Condominium associations say HOA insurance rates are skyrocketing, leading to higher fees and special premiums.

Experts say the increase could be particularly hard on thousands of fixed-income retirees.

TAMPA, Florida. Florida’s insurance crisis is spreading rapidly from single-family homes to condominiums.

Homeowners associations report that insurance rates are skyrocketing, leaving apartment owners, many of whom on fixed incomes, facing skyrocketing monthly payments or even special premiums.

“Condo ownership is definitely getting more expensive across Florida,” said Tampa-based real estate broker Kristan Fadal.

Fadal says that this phenomenon, which he is seeing more and more often, is the skyrocketing cost of homeowner association insurance.

“We were expecting a 20% or 30% increase,” Fadal said. “And now you see a fourfold increase. People are not ready for this.”

Unlike single-family homes, condominium owners usually have insurance for their personal property.

Building and property insurance is covered by the HOA. But in condominiums like the one pointed out by Fadal in the Davis Islands, they cover building, property and liability.

He said their last insurance payment was $25,000 a year, but at the time, only three companies were offering the policy to them. And the lowest, including hurricane insurance, cost $113,000.

“You must have it. The sides are required to carry both the wounded and the hurricane, ”Fadal said. “And when you don’t know exactly what that amount will be, it’s a scary situation.”

Just last week, disappointment boiled over at a HOA board meeting in South Florida. The police were called when irate residents were informed of the steep price increase without much notice.

Experts say the increase could be particularly hard on thousands of fixed-income retirees.

“And now all of a sudden the budget has collapsed or something like homeowners insurance,” said real estate agent Cullen Jones. “Because the more companies leave, the less opportunity you have to shop and get the best price.”

In some cases, such as in South Florida, apartment owners are so frustrated that they rebel against their homeowners’ associations, gathering signatures to recall board members and replace them with those who think they can better handle insurance costs. and their monthly payments down.

Another issue is time. HOA board members say that in many cases, insurance companies will not offer quotes for more than 45 days. This leaves them with little choice but to accept the higher cost or risk breaking new state laws requiring apartments to carry these insurance policies.

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