PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Across South Florida and the Treasure Coast, property values are skyrocketing.
It's great news for homeowners gaining equity in their homes, but some are realizing that in addition to insurance rate hikes, coverage to replace their homes is going up too.
WPTV took a closer look at the ripple effect of the rise in home values.
SPECIAL COVERAGE: Priced Out of Paradise
Martin Jacobson calls the place on his property where he grows fresh fruits his "inflation fighting garden."
"My wife says I'm a little bit crazy because I've become a coupon clipper and watching and cutting our belt with the things that we eat," Jacobson said.
He's paid off the mortgage on his Port St. Lucie home.
"You plan for the future, you have a fixed income when you retire and the only thing that isn’t fixed is the insurance," Jacobson said.
In the last few years, he's been dropped by two insurance companies that will no longer cover policies east of U.S. 1.
Now, under his current carrier, the cost to keep his policy keeps going up.
"I did receive a notice from the property appraiser that the value of my property went up $40,000, and my homeowners insurance celebrated with charging me $800 more," Jacobson said. "As a senior citizen, that's a lot less for early-bird specials."
This year, his home value is up again.
"As the homes, the rebuild cost or the replacement cost increases so does the insurance price," Robert Norberg, president of Arden Insurance in Lantana, said.
Norberg said some homeowners who have paid off their mortgages are considering dropping coverage altogether or tweaking it.
But even if you've paid off the mortgage, you still can't go without it in some scenarios.
Some homeowners might think they can take advantage of their home's equity and take out a line of credit loan. However, it's likely your lender will require you to keep homeowners insurance and dictate your coverage.
"Any time people have any type of loan at all, they are going to have to carry the full insurance meaning the fire hazard, liability and the wind storm and the flood, if its required," Norberg said.
Jacobson said his equity loan has a zero balance and he plans to let it expire this month — because when that new insurance bill comes in January, he might drop coverage.
If you're experiencing a higher insurance cost because your home value has increased, consider finding other discounts like bundling home and auto insurance, budgeting for a new roof, or upgrading all your home's windstorm features for a better rate.