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Insurance Market

One of the insurance companies who works really hard to keep their clients and Realtor partners informed send this email out today. We wanted to make sure our clients know what’s going on with the insurance market.

Dear Insured,
As we focus our May newsletter, we typically focus on hurricane season being 30 days away from starting.  However, this year we have a different storm forming in the Florida insurance marketplace.  While we have not had a major hurricane hit Florida since Hurricane Michael in 2018, we have seen a significant deterioration in the Florida insurance marketplace. 
We at HH Insurance, feel your pain of continued rate increases without a justified reason as most insured’s have not had a claim.  We sincerely feel for al our policyholders who have had an abnormal rate increase compared to typical market conditions on a year over year basis.  As a result, we have continued to maintain our position of annually shopping your policy proactively to always maintain the best rate and coverage for your homes & properties.
With that being said, we are optimistic that relief is on the way, but we need your help to enact real change and rate stabilization in the marketplace.  The Florida Senate,specifically Senator Jeff Brandis and Senator Jim Boyd, fought for rate stabilization this year and passed legislation that would have immediately provided rate impact with bipartisan support.  Unfortunately, the Florida House of Representatives did not feel that rates were increasing enough to justify passing legislative relief for Floridians.  The speaker of the Florida House, Chris Sprowls was publicly quoted stating that we need to use a wait and see approach to market conditions. Unfortunately, just in the past 90 or so days, we have seen 4 of the top 20 Florida homeowners insurance carriers lose their “A” rated financial strength and 3 of them were declared insolvent with potentially more on the way.  (Within HH Insurance, we have proactively monitored financial strength so that our policyholders are continuously protected, and we have proactively rewritten policies ahead of a carrier losing their financial strength). 
As a result of this, Governor DeSantis has declared a legislative special session to help deal with the issues.  However, without your support and voice being heard to the Florida House of Representatives we will not see the meaningful needed reform to provide rate stabilization. 
Here are the facts that are driving up all Floridians homeowners insurance rates:

  • Only 3 companies have a cumulative positive net income in the last 5 years out of 52 residential carriers.  As a consumer, you want your homeowners insurance carrier to be profitable as it provides rate stabilization and claims paying ability. 
  • Florida had 85,000 industry wide lawsuits in 2020 vs 100,000 in 2021. Intent to Litigate Notices (ITL) not included. 49 other states had an average of ~730 lawsuits in 2021.  Within perspective that means that Florida has 1,000 lawsuits against a homeowners insurance carrier per 1 lawsuit in all other states combined.  This would make sense if Florida had 1,000 claims per 1 claim in all other states combined, except that per capita Florida has an equal contribution of claims, it is just lawsuits that are out of proportion. 
  • Across Florida, 75% of all roof claims end up in litigation and 70% of total litigated claims in Florida are roof-related.  The “not-so-free” roof scheme that has been occurring across Florida, specifically in areas like Orlando, are significantly driving up litigation.  The reason it is driven up is that in Florida we have a one way attorney fee statute with a fee multiplier.  This means that if a homeowner files a claim for wear and tear on roof that was never designed to be covered in a policy and the carrier denies the claim, the roofer refers the homeowner to an attorney.  The attorney files a lawsuit against the insurance carrier.  If the carrier wins at the lawsuit (which they typically do win) they still are required to pay all of their attorney’s fees without recourse.  If the insurance carrier loses the lawsuit or loses part of the lawsuit, the carrier is required to pay all their legal along with all of the plaintiff attorney’s legal fees with a fee multiplier.  A fee multiplier means that if the plaintiff attorney would typically charge $500 an hour, the insurance carrier has to pay them $1,500 an hour.  As a result, Between 2013 and 2020, Florida’s property insurers paid out $15 billion in claims costs. Only 8% percent of that was paid to consumers, while 71% was paid to plaintiff attorneys (more than $10 billion).

As a result of the legal environment that is allowed in Florida, we have seen an exponential increase in litigation activity with 384 lawsuits filed per day against homeowners insurance carriers compared to an average of 2 lawsuits filed per day in every other state.  This means that Florida comprises 8% of property insurance claims nationwide, but almost 80% of property insurance claims-related lawsuits in the nation.

That creates the question: How can we fix this type of operating environment in Florida? The Florida Senate passed 3 bills that would drastically help the market and stop the abuse of the system on all claims but particularly roofing claims.  However, we also need the Florida House to participate and understand the pain and frustration of rising premium rates occurring on your homeowners insurance policy.  To do so, your elected officials need to hear from you!  To get in touch with your elected officials, you can use this link to find the contact information for your representative and we highly encourage you to send an email and call and express your frustration for the failure to pass any meaningful legislature for the past two years.  You can also use the website, Floridian’s for Lawsuit Reform to send a pre-form email to your elected officials based on your property address.

