Florida's insurance companies – not happy? Look around...

posted by Brian Mudd - 

Important headlines for July 24th - Rather than complaining about Florida's insurance companies – do something different 

Bottom Line: These are stories you shouldn't miss and my takes on them...  

Excerpt: More than 105,000 reviews posted on Clearsurance, an independent insurance reviews and rankings site (showed that were generally not happy with our insurance companies). The survey found that Floridians are the least happy homeowner insurance customers in the country. While consumers nationwide gave their insurers an overall average score of 4.27, Florida consumers rated their insurers 4.03. Worse, if the company is “Florida-focused,” ratings averaged 3.57. 

Of course, an optimist would accuse Clearsurance of taking a glass-half-empty view of this. Or is it a glass-one-fifth-empty? The highest allowable consumer rating is 5, so maybe a score above 4, or even above 3.5, isn’t really that bad. 

Hot Take: First things, first. If you're unhappy with your insurance company for any particular product, when was the last time you evaluated your options? Based on insurance product, the average Floridian only re-evaluated every 8 to 11 years. If that's the case with you and you're unhappy look around. The insurance landscape is vastly different in Florida, in very positive ways, than it was from 2007-2010. Most commonly Citizen's is panned for its service. I agree, my experience with them was very poor when I didn't have a choice but if you're still with them, why? There are insurance options for every legitimate property type in Florida outside of Citizens now.  

The insurance industry is the healthiest it's been in Florida since prior to the 04'-05' hurricane cycle and given reforms that took place following that cycle and the recession its more stable than it has likely ever been in our state. That's not to say there aren't issues and I'd support legislative reforms – most notably the end of the ability to sign your insurance rights/payout to a third party which is the leading cause of insurance fraud in Florida. Otherwise have you considered self-insuring where you have the opportunity to do so?  

There's a reason Warren Buffet has always loved the insurance business. It doesn't get a lot better than getting paid money upfront that you can invest and benefit from with the potential that you'll never have to payout any proceeds to the person paying you the premiums. As a society we're often conditioned to accept the "insurance mindset". We're sold insurance on products that cost as little as a hundred or two hundred bucks. This just in. That will almost never work to your advantage. My general rule of thumb is to self-insurance when and where you have the opportunity to do so. In other words if you can afford the cost of a worst-case outcome from something that's insured, you probably shouldn't pay to insured it. Instead save and invest the money you'd pay in premiums for yourself (which is all the insurance company does anyway – they just reap the benefits rather than you) and create your own insurance fund that you reap the benefits of over time. If you can't afford the worst outcomes or if you don't have a choice, IE auto insurance and home insurance if you carry a mortgage, buy it. If you have it and you don't like the service you're receiving look around. Aside from very specific circumstances, you're almost certain to have a myriad of options available to you. 

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