Brevard County broker hopes for property insurance reform
Some insurance carriers are worried they might have to close because of the high rates of insurance litigation.
What You Need To Know
- Matt Steiner owns Steiner Insurance and Financial Services in Melbourne and says insurance litigation is a major problem in Florida
- He says that roofers can often raise claim costs more than they need to be
- He also says that lawyer fees can make paying out claims even more expensive
As things get busy, longtime insurance broker Matt Steiner said he is trying to find a balance that’s best for his customers.
The owner of Steiner Insurance and Financial Services in Melbourne, he is closely following this week’s special legislative session in Tallahassee, called by the governor to improve the affordability of property insurance in the state.
“I think there needs to be a lot of reform to reduce a lot of those attorney fees,” Steiner told Spectrum News. “They are finding a loophole in Florida to really take advantage of that.”
Steiner said it can sound enticing when a roofer comes to someone’s door saying all the homeowner has to do is pay the deductible to get a new roof for free. But if they sign an assignment of benefits, they allow roofers to take complete control of the claim.
“They are packing in fees, and now the roofing companies are working with adjustors, or lawyers, and those fees make the claim go up exponentially,” he said.
Steiner said one of his clients with a $16,000 repair quote sued to get a new roof, but the insurance ended up paying $27,000, nearly twice the initial quote.
“I think there needs to be some kind of reform about the frequency and size of claims for the insurance carriers,” Steiner said.
He would also like to see roofs have a separate deductible from a home’s electrical, plumbing and A/C systems. That would give insurers more leeway to insure customers who would otherwise be too risky to take on.