Insurance Reform

By: Whintey Ray Email
By: Whintey Ray Email

Tallahassee, FL - The state is in the insurance business, but instead of backing safe inland homes… Florida's Citizens Property Insurance mostly takes on coastal homes.

Citizens has 1.3 million properties and just half a billion dollars to pay claims.

Opponents say that's not enough, because if a major storm hit a large Florida city the state would owe Citizen's customers 10's of billions of dollars.

If the state doesn't have the money all property owners would have to pay more through higher assessments on their home and auto insurance.

By some account, each family would owe 14-thousand dollars…. and would have 30 years to pay it out.

A group of businessmen, economists and environmentalist are asking lawmakers to force Citizens to raise rates and drop customers.

They want rates to increase more than 20 percent a year, and million dollar homes to be dropped. They also want members Citizens Board of Governors to step down.

Barney Bishop with the Associated Industries of Florida says, "We are going to write a letter to the Senate President, the House Speaker and Governor. We're going to ask that they ask all of their appointees to resign and give all of them an opportunity to put the right people there."

In this case the right people are those not willing to take no more risk than they can afford.

Environmentalists say beefing up Citizens will discourage people from developing along the coast and damaging sensitive ecosystems.

Jay Wiles comments saying that, "This is one way that uses market forces to strictly say if you don't subsidize people they will not build in places where they shouldn't build."

Most of the changes proposed by the group are in legislation this year, the group is asking lawmakers to act quickly before the scheduled end of session Friday night.

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  • by InsurancePoor Location: Jefferson County on May 5, 2011 at 07:10 AM
    My mobile home insurance bill is 3 times higher than my neighbors. When I was with Citizens, it was only twice as high. I would welcome Citizens back.
  • by off course on May 4, 2011 at 07:07 PM
    I live in a mobile home, 40 miles inland, and yet I have to give a percentage of my homeowners and car insurance to Citizens? Let those who 'choose' to live on beaches pay.
  • by panhandlesue Location: Wakulla on May 4, 2011 at 06:04 PM
    Pretending Citizens is the culprit in the insurance business in Florida is like saying Micky Mouse is a druggie. I read the Pulitzer prize winning series in the Herald Tribune exposing the "murky insurance business" in Florida and the off shore re-insurance fiasco among other things which points right at the Legislature for the mess property insurance is in. Citizens came out with 199% integrity. Get your facts straight, fellas!!!
    • reply
      by Flo on May 5, 2011 at 07:52 AM in reply to panhandlesue
      You are correct. There are a lot of mis-stated facts being presented on property insurance. Also interesting to note how many legislators have an interest/ownership in insurance companies. Hidden agenda?
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