Collapse Raises New Fears About Florida’s Shaky Insurance Market

Collapse Raises New Fears About Florida’s Shaky Insurance Market

Steve Rosenthal escaped with his life when his condo building in Florida crumbled and left him homeless last month, but he still owes more than $100,000 on his mortgage.

Mr. Rosenthal, a 72-year-old restaurant advertising executive, soon received two small insurance checks for living expenses and personal property, but he was still waiting for his big payout. He expects it to be over six figures, but it will probably go to the bank to pay off the mortgage on a condo that no longer exists.

“We’re all freaking out,” he said of survivors of the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside. “I don’t want to dip into savings that I wasn’t supposed to touch until I’m 80.”

For Mr. Rosenthal and other survivors of the collapse, sorting out complicated insurance payouts is but one part of starting over after a catastrophic loss. And his fellow Floridians may soon be feeling the shock waves from the tragedy, as spooked insurance companies begin scrutinizing the buildings they are covering, raising rates that are already among the highest in the nation, or canceling coverage altogether.

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