DR. DAVID A. SAMPSON: Don’t forget insurance in storm plan

Jun 2, 2008

Pensacola News-Journal--June 2, 2008

It goes by many names — natural disaster syndrome, head in the sand thinking, pray now, pay later; but whatever you call it, there is a human tendency to believe the unthinkable will not happen to us.

We see it play out in personal lives and even in the public policy decisions made by state governments. However, with the start of hurricane season one thing remains certain — Florida is more vulnerable than ever to the devastating effects of a hurricane.

To prevent the loss of life and minimize property damage it is vital that those living in all parts of Florida create a family disaster plan, maintain an emergency supply kit, stay informed about approaching storms and review your insurance policy with your agent or direct writer.

Make sure that you have the right coverage to meet your individual needs.

As a national trade association that represents more than 1,000 insurance companies, the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America is committed to two goals: protecting Floridians and bringing long-term stability back to the property insurance market.

By hardening our homes and businesses, and having our families prepared for emergency, we help accomplish both. We reduce the cost of insurance — on both a personal and statewide level — by reducing exposure to the risk of loss.

Despite recent legislative changes, there is still uneasiness over the future of the Florida homeowners insurance system. Insurers and public policymakers need to work together to find long-term solutions for restoring a healthy property insurance market.

Homeowners are still feeling the pain of rising property insurance costs and need relief. The state has undertaken $28 billion of risk, leaving both the economy and taxpayers on the hook should the wind blow. And most importantly, all Floridians are personally faced with protecting their families, homes, and businesses from the threat of storms.

While enacting meaningful legislative reform is a slow process that can take years to achieve, there is one steadfast way that Floridians can help alleviate the threats associated with storm season: Taking proactive steps to build stronger homes and harden existing homes not only protects our most valuable assets, it directly helps rebuild our property insurance market.