South Florida residents flock to Ocala as insurance costs drop

In a region of Florida located approximately 240 miles north of West Palm Beach and standing at an elevation of 100 feet above sea level, residents are experiencing a unique advantage: soaring insurance rates are virtually non-existent. Courtney Moody, a realtor in the Ocala area, explained, “We don’t get the big storms, and I don’t want to jinx it. We get a rainstorm when you guys get a hurricane.” This disparity in insurance costs has led to a noteworthy increase in clients relocating to this Central Florida town from South Florida, with a staggering 30% of individuals seeking a change in residence.

One of the primary factors contributing to this surge in interest is the convenient proximity of Ocala to both the east and west coasts. Moody highlighted, “We are an hour to each coast. We’re not that far away to go and visit, but I don’t want to live there because of the insurance costs.” This sentiment is echoed by Mark Friedlander of the Insurance Information Institute, who emphasized that coastal communities like Palm Beach County typically face higher insurance premiums compared to inland counties.

According to the website, Marion County, where Ocala is situated, boasts an average homeowners’ insurance premium of $1,750. However, Friedlander emphasized that risk is merely one aspect considered when determining insurance rates. Explaining this further, he commented, “Just because you live in an inland county doesn’t mean your risk has disappeared, and that’s why in general you might see lower rates, but you’re not going to see necessarily bargain-premium living in an inland county.”

For those who choose to remain in their current residences, Friedlander shared some valuable insights on how homeowners can mitigate risk and save money. By fortifying their homes against windstorm damage, such as reinforcing the roof, windows, and garage door, individuals can qualify for insurance discounts. These proactive measures not only enhance the resilience of their properties but also contribute to long-term cost savings.

As the allure of Ocala continues to grow, more individuals are recognizing the advantages of residing in an area where insurance rates are more manageable. With its appealing location and relatively lower risk, this Central Florida town presents a compelling option for those seeking a more affordable and secure living environment.

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