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It's just not a boat insurance issue in FL!

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Old 08-08-2006, 07:53 PM
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Default Re: It's just not a boat insurance issue in FL!

This whole Country is out of control, it will take a civil war to end it and I will be holding the flag as we march on the Capitol. I have had about all I can take now, between fuel, cost of goods and services and the crappy service you get there is no wonder anyone buys any big ticket items. Thats why durable goods orders keep falling, we have the power to control these crooks, we are 75% of the economy and if we all band together we can shut the system down to a small trickle. That time is coming, I can't wait.
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Old 08-08-2006, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: It's just not a boat insurance issue in FL!

Ya think it's bad now? Insurance is just going to get worse.. Business insurance is damn near impossible to get in S Florida now, and the few companies writing it are not cutting us ANY SLACK.. The price of insurance is going to drive the smaller companies out of business...

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Originally Posted by Sun Sentinel 8-8-2006
Insurance companies shower Fla. politicians with donations to get rate hikes

By Mark Hollis
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

August 8, 2006

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's teetering property insurance industry got what it wanted this year from the state: new power to raise consumer prices.

The Legislature crafted the industry incentives as insurers poured hundreds of thousands of dollars into election campaigns of lawmakers, state political parties and candidates for statewide offices.

Insurers now can automatically raise prices for homeowner coverage 10 percent without any state review. And to make Florida even more enticing to property insurers, legislators tossed in $250 million in loans for insurers willing to expand in this state.

The changes have been hailed across the country by the insurance industry as a big help to do business in a hurricane-battered state.

Consumer activists say it was a giveaway to an industry that already gets its way in Tallahassee.

Analysts say the legislation was not a surprise, given the industry's consistent political donations.

``It's always hard to say that the money bought something specifically, but the money certainly buys the industry access to decision-makers,'' said Sue O'Connell, research director for the Institute on Money and State Politics, a nonpartisan watchdog group based in Montana. ``It opens doors and allows them [insurers] access in a way that the typical citizen may not have. It also seems pretty clear from the way that industry distributes its donations that Florida is a pretty important state to the insurance companies.''

Since 1996, the property insurance industry has given $11.2 million to Florida candidates and state political parties, with roughly three of every four dollars to Republicans, according to research by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

The 2006 campaigns already have received at least $1.7 million from the property insurance industry, state records show.

O'Connell has examined property insurance industry campaign contributions across the country over three election cycles -- 2000, 2002, and 2004 -- and found Florida is vital to the property insurance market, judging by where the industry spends its campaign donations.

She said that in 2004, Florida ranked No. 10 among all states in total contributions from political donors. But in candidate contributions from the property insurance industry, she said, Florida politicians ranked second in the nation, behind only California that year.

Most donations to GOP

The insurance industry has given the bulk of its money to the party in power, the Sun-Sentinel has found. At least $4 million has been given in the last decade to the Republican Party of Florida, mainly from industry trade groups and associations but also from insurers, their lobbyists and executives.

By contrast, the Florida Democratic Party received slightly more than $1 million.

The contributions represent a small fraction of what's given each year to state parties and candidates in Florida. Other industries, such as telecommunications businesses, home builders and real estate agents, give more. Sun-Sentinel research found that about 2 percent of what's been given to all Florida campaigns and state parties since 1996 -- or $11.2 million of more than $557 million -- can be reported as having come from the property insurance industry.

Campaign finance analysts say the Florida insurance industry still packs a political wallop. That power was on display May 16 when Gov. Jeb Bush signed into law the 156-page property insurance bill that guarantees higher policyholder costs and bigger insurance industry profits.``This is the most significant, comprehensive property insurance legislation that has been enacted since Hurricane Andrew,'' said Len Brevik, the national executive vice president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents. He said it's ``precisely the kind of innovation'' that Congress should mimic.

Critics call it a politically timid and anti-consumer answer to what ails Florida's insurance market. The law has been criticized in recent weeks by Democratic candidates for governor and some Republicans, such as state Rep. Randy Johnson of Winter Garden, a candidate to be Florida's chief financial officer.

``The insurance crisis has crept on the kitchen tables of Floridians and they are mad about it and responding to it. ...,'' Johnson said of reaction to increased rates. ``It is about insurance company greed, plain and simple.''

While some candidates criticize the law as an industry sellout, Florida's top insurance regulators, such as state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, a Republican running for governor, say it was just the start of a solution. His 2006 gubernatorial campaign has received at least $379,000 in donations from the insurance industry. Only the Republican and Democratic state parties and Bush's gubernatorial campaigns have received more money from the state's insurers than Gallagher has taken in for his 2006 race for governor.

He also has received at least $369,000 in industry donations during previous campaigns for other state offices, including the one he holds.

Gallagher campaign aides say Gallagher is not beholden to the insurers.

