July 16, 2024

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Condos hit with 563% rate increase

2 min read

Marbella Condominiums Association board members (from left) Tom Baker, Jim Smith and Rob Lasch stand outside their beachside home, where property insurance has increased more than 500% since two hurricanes caused damage to the structure’s back patio and pool in 2022.

DAYTONA BEACH SHORES, Florida – Tom Baker lives in a retirement dream building: A spacious three-bedroom beachside condo with unobstructed morning sunrises, waves marking the time and the soft sand of comfort.

The retired Marine and Army veteran and his wife Joan moved here from the Tampa Bay area. She had a Daytona Beach timeshare they regularly visited. Ten years ago they moved to their retirement home: a fourth-story condo on the Atlantic Ocean.

“I absolutely love Daytona Beach,” he said. “I absolutely love where I live, and I love this building.”

Daytona Beach Shores condo owner Tom Baker sent a six-page memo to all of Florida's senators and representatives, seeking help to rein in property insurance costs. He said one of the 160 legislators, Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Sunny Isles Beach, responded to him.Daytona Beach Shores condo owner Tom Baker sent a six-page memo to all of Florida's senators and representatives, seeking help to rein in property insurance costs. He said one of the 160 legislators, Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Sunny Isles Beach, responded to him.

Daytona Beach Shores condo owner Tom Baker sent a six-page memo to all of Florida’s senators and representatives, seeking help to rein in property insurance costs. He said one of the 160 legislators, Sen. Jason Pizzo, D-Sunny Isles Beach, responded to him.

So why does he seem so angry? Two words: Property insurance.

For Baker and many other Florida condo owners, the very concept of insurance – to ease worries during times of distress – seems lost, especially after the 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside and the two-punch combo of the 2022 hurricane season: Ian and Nicole.

The latter storms just over a year ago pounded a seawall outside the Marbella Condominiums, then destroyed a pool and deck area. And the Surfside disaster, which killed 98 people, shined a light on structural safety, delayed maintenance and the need for the state to enact more strict regulations to prevent future collapses.

As bad as all of that was, for Baker, the real disaster arrived in December 2022: the property insurance bill for Marbella, where he serves on the condo association’s board.

For the 24-unit building, property insurance jumped from…



2023-12-02 05:15:00

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