To provide some additional context on the reform, we at HH Insurance do not believe that there should not be a fee multiplier in certain lawsuit cases.  A fee multiplier was an essential part of most civil rights reform across the country in the 1960’s and 1970’s as it encouraged an attorney who would not typically put in the manpower for a challenging case to be financially incentivized to help a plaintiff.  Within our office, we insure a law firm who has taken on Vaping Manufacturer’s who advertise towards teenagers and helped harmed families be restored and they should receive a fee multiplier in these rare and exceptional David versus Goliath type cases.  However, when you see 8% of claim dollars are going to policyholders while 71% of the dollars are paid to plaintiff attorney’s with 1,000 to 1 type statistics, it indicates that change should occur as the small minority are abusing the system and harming the vast majority of homeowners.  There are always some extenuating circumstances that create a need for litigation in all industries, I personally do not believe that 75% of roofing claims were underpaid. It this intent of the insurance policy to offer sudden and accidental loss, not a maintenance policy of a house.  The legislation that was passed by the Florida Senate did not remove the fee multiplier language, but it does restore that it should only be used in rare cases, not in over 100,000 lawsuits in a year. 

In addition to the need for legislative reform, inflation is also a huge driver on homeowners insurance pricing right now.  We are seeing record gains in the real estate market as well as the construction cost basis for claims.  What would have been a $15,000 kitchen claim in 2019 is now a $35,000 claim in 2022 as a result of record construction inflation.  Unfortunately, when you multiply that across hundreds of thousands of claims across the industry, that creates massive pricing pressure that is then multiplied by the roofing and legal fee crisis occurring in Florida. 

Our goal has been, and continues to be, advocating for our policyholders.  We want to see a healthy insurance marketplace where carriers are creating a profit as that would create the opportunity for rate decreases in Florida.  Florida is an expensive state for homeowners insurance due to our catastrophic activity of hurricane risk, however, it should not be seeing rate increase in the double digit range annually, year after year.  We highly encourage you to take 5 minutes and take control of your homeowners insurance rates by getting involved and expressing your frustration to your Florida legislative representative that we need reform and they should be following the lead of Governor DeSantis and the Florida Senate to create a healthly Florida insurance marketplace. 

Thank you for your continued support of HH Insurance!  Our commitment is to continue advocating for you and providing annualized policy reviews fighting for you in this market.

Sincerely,

Jake Holehouse

February 2022 Pinellas County data

Listings continue to be the issues for Feb 2022, with the lack of inventory and the huge number of new residents flooding the state, home prices are up 21% from 2021. The number of days on the market is down from 2021 by 50% which is putting pressure on buyers to make offers over asking price.

As new homes hit the market, we are seeing multiple offers, in some cases 40+ offers on a home. Buyers are looking for any advantage to win a home today, from letting Sellers stay in the home for days or weeks after closing to zero day inspection periods, I had one Buyer offer a kidney! This is when you know things are getting crazy!

Working with a local expert who has their finger on the market can be the difference between missing out of a home and being a new homeowner. Cash buyers are king in this market! Knowing how to make an offer to compete with a cash buyer or having the backing of a lender who’s approved you to make an offer as if your a cash buyer is a great way to win a home today. Interested in knowing how to make a cash offer even if your going to get a mortgage? call us today.

Relocation Chart

One of the questions our clients keep asking: “when will our real estate market is Pinellas County slow down?” That’s a hard question to answer when we had over 220,000 people move to our state in 2021 and this year looks like we could have more new FL residents. We are expecting a 20% increase in home values for 2022.

If you have been thinking of making a move, now’s is the best time, interest rates are setup to go up through 2022, but a 5% interest rate is still great. Don’t wait and pay 20% more, call us today and let’s talk about your dream home.

Things to do this weekend

BEACH BASH AT THE PIER


March 5th 12pm – 7pm Spa Beach Park downtown St. Pete – tickets and more info below.
https://www.stpetebeachbash.com/index.html


Vintage Marche 2200 2nd Ave S St. Petersburg, FL 33712 Phone:727-914-7707

Tampa Bay’s largest monthly vintage market is back with 30+ vendors and thousands of square feet of treasures. The market is open with free admission on Saturday from 9 am – 6 pm and on Sunday from 9 am – 5  pm. “First Dibs Friday” is $5.

