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Collapse Raises New Fears About Shaky Florida Insurance Market

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The frequency of natural disasters and the rate at which structures deteriorate in the humid, salty air makes insuring buildings more risky for businesses. Credit: Marta Lavandier / Associated Press

Steve Rosenthal escaped alive when his Florida condo building collapsed and left him homeless last month, but he still owes more than $ 100,000 on his mortgage.

Rosenthal, a 72-year-old restaurant advertising executive, soon received two small insurance checks for living expenses and personal property, but he was still waiting for his big payment. He expects it to exceed six figures, but he will probably go to the bank to pay the mortgage on a condo that no longer exists.

“We’re all going crazy,” he said of the survivors of the partial collapse of Champlain Towers South in Surfside. “I don’t want to dip into savings that I wasn’t supposed to touch until my 80s.”

For Rosenthal and other survivors of the collapse, solving complicated insurance payments is just one part of starting over after a catastrophic loss. And their fellow Floridians may soon feel the shockwaves of tragedy, as scared insurance companies begin to scrutinize the buildings they are covering, raising rates that are …

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