The state requires insurers to issue discounts if a property is solidly built – credit for having hurricane shutters or specially installed straps to hold a roof in place. Only problem – most properties that get the credit don’t deserve it, based on inspections by Citizens Property, the state-run market leader:
Since the company started reinspecting with an eye toward catching deception, 65 percent of single-family homes have lost credits. Among commercial properties, 53 percent inspected were found to have discounts they didn’t deserve.
Other insurers are stepping up inspections. This isn’t too big a surprise – here’s a slide that Locke Burke, chairman and president of Security First, dropped at the CAS Spring Meeting last month:
Hard to blame the property owners here, as they are only hiring inspectors, not submitting results. However there’s a contractor problem here. The Palm Beach Post notes:
Among the abuses noted by the state Office of Insurance Regulation were unqualified or unregulated inspectors, vague forms and a lack of documentation proving homeowners took the measures they said they had taken to harden their homes.
And it’s a shame. I support the credits. Construction makes a huge difference in being able to withstand a hurricane. I think every home in Florida should be retrofitted and inspected by a private-public consortium.