Abuse of lawsuits affecting home insurance

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Citrus County Chronicle (Crystal River, Florida)

I read with interest the main editorial of the Sunday February 13, Chronicle concerning home insurance. As a professional with over 30 years in the trust and insurance industry, I would like to explain why we have all experienced the shock of insurance stamps and, worse, mass cancellations.

Be very careful, this is a very serious problem for Florida owners. Florida Home insurance is double the national average and it’s not because of the weather, it’s “lawsuit abuse”. Between 2013 and 2020, florida property insurers paid $15 billion in claims costs, but only 8% of these were paid to the owner, while 71% were paid to the lawyers.

Over the past three months, several leading companies have said they will either stop writing new home insurance policies or not renew tens of thousands. That doesn’t include the past year of many other companies that have changed their underwriting guidelines or closed shop due to insolvency. For most people, their greatest asset is their home, and you buy insurance to protect that investment against the catastrophic claim.

If our legislators fail to fix this problem, you will not be able to pay the premium. I’m sure you can only imagine the effect this will have on the real estate market or your investment. I implore you to be very diligent in reviewing your home insurance policy coverages. With massive underwriting changes by carriers, make sure you’re buying the right coverage to protect your investment. If you think you have a claim, call your agent first. citrus county is blessed with excellent insurance agencies, which are superior to calling an 800 number.

Lawsuit abuse impacts Floridians beyond landlords. In 2019, a study was conducted and found that frivolous lawsuits also cost our state 126,139 jobs and nearly $615 million in annual government revenue. Florida ranks 46 out of 50 and is one of the five worst states for unfair and unreasonable legal environments.

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We are fortunate to have a legislative delegation to Tallahassee who understands this problem and the impact it has on our citizens. We must send more of them, with the courage to assume special interests, to Tallahassee to protect us.

Rebecca Bays

Insurance agent

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