St. Petersburg Seafood and Music Festival

Williams Park downtown St. Pete, January 28-30, 2022 will hold the 4th Annual St. Petersburg Seafood & Music FestivalFestivities begin Friday evening at 4pm-10pm and the fun continues on Saturday 11am-10pm and Sunday 11am-6pm.

$10 per ticket on Friday, $15 on Saturday and $7 on Sunday. Purchase tickets at the gate or in advance on EventLive.com.

Sit back and relax to musical entertainment consisting of live on-stage performances by some of the most creative and talented musicians from both the local and regional circuit. Friday starts the weekend off with stellar performances by: the Stormbringer (rock), Albert Castiglia (blues) and Pat Travers (rock). Saturday sees performances by the outstanding musicians and groups: Joshua Scott Jones (rootsy rock, country), Selwyn Birchwood (electric swamp funkin’ blues), the Soul Circus Cowboys (Southern rock), Black Honkeys (funk, rock, R&B) and the Atlanta Rhythm Section (classic rock). The ‘finale’ on Sunday will give you stellar performances by the Hummingbirds (country, blues), Sean Chambers (blues, rock), and Hooten Hallers (rock, jazz, R&B, soul).  The Band Performance schedule showing musicians and performances times is shown to the right.  Click on the image and it will show you a much enlarged version!

Gather family members and friends to enjoy the food, music and beautiful views of downtown St. Petersburg. Enjoy – relaxing! And as an added bonus: shop a marketplace of arts, crafts and fine products between musical performances!

NOTEOnly service dogs are permitted on the event grounds.

Downtown Events this weekend 1-22/23

Why not come downtown St. Pete this weekend for some amazing events, there’s a lot going on this weekend.

ADMISSION

TICKETS AVAILABLE SOON – ADVANCE ONLINE TICKET PURCHASE RECOMMENDED

Adult: $19 

Child (15 and under): FREE

“Kids Experience” Free admission for all children 15 and under.

Veterans and Active Duty Military simply show proof of military service for a free ticket.

https://www.stpeteboatshow.com/en/attend.html

The Nolen in St Pete

Construction is set to begin soon on the 23-story condo tower named The Nolen in downtown St Petersburg, Florida. The boutique condominium building will be located at 146 4th Avenue Northeast downtown and will be 288 feet tall, with 31 apartments. DDA Development, located in Tampa, is in charge of the project, which is overseen by John Schilling and Bowen Arnold. The business just reported that it has acquired construction finance and that the building is nearly half-sold. Late last year, the corporation closed on a $36 million loan from Trust Bank and paid US$7 million for the property.

Building licenses are due to be issued this month, with the building set to begin in the second quarter of 2022, although site removal has already begun. Along with residential units, The Nolen’s foundation will have a three-story parking structure, a residential lobby, and 1,260 square feet of ground-floor retail space. The building will include 63 parking spots and 33 long-term bicycle places in total. The parking garage’s entrance and exit will be on Rowland Court, a private street. The Nolen will take roughly 18 to 20 months to build after construction begins, with a projected opening date of early 2024.

Commentary on The Nolen in St Pete

“The Nolen has demonstrated that there is a huge demand for city living that does not compromise privacy.” The fact that there are only 31 houses, each with individual entry foyers and no shared internal walls, distinguishes it from other new construction offers,” said David Moyer, Director of Sales, Developer Services. “The Nolen’s sales pace has surpassed expectations, allowing us to go ahead of schedule and into construction,” said DDA Principal Bowen Arnold. Orange Station at the Edge, a mixed-use complex planned at 1301 1st Avenue North, is also being developed by his business.

For more info on this building call Price Group 727-851-6189


This article source https://constructionreviewonline.com/ongoing-projects/the-nolen-multifamily-condo-tower-begins-construction-st-pete/

Price Group Realtors – Top 100 Sales Teams for the second quarter of 2021

August 18, 2021


Price Group @
Coldwell Banker Realty

Dear David, Brad, Lynnea, Shaun, McKenzie & Nanette,

Congratulations! It is my sincere pleasure to recognize you and your team for being named among Realogy Brokerage Group’s Top 100 Sales Teams for the second quarter of 2021.

Your team’s continued commitment to providing an unparalleled level of service to your clients is an inspiration to us all. On behalf of the Coldwell Banker family, thank you for your unwavering dedication, hard work and for allowing the nation’s largest real estate brokerage to be your partner in unparalleled success.

You have done great things this year and I look forward to seeing what your team will accomplish next. Best wishes for continued success throughout 2021!

Sincerely,

M. Ryan Gorman
President & CEO