Dr. Steve Lyons, The Weather Channel’s Tropical Weather Expert, has admitted that he has been interested in property insurance and rates for the past fifteen years. He recently posted on the Weather Blog his opinion is that Florida’s only long term solution to high insurance rates is to mandate that building codes be enforced so that buildings will be toughened to withstand hurricanes—my opinion as well. (see my previous posts and my comment to Lyons’ blog post)
He also suggests that rate discounts be given to those who harden their structures. This is an excellent idea and is actually in place, although it is not well publicized. The Florida Legislature and Office of Insurance Regulation have laws and regulations which provide mitigation credits for rates and also grants under the My Safe Florida Home program. I wish more consumers took advantage of the program because it can reduce rates and prevent hurricane damage. Grants up to $5,000 are available and are tax free.
We need more celebrity experts such as Lyons calling attention to the need for hurricane mitigation. His reference to an article entitled, FLORIDA FLIRTING WITH HURRICANE INSURANCE DISASTER, should be a read for all concerned about the grave insurance situation facing Florida.