"All along the coasts, from Texas to New England, insurers suffering from hurricane jitters are raising rates and cutting back on coverage. But nowhere is the situation more severe than in Florida, particularly here in South Florida and in the Florida Panhandle, where storms in recent years have added billions to the insurers’ losses."Here's the money quote: "Some of the steepest price increases, industry officials say, have come in Pensacola and other towns in the Florida Panhandle that were heavily damaged by Hurricane Ivan in 2004 and Hurricane Dennis in 2005."
Which brings us to the latest (unconfirmed) rumor sweeping the local area: a major insurance company has been telling local agents it is reclassifying all of Gulf Breeze -- that's all of it -- as a high-hazard flood zone. If true, that would mean local property insurance rates will skyrocket well beyond even the 150-200 percent hikes most have experienced already over the past year.