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32,000 Florida residents forced to get new property insurance

by John Rupolo | Friday, August 20th 2021

PENSACOLA, Fla. — Many homeowners in Northwest Florida have been getting notices that say their property insurance will be cancelled in 30 days.

One Florida based insurance company, Gulfstream Insurance, can’t afford to pay their unpaid claims according to the state.

Gulfstream began sending out notices to their customers at the end of July and it took many by surprise.

Florida resident Ginger Keating said she got a notice from Gulfstream at the worst possible time – – in the middle of hurricane season.

“On Aug. 27, 2021 my insurance will completely stop,” Keating said.

She’s been looking to reinsure her home that was built in 1915 but there are some issues.

“This house is so old,” Keating said. “For me to start shopping for insurance is an unusual thing.”

Thousands of other Florida residents are in the same boat.

“As of July 19, 2021, Gulfstream had approximately 32,000 policies in force in Florida.” a graphic said.

That is over 32,000 Florida residents who are being forced to get new property insurance in 30 days.

Channel 3 talked to David Reed of David Reed Insurance Friday about Gulfstream’s collapse.

“Its devastating, its just devastating,” Reed said.

Reed said Gulfstream couldn’t handle the amount of claims coming in due to weather events and litigation involving lawsuits.

It is causing people like Ginger Keating to try to find an insurance company to reinsure her 106-year-old home and its even worse for homeowners who have an outstanding claim.

Channel 3 asked Reed what his advice would be for someone who receives a notice like the one Keating received.

“The best advice I can give them is call your agent, talk to your agent, Reed said. “They know you and they know your house.”

Channel 3 contacted Gulfstream for comment but have yet to hear back.

Should the homeowner not be able to find coverage in the private market, they may be eligible to purchase coverage through Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Consumers can reach out to the DFS Division of Consumer Services’ Insurance Helpline by calling 1-877-MY-FL-CFO(1-877-693-5236) or emailing Consumer.Services@myfloridacfo.com.

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