Friday, December 2, 2011

Another hurricane season ends and Florida keeps playing Russian Roulette

November 30 was the official end of the 2011 Hurricane Season, marking the sixth consecutive year that Florida has dodged a bullet:

We've managed to survive playing Russian Roulette for six hurricane seasons. What I can't figure out is why do we keep picking up that gun and pointing it at our head again? 

In August, I wrote a post discussing the ticking time bomb that awaits us with Citizens Property Insurance. Please take a moment to read it:

As mentioned in the news story embedded above, we're still paying assessments on all of our insurance policies from the 2004-2005 hurricanes, and under the current financial structure, we could potentially face additional assessments of hundreds of dollars if we are hit with another major storm.

The Florida Times-Union published an editorial this week that is dead on:

Florida Times-Union | Florida relying on luck with hurricanes
Are you feeling lucky?
No hurricane has made landfall on the Sunshine State in recent years, despite having active hurricane seasons.
Florida continues to gamble on a foolish wager that it doesn’t need to pay for insurance sufficient to cover damages from even one big hurricane, let alone several...
The Legislature created the problem and now needs to fix it by restoring responsible funding of property insurance. The paucity of major storm damage in recent years makes it easier for politicians to continue ignoring the problem...
[If Florida is hit with a major storm], non-Citizens policyholders here would be hit with the same assessments as those in South Florida who have benefitted most in the short term by underfunded reserves.
Floridians who live inland and in North Florida would be subsidizing coastal development in South Florida.
TaxWatch and others have suggested sensible reforms that would put the state on better footing.
All cost money. All would increase premiums for most policy holders, and many in high-risk areas would have to pay much more.
The Legislature must acknowledge that Florida can’t be lucky forever and address this property insurance problem.
Failure to do so would represent an abdication of responsibility with potentially catastrophic cost consequences for taxpayers and policyholders.
Paying higher insurance premiums is not fun, but it is much better to pay slightly higher premiums now rather than drastically higher premiums for generations to come. If we are hit with a major storm under our state's current property insurance system, it could potentially be an economic death penalty for our state. Adding thousands of dollars to the cost of every insurance policy would completely crush the already weakened residential real estate market, and cause businesses to freeze hiring, if not leave the state altogether.

It is absolutely imperative that our Legislature make the needed reforms to Citizens (as well as the CAT fund reinsurer) during the 2012 legislative session.

Please contact your State Representative and State Senator and ask them to make property insurance reform a priority during the 2012 Legislative Session.

Further reading:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
Permissions beyond the scope of this license are available here.