Friday, April 06, 2007

What They Don't Tell You - Home Insurance

LABELLE, FL. -- Think you have all your Florida home insurance problems worked out? Cancellations? 300% rate increases. Well, think again. Since January when the Florida Legislature and the Governor forced changes into the insurance laws and regulations, we have been contacting the various state agencies to see if we could get some simple explanations of what consumers should be looking for, and what rights they have under the new rules. Insurance agents have been giving consumers bad advice and just plain wrong answers for the last three months.

As it turned out, not only did insurance agents not know the answers, the state agencies didn't either. Finally, after countless letters and talking to state agencies, Bob Milligan of the Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate's office answered one of our letters. It took more than three weeks to get a response, but who's counting?

"I share your concerns regarding the impact that recent legislation and regulatory action have had on Florida's property insurance market. One reason for uncertainty is that several interpretations have been made - both from the administrative side and by Florida courts - regarding certain aspects of the measures; and, even as I write, the Florida Legislature is considering amendatory legislation that, if enacted, can further revise the law. Please be assured that there is a concerted effort to see that any information posted or released will be timely and accurate. For that reason, I am forwarding your email to our Office of Consumer Services, where professional personnel well familiar with the process will be able to provide you the latest synopsis of current law, regulation, interpretation and the resulting market practice - knowing that some of this information may be made obsolete through legislative action."


Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate

The bottom line: Even though the politicians have been grandstanding about how much money we are all to save on insurance "soon," the powerful insurance lobbyists are not closing the door yet. They will be continuing to pressure the Florida Legislature to revise the laws and regulations to their benefit, and to the consumer's loss. Expect the perceived "savings" on insurance premiums to not appear any time soon, or anytime.

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