Port Orange couple faced with massive rise in homeowner's insurance rate

A Port Orange couple is facing a series of tough decisions following a massive rise in their homeowner’s insurance rate. 

Greg and Colleen Buckner moved into their Venetian Way home about eight years ago, though the home has been owned and passed down by Colleen’s family since the 1960s. The plan is to continue the trend, but the latest hike, they said, puts that plan in jeopardy.

They told FOX 35 News they are accustomed to paying $1,200 a year for homeowner's insurance. Their latest bill was for $6,250. It's an increase of over 500%, similar to insurance rate increases seen in other parts of Volusia County.


"[During] Hurricane Matthew, we had a claim. Since then, we've had no claims," she said. "With Ian and Nicole, we've had no problems. And for them to jack our insurance up [is] insane."

The Buckners said they’re retired, so the increased rate puts them in a financial bind. With no signs of relief in sight, Colleen said they will likely have to pick up jobs or sell their storied home if they want to be able to sustain themselves financially.

"Frustrated by it all," Colleen said. "It's every day you get up, and you start worrying about it." Greg said many of his peers are dealing with the same problems.

"Our friends are all feeling it. People we know have already left the state. People we know are planning to leave the state," Greg said. Based on the research he’s done, he said it’s possible they won’t be far behind their friends.

Insurance expert Karl Susman said the high rates are an issue many property owners are subjected to. He contends there’s no definitive end in sight, but expects rates to begin to dip within the next year or two. As for property owners, he points to legislation such as Senate Bill 2A as a potential bright spot. 

"As these regulations go into place and as we start to see carriers coming back to Florida, you're going to start to see a more competitive environment," he said. "It's going to naturally force the premiums down."