GOP Ducking The Real Cause For High Home Insurance: Overdevelopment

BY SAM FIELDS

 

Two years ago Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican legislature deregulated homeowner insurance rates.

If your rates did not take a major jump — something like 50% — you’re the only one.

In an effort to change the subject, the Scott Administration has unholstered its weapon of mass distraction.   Instead of the outrageous rates, now all we hear about is uncovering waste at Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. With 1.3 million customers, this state run insurer of last resort is wasting $$$ on high salaries and first class hotels. Praise the Lord, it’s Tricky Ricky, once more into the breach, cleaning things up.

Here’s the truth.  Taken all together, Scott and Citizens President Barry Gilway’s best efforts to end the abuses as Citizens amount to chump change  – roughly $2 on skyrocketing insurance bills.

The real problems and the real solutions are not politically correct for Republicans and their flunkies at Citizens.

They are unbridled development—particularly on the shorefront—and human driven global climate change.  This has meant beach erosion making homes more susceptible to hurricanes.  This has meant polluted water, which can damage everything from pipes to the natural barriers to flooding. This has meant the overuse of our water resources, which causes more sinkholes to swallow homes and roads and saltwater intrusion to damage pipes.

All this end up as more insurance claims.    That inexorably leads to insurance rates seemingly on steroids

 Or put another way: “It’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.”

The Republicans don’t accept this simple cause and effect. They view the science as big fraud. It’s part of the GOP’s war on science, which claims climate change, evolution, etc. are the work of pointy-headed liberal charlatans.

As a result, it’s no longer property taxes and mortgages that are driving the middle class from their homes.  It’s homeowners insurance.

When I bought my house in 1989 my taxes were $2300 and my homeowner insurance was $900.  This year taxes were $3600 and insurance was $4500. That insurance bill includes a couple-a-hundred to subsidize state cleanup…think Citizens.

For some like the folks at Citizens, the solution is to raise rates and spread the cost rather than cure the problem.  Instead of justifying the high rates they should be looking at the root problems and demanding environmental reform.

Citizens in 2013 should be acting like the auto-insurance industry. It was the studies and pressure from the insurance industry that brought about safer cars.  The safer cars reduced damage to vehicles and passengers…and their payouts for accidents.

Citizens, and the rest of the property insurance industry, should be leading a similar the hue and cry to cure the environmental problems causing their unconscionable rates.

Maybe we should require hurricane insurers to use the Lloyds of London business model where Lloyd’s investors personally guarantee the claims of their customers.

That would be a real capitalist solution to the industry’s reform lethargy.



8 Responses to “GOP Ducking The Real Cause For High Home Insurance: Overdevelopment”

  1. Gavin Alford says:

    I’m speechless. Be careful, Rick and his cronies don’t like people who actually use their brains. Let’s just hope that crook doesn’t purchase another election with more stolen money.

  2. Bett Willett says:

    To see the extent of the problem go to: http://www.priceofsprawl.com/

  3. John Henry says:

    Global Warming strikes again!!!! Somehow global warming is behind every problem.

    High Taxes—Global Warming
    Foreclosures—Global Warming
    Treyvon Martin—Global Warming
    Lt. Gov Scandal—Global Warming
    Kids cant read—Global Warming

    What a joke.

  4. Chaz Stevens, Genius says:

    >> They view the science as big fraud.

    It’s true, they read that in the bible.

  5. Ghost of McLovin says:

    Yes, the overdevelopment of Broward County happened under the Republicans control (when exactly was that?). Development is the most non-partisan issue local governments engage in. whatever.

  6. BCDevelopment says:

    “unbridled development
    particularly on the shorefront and human driven global climate change”….Oh Pleeeeeease!

    Varying weather patterns & related weather events are not climate change… So ridiculous…trying to somehow correlate the progression of civilization and the high cost insurance is ignorant enough, but then to try & attach it to yet another cheap shot the at the GOP, is just flat out stupid….Newsflash: Human reproduction leads to population growth & humans do require shelter….we dont live in caves anymore(although some extreme left bloggers in Broward may wish we did, so insurance costs will be lower)…. yes we do build homes, even on the shore!….there are plenty of registered Dems that have developed projects along the Broward coast…Developers are not limited to card carrying members of the GOP.

    To suggest that instead of raising rates, the insurance industry “should be looking at the root of the problems” is really interesting…..so is that a call to halt human births, stop driving cars, demolish coastal cities and pray to weather gods that storms wont ruin our crops & villages?

  7. DISILLUSIONED says:

    sam man have you gotten old, time for a little grecian grey. could it be global warming??????

  8. Ha Ha Ha says:

    The real problem with Citizens is Rick Scott. His policy from day one has been to jack up rates, kick out policyholders, and attenpt to put Citizens out of business. Add to that his appointment of corrupt Citizens bigwigs who felt no compunction about spending Citizens money extravagantly on pricey hotels, big bonuses for people at the top, etc. In any reasonable accounting of Citizens’s problems, Rick Scott bears at least 90% of the responsibility.

    Having said that, here is the big point on which Fields is very insightful: “Citizens in 2013 should be acting like the auto-insurance industry. It was the studies and pressure from the insurance industry that brought about safer cars.  The safer cars reduced damage to vehicles and passengers…and their payouts for accidents.”

    The regulatory oversight on homebuilders is minimal. Investigative reporting has found builders whose plans got approved as being compliant with code, but which were proven through professional engineering analysis to result in catastrophic failure (roof blows off, etc.) at 70-90 mph windspeeds. There is simply no comparison to the safety testing cars have to comply with, nor are there meaningful user documentation requirements. No homebuilder ever gives you a map of which electrical outlets go with which switch in the electrical panel, etc. Every car comes with a user’s manual, but no homebuilder ever creates anything like a user’s manual – despite the fact that homes typically cost many times more money!

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