The Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel’s regular insurance reporter, Julie Patel wrote this week (June 28, 2012) that Florida-based home insurers reported a net income (that’s after they deducted their expenses) of nearly $78.7 million in the first quarter of 2012. This was reported by Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, who should not be able to look at himself in the mirror for presiding over this rape of the struggling consumer.
When policyholders, including homeowners, condo owners and commercial property owners throughout the state, learn this unwelcome news, undoubtedly, they will utter many swear words. These are the people who have been suffering enormous insurance rate increases in a period when serious Florida hurricanes hadn’t hit in about seven years! This represented a 40% rise in profits since the first quarter of 2011 for those increasingly self-interested and bottom-line oriented insurance companies in Florida.
So, you may ask: what’s a consumer to do? One of the obvious answers to that question might be voting for political candidates who promise to reign in the insurance companies from their wholesale gouging with premiums that, for some, have reached 60% and even 70% increases since the hurricanes while they strip consumers of adequate protections.
Also, consider that many of our Florida politicians are receiving huge campaign contributions from the insurance companies to push their agendas. It seems like Florida insurance companies and their lobbyists have taken up full time residency in Tallassee and the politicians are way more interested in big business then Florida consumers.
According to Steven Venook, principal of Advocate Claims Public Adjusters, details in the language of the policies are what affect coverage. Most insurance agents either don’t understand it well enough to explain it to their customers or all they care about is selling you almost worthless insurance policies. However, a licensed Public Insurance Adjuster will often review and explain your policy free as part of their services.