with an average rate increase of 4.48%.

What are the 3 biggest factors in determining the cost for homeowners insurance? ›

Factors like where you live, your home's replacement cost, and your policy deductible generally affect your home insurance premiums the most.

Is homeowners insurance increasing 2022? ›

As of January 2022, existing customers renewing their home or motor insurance will pay no more than new customers.

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