Letter to the Editor: Citizens Property Insurance rigging rates with reinspections

Aug 20, 2012

The following article was published in The Palm Beach Post on August 20, 2012:

Letter:  Citizens rigging rates with reinspections



Thank you for Charles Elmore’s coverage of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., and the rising premiums from re-inspections.

I will gladly send you my Citizens mitigation report, which will double my policy amount. I resorted to getting my own mitigation report, four-point inspection and roof certification. I am awaiting the outcome. Of course, no one can really tell you what is happening. The mitigation report that I had paid for, and which was accepted by Citizens five years ago was not even used.

I am so agitated at what has occurred with this insurance. Because I have a mortgage, I am required (forced) to have wind insurance where I live — east of Interstate 95 in West Palm Beach. My home was built in 1950, which is another slam against me. This is happening even though I have updated the roof and windows and added impact front and back doors, new flooring, electrical, etc., and have shutters for every opening. I thought that Citizens was here for the people of Florida.


West Palm Beach

Citizens’ inspectors not well-versed

Thanks to Charles Elmore for his article on Citizens Property Insurance Corp. I, too, am furious at the frivolous excuse to raise my premium by Citizens for the same reason given by Citizens board member Carol Everhart: “That the inspector couldn’t get into the attic to inspect.”

Additionally, our inspector even said to me that he had not heard of PGT windows. They are impact windows. I’m not buying it. In 2002, we paid $500,000 to professionally renovate and hurricane-proof our home. We were extremely thorough, making sure that every detail was met to achieve the best rating. What complete criminal collusion is Citizens conniving?


West Palm Beach

Insurers colluded to raise rates

I read the article about Citizens Property Insurance Corp., denying wind mitigation credits and found it very amusing.

We were dropped for the second time by Allstate, so we got on the phone seeking new coverage. We went through four wind mitigation visits, including one from Citizens. Three denied that we had storm shutters, stating, “If all openings are not covered, the shutter discount does not apply.” The funny part is that all windows and doors had shutter coverage except two outward opening metal doors. One is our side door in the garage, and the other is our door from the patio to our spare bathroom.

This is off-base. By law, we are supposed to have two escape routes in case of a fire, even during a storm. I remind the readers that these are metal doors opening out, so they cannot be blown in. When we had our house built, the shutter company and the county inspector both confirmed this, and one asked me, “Just how would you enter or exit the house if these doors were blocked?”

It seems that there is collusion by all insurance companies to raise our rates. All four quotes were within $300 dollars of each other, including one from the company that gave us credit. Our rate this year nearly doubled.


Royal Palm Beach

Excessive rates will ruin Florida

Republicans are setting the state up for more economic destruction by allowing both Citizens and private insurers to rake Florida homeowners with excessive increases.

Who will be able to afford to buy a home in Florida when the annual insurance premium costs almost as much, if not more, than the mortgage payment? The Republicans allowed the national insurers to create Florida-only companies, and then pretend that they were losing money. In reality, the main companies are posting millions annually in profits. These Florida-only “pups” of companies like Allstate and State Farm should never have been approved.

If you want to do business in Florida, you should do it as State Farm or Allstate. If you don’t want to do it that way, you get out of the state altogether. No car insurance, no life insurance, no anything. And where are the Realtors? They should be the first group speaking up.


Lake Worth

Wind insurance? Inspection needed

If you need a homeowners insurance policy in Florida, you and your house must pass through the “Insurance Gauntlet.” The henchmen for this gauntlet are as follows:

  • Shutters installed with open permits or with names or ratings weathered off?
  • An “uncertified” garage door?
  • Single or double ties?
  • Correctly spaced and sized roofing nails?
  • Front door opens in the “right” direction?
  • Is your roof “hipped”?

House inspectors are hired by the insurance company, wielding the rate-increasing bludgeon. New gauntlet members keep appearing monthly, and the only way you make it through this line-up is to be punished by shelling more money to insurance companies that have not had a hurricane storm payout since 2005.


Boynton Beach

Editor’s note: On Friday, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. made several changes to its inspection policies, and will consider others next month.

Over-50 set spent; needed to save

It distresses me to read statistics indicating that the majority of 50-year-olds, etc., feel that they will not have sufficient money to retire (“Over-50 fear no safety net.”) In addition, the implication in the article was that outside influences are somehow to blame for this situation.

Quite misleading. I would love to see a follow-up survey of the same folks regarding their current lifestyle. I would wager that they have at least two cars, both relatively new, probably leased, huge flat-screen TVs, all the latest electronic gadgets and enjoy numerous vacation trips each year. So they might not have sufficient money for retirement? Whose fault is that?


Boynton Beach

Pythons should be outlawed in U.S.

The 17-foot, 7-inch Burmese python — carrying a record 87 eggs — recently captured in Everglades National Park represents the enormity of the problem of allowing non-native constrictor snakes to be kept as pets in Florida, and across the country (“Burmese python carrying 87 eggs sets state record at 17 feet, 7 inches.”)

Hundreds of dangerous incidents, such as attacks, escapes or intentional releases of pythons, boa constrictors and anacondas, have been reported in nearly every state. Dangerous snakes have been found in city parks, along rural community roads, in apartment buildings and gardens and on high school football fields. Large constrictor states have killed infants as young as 7 months old as well as experienced reptile handlers.

Constrictor snakes require specialized expertise and care, and many suffer from starvation, dehydration, parasites, respiratory infections, mouth rot and other symptoms of neglect. Keeping them as pets is harmful to the snake, dangerous to people and a threat to the ecosystem. And they are not going away unless Congress does something to stop them. Scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey have concluded that Burmese pythons could survive in one-third of the country.

A nationwide prohibition on the import or interstate transport of giant constrictor snakes is needed to protect public safety and animal welfare. H.R. 511, introduced by Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, would do just that. The bill would add nine species of large constrictor snakes to the list of injurious species. Concerned citizens should call their representatives and ask them to pass H.R. 511.



Editor’s note: Laura Bevan is southern region director for The Humane Society of the United States.

Best way to avoid war: Don’t attack countries

Regarding the article “Japan recalls Hiroshima, 67 years after bomb fell,”I agree with Harry Truman’s grandson. This is the time for the world to focus on how not to need nuclear weapons. The best way to avoid that is for countries to not attack each other as was done to the United States at Pearl Harbor.

War is a terrible thing, and nuclear war is about as horrible as one can imagine. Still, one does not create peace by becoming a patsy to anyone that chooses to attack us. Truman did the right thing and his actions saved millions of lives that would have been lost in door-to-door fighting in Tokyo.

We need to keep a strong military, and create alternative strategies, so we don’t need to rely on nuclear weapons. That said, we need our enemies to know that attacks like the one on Pearl Harbor will not go unanswered. Freedom is not free, and God bless the men and women who defended this nation during World War II and other conflicts.



View the original article here:  http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/opinion/letter-citizens-rigging-rates-with-reinspections/nRDwC/