Industry News

Homeowners’ insurance crisis unfolds in Gulf states

Realtors look to Congress for solutions

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The wave of hurricanes that slammed Gulf Coast states over the past couple of years has left lasting scars in the homeowners insurance market. While the housing market in Florida has performed well despite this barrage of storms, the real estate industry is now sounding alarms about the declining health of the insurance market. If insurance is too expensive and adequate coverage becomes scarce, some homeowners may not be able to purchase or sell homes. And for real estate professionals, that could mean fewer sales and lower profits. John Sebree, vice president of public policy for the Florida Association of Realtors trade group, said, "Our members are concerned that people will find the house that they want, the mortgage they want – but the mortgage company's not going to allow you to close if you don't have insurance. In the short-term we want to make sure it's available. Affordability is a huge issue." In 2002, Florida created an insurance entity, Citizens Property Insurance C...