FIRM has compiled the final report with results, conclusions, and background data and analyses of the Windstorm Risk Re-Modeling and Analysis Study conducted by Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe (FIRM). This study, graciously funded by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens), was the most complex and detailed analysis of building strength and wind resistance ever attempted for a discrete geographic area (Monroe County) and, therefore, was of great interest to FIRM, Citizens, and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).
Windstorm insurance rates for Monroe County have historically been based on predicted losses using state accepted models applied at the state level. This study was an attempt to assess the predicted wind resistance of the building stock in Monroe County by actually examining a statistically valued sample of physical structures. A total of 699 structures across 32 defined categories (style, age, location, value) were inspected. This data was exceedingly difficult to obtain, as it required owners to permit trained inspectors to have access to the property. Additionally, where documentation verifying wind mitigation features was not available, the structures were not credited with having the feature. Nevertheless, the data, when entered into three state recognized and approved risk models (RMS, Florida Public, and AIR) showed significant loss reduction in all three models. However, the data did not show a reduction from Citizens recorded building characteristics.
It is important to note that FIRM learned that there are significant, unexplained (the models are proprietary and confidential) differences among all models utilized by Citizens when applied to Monroe County. Additionally, the models fail to recognize storm surge damage covered by flood insurance as in any way reducing wind insurance loss exposure. FIRM would like to see Citizens and OIR address the significant variations in model results, wind versus surge damage, and Monroe County’s unique geography as an integral part of the rate setting process. For a detailed narrative and accompanying data, please click on the document link below.