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Keep Florida insurance in check

Keep insurance rates in check

Because our legislators required Citizens to raise the sinkhole insurance rates, we were forced to protest in front of the county building Tuesday and will do so at the public hearing held by Citizens on Sept. 13 at the Tampa Convention Center.

Our elected representatives did not represent homeowners in passing the 2011 insurance law. Homeowners can not afford the increases nor can prospective home buyers.

Our representatives are riding to the rescue. Reps. Will Weatherford and John Legg, who worked hard to pass this legislation at the bequest of the insurance lobby, are here to help. According to Weatherford, if we live in a sinkhole area, we need to take our medicine of higher insurance rates. He is not against the increase but wants us to pay increasing rates over time. Small doses over time. It sounds a lot like preparing for a colonoscopy. The discomfort is prolonged, but the end result the same.

Repeatedly, it is claimed that the reason for increased sinkhole claims is fraud. Homeowners have en masse become felons. The increase in sinkhole claims have gone hand-in-hand with population growth in areas where our county commissioners allowed developers to build in sinkhole-prone areas and the record drought in Florida.

Not a single arrest or confiscation has been made in Florida for sinkhole fraud. What is really being objected to is what the homeowner does with insurance settlement money. Our representatives who claim to champion individual rights, in the insurance law, tell you how and when you must spend your insurance claim money. In no other insurance settlement is this done, not in hurricanes, not in floods, not in fire.

The new insurance law of 2011 is filled with provisions that hurt the homeowner in addition to the rate increases. Under the new law, the word "physical" was replaced with the word ''structural" to describe the damage eligible for a sinkhole claim. Most current claims would be disallowed by this change. This is a double whammy. Astronomical premium increases while reducing coverage.

The new insurance law written for and by the insurance lobby, which has funneled thousands of dollars to support the election of our legislative representatives. The insurance law must be repealed and rewritten with the interests of voting homeowners not the insurance lobby as its focus. Are your votes more important then the insurance lobby money? We will see.

Lynn W. Lindeman, Hudson

Sinkhole claims weren't legitimate

I live in the Leisure Beach development and have been here for over 20 years and I can't begin to tell you how many people here that have submitted sinkhole claims for minor depressions in their yards and were paid massive sums of money. Not only were these sinkholes not repaired, but these residents paid off their houses, then sold them or rented them out. At the present time, I literally would have to give my house away because of the situation.

On my block alone, six residents claimed sinkhole damage, with not one having any damage to the structure itself. Multiply that by a couple of thousand and the sum paid out is enormous. I am not a fan of insurance companies, but it is what it is. We responsible residents are tired of paying for all of these predators and that is what they are.

The amazing thing is that these residents are the same ones who are always complaining about the money spent on programs for the needy. I guess they aren't needy anymore.

Joseph Jacobs, Hudson

New sand's nice, but will it last ?

Congratulations on the article on the sand replenishment, but did anyone look at the water? Hudson Beach, also known as Robert Strickland Beach, is on the "better not swim" list issued by the state health department. How many times a year does this warning go up?

As for sand replenishment of beaches, it has never worked. Several years ago, an expensive replenishment was under taken at Honeymoon Island State Park and the sand is now scattered along both shorelines of Caladesi. Hey, it's just tax dollars.

John Ennis, Hudson

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Keep Florida insurance in check 08/16/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, August 16, 2011 4:50pm]
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