Saturday, June 22

Florida residents who live far from beach also face high insurance bills, say they ‘can’t afford it anymore’

Homeowners in Loxahatchee enjoy a lifestyle far from the busy and pricey Florida coast.

That’s why resident Debbie Winters was shocked when she learned her homeowners insurance reached costs similar to what many see closer to the water.

“It’s added over $1,000 a month to our mortgage alone, and it just keeps going [up],” Winters said.

In just two years, the premium on her home has jumped from $3,900 a year to over $14,000.

“There’s no serious issues out here,” Winters said. “By the time the wind gets out here when we did have hurricanes, it was tree damage.”

Premiums have been on a sharp rise as insurance companies in Florida have endured years of losses due to storms and litigation costs. Prices for building materials have also gone up.

Insurance experts also said insurers have a new view on risk in the state.

“All of Palm Beach County is pretty much in what they call a high-hazard, wind-borne debris region,” Robert Norberg of Arden Insurance in Lantana said. “It used to be just coastal, but now it is spread all the way across the state. “

That is hardly comforting news for homeowners.

“People are all complaining about it. They just can’t afford it anymore,” Winters said. “A lot of people are moving out. They’re just packing up and going.”

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