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The Politics Of Hurricanes
Here we go again. Florida residents are bracing themselves as another hurricane season gets underway. Even on this first day of the season there is a tropical system moving in the Gulf of Mexico that will bring torrential rains to South Florida and the Keys. While it’s not expected to grow into a name storm, it is enough to remind Floridians of the destruction hurricanes can cause.
Many in southwest Florida are still trying to recover from Hurricane Ian last year. Slow pay or no pay by insurance companies have people in the Fort Myers area still living in FEMA trailers, or worse. Some are living in the twisted ruins of their homes, or in cars or RV’s.
The science is still debated on whether Climate Change causes more hurricanes, but there is no doubt that it causes more severe storms. Category 4 and 5 storms used to be uncommon. Now they occur almost every year. Storms feed off the warmer waters in the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
While coastal areas get most of the destruction from hurricanes, they are having a serious impact on all Floridians. Homeowner insurance rates are increasing at unfettered levels, going up by thousands of dollars a year, even for inland areas. Most big insurance companies have left the state. What we have left is a bunch of small companies on tenuous financial footing. These companies are the cause of complaints in the Fort Myers area that claims are going unpaid, that insurance companies are lowballing claims, and insurance adjusters say the companies are ignoring their claim reports and lowering the payout to homeowners.
State regulators are toothless in the effort to get insurance companies to honor their policies. The Florida legislature allows the insurance industry to go almost unchecked in the state, even taking away property owners right to sue companies for failing to honor their
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While they don’t seem to have the money to pay claims, the home insurance industry came up with over $10-million in the last election cycle to contribute to the campaigns of state lawmakers and Governor DeSantis.
Floridians can only hope we avoid another major storm this year, because the system in Florida is stacked against them in the event of a disaster.