An initiative on the Florida, 2008 general election ballot is a bill to make hurricane insurance as a local property taxing authority at market value. To me this seems very dangerous because it basically passes on to every homeowner, whether they want it or not, additional insurance costs related to hurricane prevention.
Most of us don’t have million dollar homes on the beach, so why do we all suddenly need hurricane insurance other than to make insurance companies wealthy or cover their potential losses. Remember insurance companies soak homeowners with premiums, which are precisely to pad their coffers so when the odd disaster occurs they can cover us. Why than do we need to provide more corporate welfare to insurance companies by way of this mandatory hurricane insurance initiative? It just doesn’t seem right.
My initial thought was somehow the rich living along the coast would gain from all state homeowners bearing the burden of hurricane insurance. It certainly would be desirable for beach homeowners to pass on some of the hurricane insurance burden to others across the state of Florida. Yet upon further investigation I discovered that this bill has a huge exception in Coastal Barrier Resource Areas making such properties therein “ineligible” of any such hurricane insurance.
That being said it kind of reveals the true motive of the initiative. It obviously isn’t interested in seeing that all property owners are insured in the event of a hurricane because coastal area homeowners are ineligible. So basically the hurricane insurance bill is a clever way for insurance companies to purport to care for homeowners and be looking out for us, when nothing is farther from the truth. What this bill does is make clients of all homeowners and collect fees for hurricane insurance from those in the least hazardous areas.
The problem is with this being a “market value” annual assessment, we can expect with a pro-inflation national government that the fees for hurricane insurance will keep going up and never stop. Ironically the initiative proposes that the hurricane insurance assessment to be imposed upon homeowners across the state be a “market value,” while at the same time they are removing the freedom of choice for consumers from the market. Suppose a homeowner in an area of Florida where a hurricane has never before hit doesn’t want to pay for this insurance? If this bill is passed refusal is not option because like it or not we all pay.
I think homeowners ought to be able to choose whether or not they want to pay for hurricane insurance rather than the state making it mandatory. The poor might prefer to feed their children rather than pay additional property taxes for hurricane insurance.
Of course I can hear the rebuttals as to protecting Florida residents most valuable asset – their homes. Yet shouldn’t we the people be thought intelligent enough to care for our own property and insurances without governmental intervention? I am always skeptical when suddenly the government claims to be looking out for me. Particularly when those who stand to benefit most are the insurance companies who simultaneously are denying any coverage to homeowners in coastal areas.
Insurance is good in and of itself. Having to pay additional property tax however to get hurricane coverage is not and should be optional not mandatory. Keep the government out of homeowners pockets and vote no on the hurricane insurance initiative.