Like many other people residing in the state of Florida, the recent property insurance rate adjustments are driving me crazy, and it is with god reason. My recent adjustment for the coming year increased by 130%. I read in yesterday’s paper that the new Governor of Florida, Charlie Crist yesterday signed a bill that “he and others hope will lower Floridians property insurance costs”. By signing it, it means that the state could end up paying billions of dollars, should a major hurricane hit and do extensive damage. The savings, estimated to be between 5 to 20 percent, depending on whether one resides inland or on the coast, are not expected to take place for a while.
One of the things that I think about doing is dropping coverage completely and self insuring. To me it makes perfect sense, since we rode out Wilma, with wind gusts up to 150 miles per hour, and sustained no damage other then vegetation. We live less than a mile from the coast and certainly got the brunt of the storm, but there was not one shingle that lifted!
Because my mortgage is so small, ($100,000) compared to the value of the property, and the dirt underneath the house is worth upwards of $300,000, with me willing to take all the risk I feel that the lender shouldn’t have a problem, but they do. Somewhere in the paperwork, I signed a clause stating that should I drop coverage, the lender has the right to procure it for me and I have to pay their cost. (You have to bet that their cost will be twice mine, despite my increases).
I just don’t get it, my land is worth more than three times the mortgage and I still have to insure my home, by paying an outrageous premium. I think that the whole thing is a complete scam. The insurance companies are claiming that they are going broke, while purchasing more and more real estate and buying and building more buildings. The skyline of Hartford changes annually and it’s because of the insurance companies and all their acquisitions.
What galls me even more is the fact that should I ever have a claim, and I never have in all the years living down here, they will go out of their way to nickel and dime me. They will tell me that I didn’t meet my deductible, or this or that wasn’t covered in the policy. I have heard horror stories from honest people just trying to make a legitimate claim, following a tragedy.
The insurance companies are going broke? Hell, we’re the ones going broke paying their silly premiums!
V.K. [Mel] Melhado PA
Fine Home Specialist
Preview Naples Group
Premiere Plus Realty Co.