Citizens’ hurricane insurance premiums increase; so does executive pay
According to a recent Sun Sentinel article, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. – the insurer of last resort for many Florida homeowners seeking hurricane insurance coverage – is currently sitting on a record surplus of $6.2 billion. This is largely due to the fact that Florida hasn’t seen a major hurricane in seven years.
However, despite the record surplus amassed by Citizens, insurance premiums for the company increased by 10.8 percent last year. Company officials claim the increase was necessary in order to cover claims in case a major storm hits.
And while that the insurance premium increases were already tough to stomach for many Florida homeowners, a recent report indicating the use of company funds for extravagant purchases by company officials has added insult to injury.
Specifically, a Miami Herald report discovered several instances in which executives at Citizens used company credit cards for large purchases such as dining at fine restaurants. And even as Citizens was embroiled in scandals regarding its dubious company spending habits – not to mention the large premium increases – many of the executives were being given double digit pay increases. For instance, one executive received a staggering 24 percent salary increase, according to the Miami Herald.
Some Florida homeowners have expressed their frustrations regarding several of recent actions taken by Citizens executives, although many homeowners still have little choice but to continue insuring their homes with Citizens. In fact, many homeowners still depend on Citizens to cover costs associated with hurricane damage when tragedy strikes.
Florida hurricane damage
In states such as Florida, hurricane insurance coverage is almost a necessity as homeowners never know when the next major storm is going to hit. Hurricanes can cause several types of damage that are catastrophic to Florida homeowners – damage that can cost thousands of dollars to repair. Some of the common types of hurricane damage suffered by Florida homeowners include:
- Damage to a home’s foundation
- Damage to a home’s roof
- Splintering of a home’s walls
- Water damage due to flooding or rain
- Trees being uprooted and damage to landscaping in general
It is not uncommon for insurance adjusters to offer lowball settlements following the filing of an insurance claim as it is easy for them to miss some less obvious types of damage. Accordingly, it is often important to speak with an experienced hurricane insurance claim attorney if your home has suffered hurricane damage and you are concerned you may not be offered the full settlement you are entitled to under your policy.