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Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 1:06 am
Wow Harry, You hit that nail on the head!
Sorry, I'm not a youngster! Warren and I hope to be collecting Social Security in about 5 years. Yeah, that cost of living increase yearly is so very slim!
We do have money in other areas that will ummm supplement our our huge social security checks!
I took into account the price cost of living expenses years ago.
Anyone younger than I, get your stuff together now! We had a hard time financing our elder years, It's not going to get easier, just harder. Think about it now!
Warren and I have been planning since our 30's, he's just about 60 and I've just turned 51. Years just fly by when you get to be our age.
Plan soon and plan smart!
Posted: Tue Apr 24, 2007 9:43 am
More on Florida insurance in todays newspaper.
Legislators targeting insurance
By The Associated Press
TALLAHASSEE — National insurance companies would be prevented from setting up new, Florida-only subsidiaries under a bill a House panel approved Monday, part of an effort to force property insurance rates lower to appease angry residents.
In a further nod to consumers — many of whom say their homeowners rates remain too high — the panel also defeated an effort to take away state regulators’ ability to reject rate increases it considers excessive. Florida-only subsidiaries, sometimes called “pup companies,” have been the target of Gov. Charlie Crist, who argues they allow insurance companies to insulate their national profits when rates are considered for customers in Florida, where the subsidiary may have lost money because of hurricanes.
A bill (H.B. 1267) that would prohibit new pup companies from being set up in the future was approved by the House Policy and Budget with a 22-6 vote.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Julio Robaina, also would allow state regulators to take into account the profits of national companies when considering the rates of existing pup companies.
“When they have a satellite company, that’s not spreading the risk,” said Robaina, R-Miami.
Insurance companies argue that risk is supposed to be spread among people with like risks. And with insurance regulated state-by-state, it’s not realistic to ask regulators to force homeowners in the Midwest, for example, to subsidize Florida’s hurricane risk.
The council rejected a provision, however, that would have spelled out exactly how much profit a national company could have. That would have prevented Florida rate increases when the parent company made a 15 percent profit or more. Several members of the committee said that seemed too arbitrary.
Robaina said that issue would likely resurface when the bill gets to the House floor, its next stop.
The committee also rejected a part of Robaina’s bill that would have extended a freeze on rates for Citizens Property Insurance, the state-backed company that is Florida’s largest insurer, until January 2009.
Also stripped from the bill was another provision that would have made it easier for people to choose to go into Citizens when private companies’ rates are higher.
Crist said he was concerned that the panel removed those provisions, which he considers consumer-friendly.
The Legislature has largely stayed away from property insurance this session, having just revamped the insurance laws in a special session in January.
But a few lawmakers are starting to argue that the move in January, while it may provide short-term relief to consumers, was a mistake that in the long run will put residents on the hook for enormous losses. The changes essentially sought to shift much of the risk for storm losses from private reinsurance companies, who charge high premiums, to the state, which is doing so at much lower cost.
The new law also shifts more risk away from private insurers and into state-backed Citizens, which might not be able to pay for the biggest storms.
The effort by Rep. Alan Hays to remove the Office of Insurance Regulation’s ability to deny rate increases was the first sign of second thoughts about the January changes. But it amazed some members of the council, who said constituents would never approve of making a move that could make rates go up.
Hays, R-Umatilla, said private insurance company rates were, in his opinion, too low and kept artificially low by regulation. His proposal would have relied on the free market to govern rates.
“Really, it’s up to the customer to determine whether that rate is excessive or not,” Hays said. “If it is, they don’t have to buy the policy.”
The section of Hays’ bill that would have taken away the state’s ability to reject rate increases was removed by the committee. It then approved the bill, which now calls for a state study of the purpose of Citizens Property Insurance. end
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 6:42 am
Hello to all!
I have been so buys on my trailer project have not had much time to talk on here.
Hi Harry, I too live on the west coast of Florida. I was in Tampa, now moved to where the trailer is in Lithia, which is just outside of Plant City, home of the States Strawberry Festival. We too suffer the same woes of the insurance issues and were not able to insure our trailer here, we had to go outside the state to a company located in Georgia whom knew the Mortgage company and allowed us to insure for 10,000 for fire only we can not get any other type of insurance as the trailer is so old.
No one in Florida would even consider writing a new policy, and that is true for allot of stick built homes as well, where the Insurance companies are not writing new policies.
The fact that we were hit with three major devastating hurricanes in one year ultimately led to the current state of affairs we are in.
I realize that we must pay for the area we decide to live in, and I accept that, but it seems that when you pay for insurance your whole life with out an accident and the minute you have one they drop you because they lost the gamble you would not have one and now they have to pay, is wrong. We paid in year after year with the hopes we would never need it, and lost all that money we paid in if we ever changed companies as they kept the profits on money we paid in for premiums on insurance we never needed to use.
The same can be said for home insurance, if you pay in year after year, the insurance company bets you don't need it and they reap the benefits of interest on your premiums, and they lose when you suddenly need it and have to pay out, but you lose as well.
You lose everything as so many did in the hurricanes and you wait and wait for relief that sometimes takes forever to come.
The red tape to go through to be paid is outrageous. The questions of if your coverage will cover the type of disaster is the biggest problems we face. Is it the hurricane that caused your loss, or is it the flood waters that followed the hurricane, well sorry but we do not cover flood damage.
Then, in Florida so many people were affected at the same time that year with the three hurricanes that the companies simply walked away, never to return.
There is something to be said for the logic of living in an area prone to hurricanes and flooding, but where can you live free from any type of storm or disaster? The northeast was hit with ice storms and has had it's own shares of hurricanes come up the coast as well as the infamous nor-easters.
The Midwest has snowstorms and tornadoes, the west coast suffers from wildfires, mudslide and earthquakes certain areas suffer from blinding sand storms causing pile ups on the freeways.
As does the blinding fog in the mountains of states like Tennessee and West Virginia causing pile ups not too mention falling rocks on the roadways.
Hawaii has volcanic activity and tropical storms, it seems there is no place to live with out risks of some type of imminent danger, it may not be as frequent but it still exorcists. The fact is that in the state of Florida we sit in the middle of the water like a giant protruding thumb hitch hiking a ride with any passing storm that takes it for a ride.
But even in Florida we have areas that go for ten to twenty years with out being effected by any storms.
So, when we complain about the cost of Insurance it is justifiable.
Well, to us anyway! lol
Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2007 1:19 pm
Tampa – I used to work at 40th and Columbus years ago. I went to school in Clearwater.
Plant City – World’s best strawberries.
I just got off the phone with an agent in Homosassa, Fl. A company named “Safe Harbor” insures in Florida but as it turns out my home is too close to the Gulf. This left Citizens which is the states insurer of last resort. The Citizens quote for $34,000 on the MH and $17,000 contents NOT INCLUDING FLOOD is a premium of $1,510. Also Citizens will only insure the MH for $34K when the county property appraiser says it is worth double that.
Stay tuned … Gov Crist says help is on the way.