HomeHome InsuranceWelcome to Florida’s property insurance jungle. Only the strong survive.

Welcome to Florida’s property insurance jungle. Only the strong survive.

Too much risk

Farmers Insurance is leaving Florida in latest blow to homeowners | July 11

Florida’s property insurance crisis is not just about political posturing, inadequate reserve funds, inappropriate compensation or the flow of money to related out-of-state companies, though these are all factors.

Ultimately, it is likely that the problem is defined by a geographically compact market with burgeoning concentrations of high-value property, coupled with the ever-increasing risk of catastrophic storms. No wonder companies like Farmers and State Farm have decoupled their Florida operations from their national operations to avoid risk contagion impacting their entire portfolios.

Matthew Brockmeier, Random Lake, Wisconsin

The insurance jungle

Farmers Insurance is leaving Florida in latest blow to homeowners | July 11

As someone who just lived this nightmare, I feel for all the people who lost their Farmers coverage. One thing to know is that when this happens, many homeowners are forced to upgrade their homes to meet new insurance standards. We had to have our entire house re-piped to the tune of $9,500. Why? Even though the standard in some other states is to write exclusions into your policy for water damage due to polybutylene pipes, in our experience in Florida the handful of insurance companies writing policies will not issue you a policy. Is your roof over 15 years old but still perfectly fine? It might not matter. To get a new policy, you might have to get a new roof.

At what point will the citizens of Florida wake up and elect a government that actually cares about Floridians?

Robin Benoit, Clearwater

More insurance trouble

Farmers Insurance is leaving Florida in latest blow to homeowners | July 11

Where I live in California, this is a familiar phenomenon. My own homeowners’ insurance is still intact, but my insurance company is no longer writing new homeowner policies in the state. It’s understandable. After all, the insurance industry is reeling with losses, and there is only increased risk on the horizon. Unless carbon emissions are drastically reduced — and quickly — the insurance risk will outpace the industry completely, and it will fall to state and federal governments to be the insurer of last resort. Carbon pricing is the single most effective policy to bring about emissions reductions, but there are many others, and all are needed. Now.

Gary Michael Stewart, Laguna Beach, California

No staying power

Farmers Insurance is leaving Florida in latest blow to homeowners | July 11

Insurance company mission statement: When the going gets tough, the insurance company gets going!

David Bassett, Land O’ Lakes

Nuclear next?

US to provide cluster bombs to Ukraine | July 7

As one who served during 9/11, I am shocked that President Joe Biden has decided to supply Ukraine with cluster bombs after UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres condemned them in front of the nations of the world. Cluster bombs can saturate an area the size of several football fields with its shrapnel hitting nearby buildings and innocent people. They continue to pose a threat after being dropped by leaving unexploded remnants that ultimately become land mines, proving fatal to innocent people for years to come. What next will Biden approve, the use of tactical nuclear weapons?

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Matthew Drozd, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Not so fast

Biden validation | Letters, July 12

I read with amusement the letter stating that President Joe Biden gets things done. Here’s what he’s done: I hold him responsible for the slaughter of 13 of our brave service members in a chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan. I also blame him for the high prices of gas and oil. He’s responsible for the disaster at our southern border and the huge amounts of illegal drugs entering the country and killing our citizens. The writer states that our economy is booming yet the majority of Americans are struggling to pay their bills because of inflation. And what about unity? There has never been a president who has done more to divide a nation than Biden.

Natalie Sacco, Palm Harbor

Senseless death

Child, 7, killed in July Fourth shooting on Courtney Campbell Causeway in Tampa | July 5

An innocent 7-year-old boy trying to enjoy the fireworks is killed by a stray bullet. Which among this group of gun-slinging marksmen are the “responsible” gun owners our politicians talk about. Which group are the “good guys with guns” our pols also talk about. In other states, this incident might have ended with a few drunken punches. In the “Free state of guns” a little boy dies in the arms of his grandfather. Did the politicians show up at his funeral to offer “thoughts and prayers?”

Mike Hurley, Wimauma

Faculty leaving

Liberal professors leaving Florida make more room for conservative views | Letters | July 12 | July 9

I’m afraid the front-page story about public university faculty choosing flight over fight is just the tip of the iceberg. Gov. Ron DeSantis and Republican pals will turn Florida into an academic backwater and international laughingstock, all in the name of presidential ambition, narcissism and a 1950s north Florida mindset.

The trickle of a small but growing number of faculty leaving the state, as well as fewer professors interested in coming to Florida will, I predict, increase significantly as DeSantis becomes better known for being a bully and authoritarian with no sense of morality, fairness or interest in people.

I’m a retired Florida public university tenured full professor with three grandkids in the system. For academics, all the core issues and attractiveness of university life are essential to compensate for limited income potential. DeSantis and the gang that couldn’t think straight doesn’t seem to care about anything other than power.

The mentality of cronyism, racism and corruption seems to dominate this kind of Republican thinking. Such ultra conservatism may be palatable to the reddest counties in the state, but in urban areas such as Miami, Tampa and Orlando, where most business and commerce happen, it is a formula for university disaster. Students will also suffer, because bright young people outside of Florida will eventually cross Florida schools off their list of potential schools. So thanks to the Tampa Bay Times for the story. I’d like to see the rest of mainstream media pick up the theme.

David Nathanson, Tampa

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