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Lawyer crackdown brings ‘hope’ to Florida property market 

Florida’s property insurance market is showing signs of improvement following legislative reforms to address legal system abuse and claim fraud, the Insurance Information Institute says. 

Claim-related litigation is down, the “depopulation” of the state’s insurer of last resort continues and underwriting profitability, while still in negative territory, has improved significantly. 

“Property insurers want to do business in a state like Florida, which is growing, and there is now some hope this could eventually happen more and more,” institute CEO Sean Kevelighan said. 

“However, it is important Florida’s public policymakers ensure the reform that is helping the market recover is not eroded by the billboard lawyers.”  

Legislative reforms were passed in 2022 and last year, and insurers also benefited from a relatively mild hurricane season and an increase in investment income. Eight new property insurers have been approved by the state’s regulator to enter the market this year. 

A $US190.8 million ($289.3 million) cumulative underwriting loss posted by the top 50 private insurers in Florida last year compares with a $US1.8 billion ($2.7 billion) underwriting loss in 2022 and $US1.52 billion ($2.3 billion) loss in 2021, the institute says.

Average Florida home insurance premiums are expected to continue to rise this year, but at a “more moderate level” than in recent years, while some regional insurers recently filed for small statewide average rate decreases. 

Mr Kevelighan warns plaintiff lawyers are taking their “abuse tactics” to other states now Florida has tighter regulations on filing property claim lawsuits.