Last Thursday, approximately 50 facility operators attended a meeting hosted by the Florida Self Storage Association to discuss changes in the local property-insurance market and related financial challenges. According to The Tampa Tribune, storage owners report rising commercial insurance rates as a significant problem they face in addition to not being able to find insurance after having policies cancelled. Some say they are signing on for exceptionally high deductibles just to get or keep coverage.
Meeting attendees left with few—if any—solutions. Property insurance will continue to be elusive, and customers will see further rate increases for as long as several years, according to State Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, chairman of the House Insurance Committee. State regulators and insurance-rating agencies are requiring insurers to front more capital to deal with the risk of hurricanes. Meanwhile, re-insurers, also at risk, have hiked their rates. Those costs are being passed on to customers, Ross said.
Gene Bonina, one of the panelists at Thursday's meeting and an insurance broker, said insurers have written off entire Florida ZIP codes and counties.