Florida homeowners insurance policyholders being forced to make upgrades

Homeowners in Florida are doing everything they can to keep their home insurance policies.

In the last year, five insurance companies have left Florida, leaving thousands looking for coverage. The state is watching 27 more companie to see if they will be able to provide if a disaster hits.

“Because so many companies are in this precarious financial position, they are being much more careful about the risk they write,” said Mark Friedlander of the Insurance Information Institute in Florida. “As a result, they are taking a closer look at homes in their portfolio.”

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Some providers, like Frontline Insurance, have sent letters to homeowners requiring upgrades to home mechanics.

One NBC2 viewer shared their letter from Frontline requiring a new water heater be installed, or risk their policy being dropped.

“The thought of them dictating to me what I have to do in order to maintain my policy became disturbing and really made me think about where this can go,” said the homeowner, who did not want to be named for fear their coverage would be canceled.

The Gateway homeowner told NBC2 that he had recently replaced his 16-year-old water heater.

“I’ve had homeowners policies for the last 35 years, and I’ve never had a company essentially demand that I have to replace my hot water heater,” he said.

His biggest concern is if an insurance company could require a replacement like a water heater, what is stopping them from forcing bigger upgrades?

“I think that is what we are seeing now is certainly the Fort Myers area and many other parts of the state,” said Friedlander.

RESOURCE: Will 2022 bring the collapse of the Florida homeowners insurance market?

Friedlander explained that between insurance companies failing in Florida and

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