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Citizens premiums to rise 6.3% | Sept. 10

People can't afford to pay much more

Let's take a brief inventory of upcoming increases regarding property insurance premiums: Citizens to jump 6.3 percent next year, federal flood insurance projected to increase as much as 600 percent, big jumps recently in sinkhole coverage. Plus, Citizens is turning its back on hundreds of thousands of homeowners and simply throwing them to the wolves lurking at the even more expensive private insurance companies that have suddenly decided to do business in Florida.

What is the reason for all this? To bring actuarial soundness to these state and federal insurance organizations and to make up for huge losses from Hurricane Katrina and other storms.

Just one question: Where does the average working person find the money to cover these new expenses in an age in which salaries have been flat since 2008, working hours are being cut, benefits are being reduced or simply phased out, and the middle class is becoming a thing of the past?

Someone needs to point out to these bureaucrats that there is a limit to what people can afford to pay.

Terry Ward, St. Petersburg

Enough with the utility companies getting raises

It's time for PSC to help consumers

There was an article in the paper this week about how all of the electric companies want to raise our rates again. There was another article about how the standard of living of most Floridians has declined since 2000.

Most working Floridians have not received any pay increases for years. Take teachers, for example. Not only have teachers not been given raises, they have all seen a decline in their take-home pay as a result of having to contribute to the Florida Retirement Service. Retirees living on a fixed income don't need their electricity rates raised either.

When is the last time that the Public Service Commission actually stood up for consumers and not the powerful power companies? Ever? The "Public Service Commission" is an oxymoron (like "Jumbo Shrimp").

Hey, PSC, how about saying "No." It's time to treat the utility companies like state employees or teachers have been treated — "sorry, no raises — deal with it."

You've got enough money to pay huge salaries to your top management and enough left over to pay dividends to shareholders, so there isn't a real need for a rate increase.

And as for Duke Energy, you get nothing until you: (1) pay your delinquent property taxes owed to Citrus County and (2) rebate the money you collected from us for the nuclear plant you and your predecessor never intended to build.

Gary Gibbons, Tampa

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Readers' comments on business news 09/13/13 [Last modified: Friday, September 13, 2013 5:46pm]
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