Posted by: guinness222 | June 10, 2006

Here we go again!!!

Tropical Depression #1 !!!! It’s here only 9 days into the season and churning around off the west coast of Cuba. Forecasters say it’s not going to be a biggie and will turn north eastward in the next several hours or so. It is dumping torrential rains, upward of ten inches in a twenty-four hour period. I’ve got my laminated little Hurricane tracking chart and dry erase markers all ready to go!
This year if we get hurricanes I won’t get to just go home and sit it out. Since my new job entails property management we’ll be out there trying to secure all those properties, close all thier swimming pools, all the usual stuff you do at your house, only for about 900 other houses, and that’s just my clients! Well I asked for a little more excitement in my new job, I guess I got it!!
Today I’m looking into the insurance situation around here in Florida. For anyone not familiar with our funky little place here’s the “rest of the story”. Back in the early 90’s HurricaneAndrew kicked the crap out of the basically southern Miami area. Huge devastationon and on and on. It made Katrina look like a pussy cat, (sorry, I just don’t think buying a place 14 or 15 FEET below the level of the water around you is bright, but they are all going to do it again,..but I diverse).
A ton of Insurance companies took off and left Florida, never to write anymore policies here, and not just hurricane or Wind insurance. That brought crisisi as those that stayed upped thier rates like robbers and flat refused to write everyone on an equal basis. They were picking and choosing! Enter the great and noble “little big brother”, the State government. They create thier very own insurance company, call it Citizens Property Insurance Company, empower it to write hurricane insurance for all, make it open to everyone regardless of race, creed, color of mobile home, or anything else,….the people gave thanks and leaned back in thier recliners and said, “The State has saved us now we don’t have to worry any more, praise the State!!”
And Citizens grew as the new knight in shining armor. Hurricanes were mild, damage not to bad, and Florida prospered! But then came 2004 and a herd of hurricanes, topped off with a direct hit from Ivan on the NorthWest panhandle. Everyone flew into action, including FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and after Jim Cantore of the weather channel went back to whereever it is they keep sensationalistic reporters between sensations, we slowly began to crawl out from under. Central Florida got wailed as well with three hurricanes just criss crossing the same places, but they began crawling out as well. A fluke, a once every twenty year freak shot, all the terms were out there , but more insurance companies bailed out of Florida, leaving Citizens the “big man on campus”.
The original concept of Citizens was not a great social experiment, but the way to give coverrage to extremely high risk areas and property and allowing the Insurance companies to skim the cream off the top. The thought was that that would look attractive to the insurance companies and they would stop bailing out Now the cream was gone, and so to the vast majority of the insurance companies, and then came 2005.
Not the usual year. We ran our of names for Hurricanes so we had to start using Greek, Alpha, Beta, Gamma, etc. Dennis wracked us up again here in Florida, onbly this one came in the height of the tourist season! That scared the shit out of Mom, Dad, and the three point4 little rug rats that come here to vacation much like the Muslims make thier pilgrimage to Mecca. Katrina hit, (and in all honesty, as a hurricane it wasn’t that bad, but remember what I said about buying a house 15 feet below the water around you being held out by antiquated levees) the inevitable hit and the levees gave way. The rest is history.
But after everyone goes home and doesn’t worry anymore that’s when the shit hits the fan!
Last week the mighty knight Citizens Property Insurance Company announced it’s new rate effective August 1, of this year. The wee little county in which I live the rateis going up 243%, not gradual, not over a period of years, but from Monday to Tuesday. Pay or you got no Hurricane Insurance! Andthat’s the State! So the question is who ya’ gonna call ? Ghostbusters?
I guess not. Well I have to give the State credit, they figured out how to stem the HUGE tide of folks moving to Florida to retire. Either that or decided to just become the biggest bandit in the world. Remember “Absolute power corrupts, absolutely”.
The insurance industry has figured it out already, and get ready for the next”SCANDAL OF THE CENTURY”. Why? Think about it, if you had the only gas station in town and you could jack your prices up anytime as much as you want, you will always still have customers. Why? Cause they gotta have gasoline. Same thing with Hurricane insurance. If you were going to buy a place for several million dollars wouldn’t you be damn sure you had it insured, regardless of the cost? “Stop the state they are getting greedy!” you shout.
You missed the point! Since the insurance rates have actually gone through the roof and are accepted as a done deal, wouldn’t you as an insurance company say “Hmmm! Let’s go back in and we’ll write policies at 10% less than the State. People would flock to them. “But what if there is another bad hurricane?” Fuck it! The State bailed it out once, they’ll do it again. we just shift the monies around, cook the books a bit, declare bankruptcy, say we’re sorry and pull out of Florida. Life goes on again.
And from a political standpoint if we can wangle it to have a democratic administration when all hell hits, …well we’ll have it made! God I love a good bleeding heart liberal, they are the best thing going for a hard working money hungry right wing conservative.
See you on the other side!


  1. Wow…We really got lucky! Since we are first time home buyers, we qualified for USAA, and while they were pricey, their reputation proceeds them. USAA is one of those companies that cut-and-ran when the going got tough, but left in that provision of the first-time home-buyers. SUCKERS!!

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