Hurricane Michael knocked out houses, businesses, water access, and power. What’s left after is a mess.
Southwest Florida barely saw any rain from the storm, but could we see some of the other after effects?
We could. The question is when. And that’s where the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation comes in.
“Our goal is to make sure insurance rates are adequate in a sense that consumers aren’t being taken advantage of but at the same time companies have the ability to provide products that are available and reliable across the state,” Jon Moore with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation said.
HelloSWFL reached out to Moore to ask if insurance could spike after a storm hits, and the answer isn’t a simple yes or no.
“It could very well happen but from a storm like Michael - although the devastation was unprecedented the response from the industry will be strong and I don’t see a significant impact to the policy-holder at this time,” Moore said.
The agency issued this emergency order — freezing rates — so people in the panhandle can focus on trying to get back to normal.
That freeze will last about three months.
“Any time thereafter we could issue another order and other rates evaluated company by company as they submit their case filings,” Moore said.
How and when insurance companies raise rates is a complicated process. A lot depends on how many disasters there are and how severe they are.
Just this summer, we were told the 2018 policy shouldn't increase as much as we feared even though we went through Hurricane Irma, Harvey, and Maria plus the California wildfires.
If you need to contact someone at the Office of Insurance Regulation, you can reach them at:
- Statewide Toll-Free: 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236)
- Out-of-State Callers: (850) 413-3089
- TDD Line: 1-800-640-0886