Today the Florida Legislature passed several laws regarding the insurance industry which will be signed by the govenor as they are a really good pay offs for those campaign contributions all the GOP Tea Baggers got. These laws were neatly hid in the Money section no one but me ever bothers to read in the Sun Sentinel: page 1 of Money. I know most of you went straight to the comics, but I read through the section.
#1. The Insurance Companies are now able to raise your premiums without legislative or any approval, to cover the costs of THIER ADVERTISING and THEIR AGENTS' COMMISSIONS. In other words, you will now be paying all their overhead in Florida and everywhere else in the country since no one said the advertising had to occur in Florida. They can raise your premiums any amount they want. It will cost them NOTHING TO DO BUSINESS IN FLORIDA. Just another way the GOP is making Florida really business friendly.
#2. Now pay close attention to this one. The Insurance Companies can withhold complete payment on any claim until there is a signed contract for repairs and/or (their discretion) the repairs are completed to their satisfaction unless your home is TOTALLY destroyed. Pay close attention...totally destroyed not condemned or uninhabitable is the wording of the law. You will have to foot the entire bill for repairs and the repairs have to meet their specifications (this will require an inspection at no specified time...could take months...) before you can get a check from them. So, if you can't afford to replace your entire roof after a hurricane...you are homeless. If a car hits your wall and your home is deemed structlurally unsafe...hey, it's still standing and in one piece.
#3. Insurance Companies can charge whatever they want for sinkhole premiums and refuse to write policies with sinkhole coverage. So if you are in a sink hole prone area, the odds are your mortgage requires you have sinkhole coverage....and maybe even if you are not in sinkhole prone area....and if you can't pay some exorbient rate or find coverage, you are in violation of your mortgage contract.
In fact, many mortgage contracts are written with a clause that if you fail to make proper repairs to your home within a specified length of time, you are in violation of the contract.
All mortages state that if you fail to carry adequate (their definition there of) insurance, you are in violation of the contract.
Now some of you may have noticed something odd about my wording: violation of the contract. This little legal ditty skips the whole default of mortgage legal proceedings and goes straight to yank your property out from under you within a very short period of time. There is no loan modification, no reprieve, you are in violation of the terms of a legal contract. The contract can be terminated and termination of the loan can proceed and your choices are (a) get drug out by the sheriff and your belongings thrown on the front lawn or (b) pay the loan off or (c) find another mortgage
These provisions will raise rates and the people most hurt the quickest will be the elderly who took out these reverse mortgages. You still have to carry insurance.
I have the Tshirt on this crappy policy. After Hurricane Wilma, we learned our insurance policy had a neat little clause in it that literally amortazed the cost of things like a roof. In 15 years, or 10 in policies written today, if a hurricane blows your roof off, the cause is not wind damage but old age. They refused to pay for our roof but paid 8,000.00 on our fence. They had the clause the Legislature just passed in the contract so I got a check for 4,000.00 to replace my fence and the other 4,000.00 when the work was completed. There was no way a fence company was touching the fence without the entire amount available, the supplies were more than 4,000.00 and I had to have a roof, not a fence. Thus, the insurance company, which just happened to the mortgage company, happily pocketed 4,000.00 and then raised my yearly premium to 12,000.00. I only owed 5,000.00 on the house and they wanted the property.
Friends, I said from day one this entire housing crash and everything was nothing more than a land grab. Why on earth would a bank loan you twice what the property appraiser values your property at???? That is the worst business decision in history. Then, when they ran out of gulible home owners, they went after marginal buyers and make no mistake: THEY WENT AFTER THEM. These people weren't knocking on the bank's doors, they were actively sought out.
Now my friends, they are going after the rest of you, particularly those of you who were fiscally conservative and have equity in your homes like the seniors with a reverse mortgages.
If you can find punctuation mark in that legislation that is in your favor, I will eat my hat!
Thank you for electing business friendly Rick Scott and his Tea Bag Buddies...all my property is paid off....I have no loans. I am smiling, really smiling.....Unfortunately by the time you realize what they are doing and the next election rolls around, you will be homeless and unable to vote because you won't have the proper ID and a legal polling place (they passed those laws last week). Don't you just love it when a plan comes together? I guess not when you are on the receiving end of it.