Property experts have highlighted that new homes built in Florida over the past decade are significantly more hurricane resistant than their predecessors.
Since eight hurricanes struck Florida during back-to-back seasons ten years ago, leading to $33bn in insurance claims, the population of the state’s coastal communities has risen by 1.5million, living in nearly half-a-million new properties, analysis from Associated Press shows.
Florida’s statewide building code, implemented in 2002, is the main reason why new homes should not suffer the effects of extreme weather, as all new structures are subject to tough inspections and construction standards, including the use of shatterproof glass and straps reinforcing the connection between roof and walls.
“The building code changes have made a huge difference,” said Shahid Hamid, a professor at the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University. “You have more houses being built, and that certainly means more exposure and losses will go up, but on the other hand, the houses that are more recently built are better built and can perform better in hurricanes.”
However, better building standards haven’t translated into reduced insurance premiums, with Sunshine State homeowners paying about twice the national average for insurance, making them the most expensive in the USA.