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Insurance Discounts in Jeopardy

July 23rd, 2009 by flanews

Homeowners who strengthen their homes may lose hundreds of dollars in insurance discounts. The state mandates discounts to encourage people to replace their windows, roofs, and doors but as Whitney Ray tells us, many insurance companies say large discounts could make it hard for them to pay claims.

Storm shutters, hurricane resistant windows, and a metal roof can cost a pretty penny, but the upgrades can also save homeowners money. The state requires insurance companies to offer discounts to customers who strengthen their homes, but the amount saved could soon change.

Our members believe that the discounts are excessive in a lot of cases, said Sam Miller, Florida Insurance Council

A committee of hurricane and insurance experts is discussing a change in the discount rate. Representative Brian Nelson says most insurance premiums are too low and giving customers huge discounts could make it harder for companies to pay claims.

We just want them to be actuarially sound and I think there is a lot of speculation that where we are at right now isnt actuarially sound on rates or discounts, said Nelson.

If strengthening doors and replacing your windows will no longer save you as much money, fewer people may choose to make the changes. The Office of Insurance Regulation says despite the size of the discount making your home more wind resistant is a good move.

Mitigation is a win-win for both the homeowner and the insurance company because when the consumers hardens the home it protects it from possible damage when the storm comes along, said Ed Domansky, an OIR Spokesman.

Any recommendations the commission makes will be discussed by lawmakers during next years legislative session. State Farm listed discounts as one of the main reasons their company isnt making money in Florida.

Posted in Housing, Hurricane Season, State News, Weather | 2 Comments »

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