The sinkhole saga continues for Florida homeowners renewing property insurance policies in 2013. They are in for a costly surprise. Several insurance carriers, including Citizens Property Insurance, have dramatically raised rates and deductibles for sinkhole coverage. And, why wouldn't they?
Considering the frequency with which sinkholes open and swallow homes, cars, people, and animals, not only in Florida, but also around the country and the world, a rate increase is understandable. Insurers have definitely taken notice of the sinkhole phenomenon, and well they should. It’s hitting them where it hurts, in the pocketbook.
The earth wobble and earth changes will not lessen, but rather increase as the Pole Shift nears. Sinkholes and other stretch zone incidents will continue to happen with regularity. Insurers know that "something is up with Mother Earth" and have raised their rates accordingly. Citizens’s sinkhole coverage rates have risen from "about $156 to close to $3,650."
Their intentions are clear – they do not want to insure for sinkhole damage anymore, and if they must, well . . . you get the idea. Upon reviewing his renewal policy recently, Ron Wood, a Florida resident, noticed a gigantic jump in his sinkhole deductible, from $2,500 to $28,000.
Wood said, "It says 10 percent next to it, but it doesn't really say of what. I was hoping I was wrong, but I was right. It's almost seems like they're saying don't buy the coverage. We don't want to insure you anymore for sinkholes."
When Wood called his insurance agent, he discovered that the rate is based on 10 percent of his home's value, and to add fuel to the fire, Wood already has a sinkhole on his property.
"We don't know how far it goes down under the house or where it goes," he said. "They couldn't rule out that our house won't totally collapse. That was the definition they gave us."
Fortunately for Wood, he discovered the sinkhole last year and filed his claim before the policy changes took effect. Unfortunately for other policyholders, given the number of sinkholes in Pasco and Hernando Counties, they may not be as lucky.
Karen Hecksher oversees sinkhole repairs for a Bay area contractor. She worries that higher rates will put homeowners in a bind, unable to afford repairs. If they don’t repair their homes, the homes' value will drop 50 percent or more.
For Wood, it’s simple – if the value of one home goes, so goes the neighborhood.
The earth wobble and earth changes will not lessen, but rather increase as the Pole Shift nears. Sinkholes and other stretch zone incidents will continue to happen with regularity. Insurers know that "something is up with Mother Earth." How about you? Do you know?
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