Large Increases In Home Values Tied To Cancellation Of Hurricane Coverage

The ancedotal lead in newspaper stories has been popular for more than 20 years, but more often than not it’s a barrier to doing a good story.  This story from the Associated Press, on the cancellation of homeowners policies or drastic premium increases on Long Island and other coastal areas in the Northeast, is excellent if you look beyond the obligatory anecdote that starts and ends it.  Two main points emerge from this story.  First, behind the run-up in premiums are huge increases in median home values in coastal areas combined with a growing risk averseness of reinsurers.  Second, the pressure for public subsidies of homeowners insurance is growing as fast as premiums: Citizens Property Insurance Co., a Florida state-run insurance pool and an insurer of last resort, is receiving 40,000 applications a month and is on a pace to eclipse State Farm as the state’s largest home insurer.  For another example of point number two, check out this post by RiskProf about new rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac mortgages that allow homeowners to qualify with policies that contain a deductible up to 5 percent of the home’s value.

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