``No one has been more forceful and cracked down on insurance companies more than Tom Gallagher,'' said Alberto Martinez, Gallagher's gubernatorial spokesman. ``He's called State Farm and Allstate out on the carpet whenever they've tried raising rates and not responding to their customer's needs. ... Tom has a record of fighting for consumers and a record of speaking his mind.''

Campaign finance records show Jeb Bush's campaign for governor in 2002 received at least $201,000 from the property insurance industry. This year, he gave legislators surprisingly little guidance on how to fix the state's troubled property insurance market.

During his State of the State speech in early March, Bush called for better hurricane preparedness but provided no direction about insurance issues, including what to do with financially troubled Citizens Property Insurance Corp. Citizens is the state-run home insurer, and now the state's biggest property insurer. Its size is a sore point the state never intended.

When Bush signed the new property insurance bill into law, he knew consumers wouldn't be happy. ``I will accept responsibility that we will have higher rates,'' Bush said.

Bush and Republican legislators made their first move when they created the Task Force on Long-Term Solutions for Florida's Hurricane Market prior to the 2005 hurricane season.

The 13-member task force conducted eight public meetings. The panel of mostly insurance industry insiders overwhelmingly recommended short-term, industry-friendly solutions, only some of which were adopted.

In a 58-page report, the task force repeatedly called for what the Florida property insurance industry wanted -- ``greater flexibility'' with regulators. ``The majority of the people on the task force had some industry tie,'' said Steve Burgess, a task force member and a consumer advocate who works under the state Office of Insurance Regulation.

`Afraid to be bold'

Some legislators, insurance industry lobbyists and analysts say lawmakers settled on the bill because of their concern about doing more harm than good.

``The single biggest issue that will cause the state's economy to stop is not handling this insurance situation correctly,'' said Sen. J.D. Alexander, a Lake Wales Republican on the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. Records show Alexander, who helped negotiate the final bill, has accepted at least $95,000 in donations from insurance interests to his political campaigns since 1996.

Bush says Florida is better off with the law than nothing.

``It's not easy to make the tough choices,'' Bush said. ``If we had not made the tough choices this year, it would have come back to haunt us.''

Others don't see it that way.

``A lot of these issues are technical. So a lot of legislators aren't comfortable with certain things. When an insurance company lobbyist says `this and this,' it's pretty difficult for someone who is not an expert to know that they are lies,'' said Birny Birnbaum, an economist with the Center for Economic Justice, in Austin, Texas.

Robert Hunter, director of insurance for the Consumer Federation of America, said: ``The (Florida) Legislature is afraid to be bold. They were so afraid that the industry is going to bolt that they won't take the kind of action that needs to be taken.''

Business writer Kathy Bushouse and staff researcher Jeremy Milarsky contributed to this report.

Mark Hollis can be reached at [email protected] or 850-224-6214.
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:33 PM
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Default Re: It's just not a boat insurance issue in FL!

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Originally Posted by cuda
Goddamn, the more I read from you, the more pissed I get! There are certain things we HAVE to have, insurance being one of them.

That was the point!! Insurance is not a mti , nike , rolex , victoria secret bras etc etc etc. It is a NEED not want. So it needs regulation period. The free enterprise make a BIG profit blah blah blah that Mr. gsmith9898 speaks of if it fits into the WANT category then have at it charge what ever you want to........ your competition will take care of you But when its a NEED and were getting bent over Regulation is are only hope
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Old 08-08-2006, 10:37 PM
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Originally Posted by cuda
Goddamn, the more I read from you, the more pissed I get! There are certain things we HAVE to have, insurance being one of them. I understand making a fuking profit, I own a business too. It's the stuff we absolutely cannot live without that the government DOES have to step in and put greed in check. The fuking insurance companies have been making money hand over fist forever, and they have two years in the last 50 where maybe they only broke even, and they justify this sh1t!?

I've said it before, and I truly believe our governor, Jeb Bush, has a sincere caring for his constituents, unlike other greedy bastids that will allow the insurance companies to rape us, then probably take a job with them in a year or two as a "consultant". Our insurance commisioner, and his office should be concerned with US, not the ins companies. It's a crock of sh1t, I know it, and they know it, everyone but Gsmith knows it. The fricking insurance companies aren't going to leave the state, they make too much money here as it is. It for instance State Farm wants to raise property insurance out of sight, the insurance commisioners should say, fine, don't write any policies in Florida, and that would include Auto, Life, Health, etc. Fuking theifs!

Btw, my homeowner's insurance doubled last year.



I think his avatar explains how he thinks.
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Old 08-08-2006, 11:38 PM
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Default Re: It's just not a boat insurance issue in FL!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Montana
That was the point!! Insurance is not a mti , nike , rolex , victoria secret bras etc etc etc. It is a NEED not want. So it needs regulation period. The free enterprise make a BIG profit blah blah blah that Mr. gsmith9898 speaks of if it fits into the WANT category then have at it charge what ever you want to........ your competition will take care of you But when its a NEED and were getting bent over Regulation is are only hope
That was exactly my point.
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