The Plight of the Florida Homeowner

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For a long while after Andrew, it was difficult to be insured in Florida. The state more or less forced insurance companies to insure new homeowners. However, the state continued to make concessions to the insurance company to the tune of the present calamity. While it is estimated that there was something on the order of $15 billion in damages caused by the hurricane, $10 billion will have to be paid by the individual homeowners.

It is right a poper for the insured to bear some part of the burden of so great a disaster. What strikes me as a bit unfair is that the state has a disaster fund into which insurance companies may dip if their pay-out goes over a certain amount, but to which homeowners have no access. Thus the average homeowner has anywhere from a 2% to a 5% of the cost of the house deductible. For many, this is insupportable.

But there doesn't really seem to be any other way to deal with the enormous costs that occur in the wake of such a disaster.

Traveling through Orlando, I found myself occasionally gasping at the extent of damage possible from what amounted to a Category 1 storm. I saw brick fences that had been "blown out" (not fallen on by trees). Signal lights that had been torn from their moorings. (And boy are those lights big. You don't realize how large a signal lamp is as it hangs up above, but down on the ground, I was shocked at how large it seems.

I may try to go and photograph some of the local damage during the day today and will post a picture or two. In the meantime, you might want to look at this report (see the section titled "Picturing Charley's Wake) as you continue your prayers.

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This Report links back to flos carmeli - was it supposed to?
I am continuing to pray for a those in FL - having been through a pretty intense natural disaster (1994 Northridge quake) myself, I ache with the knowledge of just how many things, big and little, will need to be rebuilt.
Yes, it is right and proper for the insured to bear a portion of the costs, but I am concerned that those who imprudently had no insurance at all may actually end up financially better off through FEMA and SBA funds than did those with some (albeit inadequate) insurance. We noted that after Northridge. Our earthquake insurance had a 10% deductible - our damage was in the vicinity of $13,000, none of it structural. We ended up not doing some of the cosmetic repairs or doing them to lower standards because of the deductible, while watching others basically get a new house built for them through FEMA funds.

Dear Alicia,

Thank you. I forgot the URL.

And yes, you are absolutely correct, there is a great possibility of that kind of thing happening as people cannot afford "cosmetic" sorts of things. Or even worse--insurance doesn't pay for downed-tree removal unless the tree is on or damaging the house. At 2,000-3,000 dollars a go, this could cost homeowners as must as 15,000-20,000.

Worse than that there are reports from the hospitals of hundreds of chainsaw accidents as imprudent users seem intent on removing their own limbs rather than those of the tree.







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This page contains a single entry by Steven Riddle published on August 17, 2004 7:21 AM.

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