Miami Herald: Insurance-related Letters to the Editor

Oct 6, 2009

The Miami Herald publised these letters on October 6, 2009

Contrary to the claims in the Sept. 28 Other Views column Make Florida more hurricane resistant about restoring the My Safe Florida (MSF) program to provide retrofit assistance for homeowners, I found the MSF to be a major fiasco.

There were fewer than a half-dozen qualified contractors in Miami-Dade County that were offered through the MSF Program. Of the three that returned my calls to provide an estimate, only two salesmen came by my house to simply sell me new shutters to replace my existing Hurricane Andrew-tested shutters and panels.

One did not even work for the company that he was representing. They also were ignorant about supplying roof tie-downs and hurricane-resistant doors, which were recommended by the state’s contracted engineer in the free wind-inspection report of my house.

Coincidentally, the price of the shutters from both salesmen’s estimates exactly equaled the state’s estimate of a total retrofit. This unfortunately meant that the cost of the roof retrofit and door replacements would have to be entirely borne by me.

When I called the state Department of Financial Services to complain about this fiasco, my concerns were ignored.

The column’s authors, Eli Lehrer and John Hallman represent conservative, anti-government, business and financial-oriented organizations that played a role in Florida’s current economic mess. We don’t need private insurers who greedily demand a high profit, we need a national catastrophe fund to protect Florida’s homes in time of a disaster.


The column failed to mention the national flood-insurance program. The writers should have educated us as to how it works, for it seems to be a good buy for homeowners and is successful as a broad insurance program.

Why should we limit the risk to Florida and to each state separately when all perils could be insured by a national re-insurance program? I bet all those banks holding mortgages on Atlanta-area homes are going to require flood insurance after the recent disaster.

Instead, the column was too self-serving and uninformative, not telling us anything that had not been published before by the insurance industry.

Floridians are leaving the state in increasing numbers. That is not going to help — nor will increasing premiums for any kind of insurance that makes Florida untenable as a place for long-term residency.

BRUCE HOGMAN, Fort Lauderdale