Insurers shouldn't forget that their products are not commodities in the eyes of customers, writes John Lee of the National Association of Professional Insurance Agents, citing a PIA Partnership study. "They know that insurance is a contract to protect people and their property, and a promise to be made whole in the event of a loss," Lee writes.
A Florida proposal aims to cut property taxes by removing the state-mandated property taxes that help fund schools, writes Mike Thomas in the Orlando Sentinel. The measure would create a $9.6 billion state shortfall that could force lawmakers to end some tax exemptions, he notes. "It is a tax shift," Thomas writes. "Given the rising cost of homeownership, shifting taxes off property makes sense."
Florida residents cannot have both lower taxes and lower insurance rates, writes Mike Thomas in the Orlando Sentinel. He notes that property insurers generally lose money in Florida, and large companies are cautious about taking on too much risk in the state. State-run Citizens Property Insurance covers some residents, but when it can't pay claims, the state's only option is to raise taxes, he writes.
The Senate Banking Committee has agreed on language for legislation that will extend the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act for seven years. The bill keeps in place the current $100 million trigger but lacks provisions dealing with nuclear, biological, chemical or radiation events, which are included in the House version of the bill.
Insurance companies are adding to policies windstorm deductibles, which require a homeowner to pay a certain amount for repairs after a major storm before insurance coverage will kick in. The deductibles are a way for insurers to keep costs down while still providing affordable coverage, but homeowners pay for the lower costs by shouldering a greater part of the risk. According to the Insurance Information Institute, 18 states and the District of Columbia have hurricane deductibles.