Insurance Reform Bill

The legislation would allow insurance companies to raise rates up to 10 percent a year, reduce discounts for storm proofing homes… and require policyholders to prove they’re using insurance payouts on repairs.

“If you got 20-thousand dollars, they would probably give you 10, then come out and inspect it, and if the work is being done, fund the next piece and if the work is being done, go ahead and pay the final,” said State Senator Mike Bennett.

Industry experts say the legislation is needed because Florida’s insurance rates are too low, and a major storm could bankrupt some of the state’s biggest companies.

“Without storms in the last four or five years, we have probably had six or seven companies go out of business in Florida that are in the home owners business,” said Tim Meenan, an insurance regulatory lawyer.

Consumer advocates say the legislation would make it harder for people to repair their homes after a disaster… and discourage upgrades.

“It seems that we have been telling consumer that they need to fortify their homes, strengthen them, and less the risk for the insurance companies. Now the insurance companies are saying they are still hurting. It doesn’t make sense,” said Brad Ashwell with Florida PIRG.

The insurance reform bill passed its first committee stop Wednesday.

But even if both chambers pass the legislation, they’ll still have to get it past Governor Charlie Crist.

Crist vetoed similar legislation last year

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  • by Robin Location: Wakulla on Mar 25, 2010 at 10:31 PM
    The insurance industry is the wealthiest. They take and don't pay out. It is Forced upon us by b.s. laws passed by their mass fortunes. Auto insurer's have guaranteed paychecks. Yet when I paid intto this scam for over 20 years and was severly injured by young driver I did not even get ehough to cover medical bills. Scam, Scam, Ripoff, Ripoff. If my home blows away I will set up a tent on MY property or buy a camper never again will I pay those criminals. Oh and I drove for many years before auto insurance was Forced to bad I can't do without the car too! Shame on America for letting this happen. Too long the politicians and corporations have gotten it wrong. Speak up!
  • by just sayin Location: tally on Mar 15, 2010 at 11:27 AM
    I'm like you, pay and never claim, but I'll never give it up even though I'm mortgage free. Insurance is "required" on people who have overstepped their financial bounds and are trying to protect their financial butts! Your "required" car insurance protects me, not you. Your required insurance on a mortgaged home protects the lienholder, not you(technically). Live without a mortgage and you don't have to participate in the insurance scam. I don't like high rates either....has anyone give you an estimate lately for home repair??? Try it, it's expensive....even more so when the damage is not "elective"...
  • by Anonymous on Mar 14, 2010 at 07:20 PM
    Just Saying" I think your lumping some low lifes in with the rest of us. I pay and pay and pay for insurance I have never used, why should my rates go up? Insurance is a scam as it is they nedd no more power
  • by just sayin Location: tally on Mar 12, 2010 at 05:30 AM
    If people weren't out to rip insurance companies off and learn to take care of their own property we probably wouldn't be in this situation. Some folks will let their house fall down around them and expect an insurance company to fix it. Folks buy the cheapest coverage possible and then get mad, retain publc adjusters and attorneys when their roof falls in after it has been leaking for years. The policyholders have caused this situation and if you want insurance you will pay more and more for it until people become responsible for their property...which will never happen. RICK-if you want to understand why they're broke, get in the business. Your little 10,000 savings can be gone in a snap, just from a busted water line. God forbid a well placed lightning bolt-then you'll wish even more that you had insurance.
  • by watcher Location: nearby on Mar 12, 2010 at 03:39 AM
    This proposed legislation is bad for the consumer/policyholder and gives more power to the insurer. Common sense would indicate that no homeowner who has sustained damage may be able to pay for the whole repair only to be left waiting weeks or months for the insurance company to pay on the claim. No contractor is going to do any repairs waiting on the "other half of the money". I just got my homeowners bill and it went UP $105. from last year with no claims and a devalued property. Even 10% would have been $80. My health insurance premium went up 100% (double) after I made my first premium payment. Insurance needs MORE regulation - not less. The governor needs to veto this calculated move against consumers.
  • by Rick on Mar 11, 2010 at 10:16 PM
    Just because the Ins companies cannot manage there business they just charge more for insurance. I wonder what they paid the senate? I can't wait till my home is paid for so I can put my 1000.00 in the bank and in ten years I will have 100000.00 I can't understand why the are broke. They are just greedy like the senate.
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