July 24, 2024

Insurance proposal would allow coverage on unpaid mortgage

As Florida homeowners grapple with increased property-insurance rates, two Republican lawmakers have filed a proposal that would allow people to buy policies covering only unpaid mortgage-loan amounts.

Sen. Ileana Garcia, R-Miami, on Wednesday filed the proposal (SB 1070) in the Senate, after Rep. Alina Garcia, R-Miami, filed an identical House version (HB 809) this month.

The proposal could reduce insurance premiums because mortgage loan-based policies would be cheaper than fully insuring homes.

But such policies would increase financial risks for homeowners because insurance would not pick up as much of the tab to repair or replace damaged homes.

The proposal would require insurers to provide a notice to people choosing the mortgage loan-based policies.

The notice would say, in part, that, “in the event of a total loss of your home or a loss for which the cost to repair your home exceeds the unpaid balance of your mortgage loan, you will incur significant financial losses, including the potential loss of some of your home’s equity.”

Lenders require homeowners to carry insurance if they have mortgages. The proposal is filed for consideration during the legislative session that will start Jan. 9.

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