Flooded Las Olas Blvd. and Palm trees blowing in the winds during hurricane Irma. Credit: Satoshi Kina/Adobe Stock Events such as Hurricane Irma, seen here flooding Las Olas Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale in 2017, have a major impact on insurance claims in Florida, and they’re likely to become more frequent and intense as the ocean gets warmer. Credit: Satoshi Kina/Adobe Stock.

South Florida’s increasing flood and storm risks are pushing its insurance market to a breaking point, according to industry experts, who say that what happens next will influence the decisions real estate and business leaders make for years to come.

“It’s all happening now,” said Joseph Gendelman, president and CEO of Bruce Gendelman Insurance Services, which is based in West Palm Beach and provides risk assessment insurance services. Gendelman has watched as a torrent of insurance companies have left or pulled back from Florida in recent months. He describes the situation as “a mess” and “on the verge of a crisis,” noting that for the first time in his 20-year career, he’s coming across clients and prospects that he simply can’t get insurance for.

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