Florida’s ongoing property insurance crisis leading to spikes in HOA fees

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Florida’s ongoing property insurance crisis leading to spikes in HOA fees

Some Floridians say they’re seeing their homeowner’s association fees skyrocketing.

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Several residents in the Baldwin Park area say their fees have doubled, increasing by nearly $400 dollars per month to an estimated $770 per month. Now, they’re learning the rate hike is a result of the state’s ongoing property insurance crisis.

“Absolutely shocked,” Baldwin Park resident Susan Stiner said after hearing her HOA fee would be nearly doubling. “We are only paying for insurance that is basically the drywall to the exterior of the building.”

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Stiner says her fees typically cover landscaping, painting, maintenance, and insurance on the roof and exterior of the building, but her property insurance through the HOA is tripling from $109 to more than $400 per month.

“I mean, people can’t afford increases of 300% a month,” Stiner said. “If that’s happening this year, what happens in future years? We can’t sustain this kind of increase.”

That’s in addition to what Baldwin Park homeowners say they already pay separately for insurance on the interiors of their townhomes.

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“So I’m paying almost $6,000 a year for insurance for a townhome,” Stiner explained. “If you think about the amount of money that we’re paying now for an increase in groceries and other expenses, that could price somebody out of the market.”

Stiner says they’re also considering selling the home but are convinced the new HOA fee will make it more difficult for them to sell at an appropriate price.

Residents like Mike Ridolfo say they’ve gone through appraisals, reserve studies and more trying to figure out why there was such a drastic change in their insurance.

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“Everything that I looked at just didn’t seem right,” Ridolfo said. “Wrong numbers didn’t add up.”

Channel 9 has contacted the HOA to ask how they calculated the increase, but they have not replied.

Lawmakers in Florida have said there’s nothing the Florida Legislature can do to tame the insurance crisis, but some state legislators like Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) say there’s more that needs to be done. If not, she says the astronomical rates will push homeowners out of their homes.

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