Just because the hurricane season has ended quietly, don't think for a minute the storm is over. Not by a long shot! Forget that your homeowner's insurance has gone up 20, 30, 40 or even 50 percent in the last year. Hell, you're the lucky one as some property owners were outright cancelled.
Now you get to pay more. Tack on an additional 8 percent for special assessments. Let's break it down: 2.5 percent for Citizen's for a 1.5 BILLION DOLLAR 2005 deficit. They are not finished - - - 1.5 percent EMERGENCY ASSESSMENT for the next 10 YEARS. (I thought a special assessment was a ONE-TIME FEE). Remember POE Insurance? We have to bail their sorry - - - out at a rate of another 2 percent. And finally there is the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund deficit. I wrote about that fund a few columns ago. That is the fund that pays insurance companies to insure us. That's another 2 percent. If my math is correct, that totals 8 percent.
Let us say your insurance premium is $3000 annually. It just went up $240 for the year. We should be so lucky it only goes up that much. I am sure there will be further increases to follow as our politicians do not have the backbone to put forth some solid solutions.
Now here is a way to save that $240 - with the season upon us, do not buy any ties for the man of the house. Four ties at $25 each equals $100 - we live in a tropical setting and we wouldn't want him to get ring around the collar. Next, do not buy any pots and pans. They cost about $150 and we never cook at home anyway. Now let's see, we saved $100 on ties and $150 on pots and pans. That equals $250 and our insurance rate hike is $240.
I feel better already. I paid for my increase and made $10 on the deal. Only in America.
Ric Cornelius is the Broker/Manager of Sand Key Realty Sales and Rentals, Inc. Sand Key Realty has three offices with 40 agents. One office is at 740 S. Gulfview Blvd., Clearwater Beach, 727-443-0032; the second office is at 2701 Gulf Blvd., Indian Rocks Beach, 727-595-5441; and the third office is at 309 Belleview Blvd., Belleair, 727-461-4200.
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