Have a sticker shock from your Florida homeowners insurance policy? Read this.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If you’re a Floridian dealing with sticker shocks as a result of an increase in your homeowners insurance, you’re not alone.

Rates have skyrocketed due to increased lawsuits, a spike in hurricane claims dating back to four years, and rising reinsurance costs. Premiums have increased by no less than 36%.

Florida is now in the top five most expensive states for homeowner’s insurance, according to websites that track insurance trends. If you’re hit by a rate hike, experts say don’t cancel your policy and just go shopping.

Matt Carlucci Jr., of Brightway Insurance, recommends a wind restrictive inspection.

If you haven’t, you probably need to get one. They normally cost between $ 50 and $ 60, but the discount to get one can be $ 1 to $ 200 in the low end and nearly $ 1,000 in the high end, ”said Carlucci Jr.

The inspection looks at how well your roof and other parts of the home can withstand a storm.

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If you’ve already had a wind restriction inspection, Carlucci Jr. before calling your agent and asking if your insurance company knows the age of your roof. If it’s ever been replaced, Carlucci Jr. that the updated information may not have been communicated to your insurance company.

Other suggestions:

  • Contact the owner of the insurance company. Most insurance companies don’t want to lose your business, and you may be able to negotiate a lower rate.

  • Don’t switch insurers if the increase is less than 50%, experts say. Switching is risky because of new insurance guidelines.

Carlucci Jr. recommends that you speak directly with your agent to see if they have other ways to lower your premium. He says the Florida home insurance environment is currently unstable and the grass isn’t always greener on the other side.

″ If you don’t get ripped off, I would recommend sticking with your current provider, ‘said Carlucci Jr. Because, let’s say (you) save a thousand dollars after moving from carrier A to carrier B. Now the new carrier is going to inspect your home, and chances are they will have you repaired to meet the policy. “

Another variable that contributes to market instability is Senate Law 76effectively allowing insurance companies to pay you the “true present value” of your old roof rather than the full replacement cost.

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RELATED: Florida SB 76 could change how insurance companies cover old roof replacements

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