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Inspection form causing insurance discount headaches (p. 2)

Thu Jun 23rd, 2011 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

We were talking about the issues with Florida’s current insurance inspection form and mitigation discounts. Both homeowners and insurance professionals are complaining that the form does not allow a discount for concrete barrel tile roofs. The denial or revocation of the discount can mean jumps in homeowners insurance premiums of hundreds of dollars.

The frustrating part about the roofs is that concrete tile wasn’t omitted because it’s unreliable. It was omitted because the research and engineering company that evaluated roof performance for insurers didn’t have enough data. The current form is based on studies completed in 2002, and the concrete tile wasn’t used as widely back then.

While the OIR conducts hearings and holds meetings to address questions about the inspection form — with an eye toward improving it — consumer advocates and a brave few inspectors are encouraging homeowners to appeal the rating decisions.

There are stiff penalties for inspectors who grant unwarranted discounts, and some admit that veering from the form on even a no-brainer like the concrete barrel tile will mean license revocation and fines.

The mitigation inspection law went into effect just about the same time the new form came out. The combination has set off a maelstrom of confusion in the industry and a torrent of discount denials or revocations for policyholders. As one insurance agent said, “This has been a mess for about a year.”

Regulators hope the meetings and continuing dialog with insurers and policyholders will reflect all of the research without opening doors to fraud. It isn’t a “can’t have one without the other” situation.

We’ll finish up this discussion in our next post.

Source: Sun-Sentinel.com, “Tile roofs don’t qualify for insurance discounts under new rules,” Julie Patel, 06/20/2011

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