Friday, November 11, 2005

Insurers Can't Cancel Home Policies After Hurricane(November 10, 2005) -- Florida's insurance commissioner has issued an emergency order that bars insurance companies from canceling or not renewing policies for residential properties damaged by Hurricane Wilma. Kevin McCarty issued the order just one day after the Category 3 hurricane ploughed across the state. The order is effective for 90 days after damage to the homes has been repaired and applies to the 20 counties hit hardest by the storm. Marla Martin, spokesperson for the Florida Association of REALTORS®, calls the emergency measure "a good move" as large insurance companies are increasingly voicing their intentions to stop writing policies in the state or move out of Florida altogether.Large insurers Allstate and Nationwide recently stopped writing homeowners' policies in Florida, with the Allstate announcing in October that it would reduce its homeowners’ coverage in the entire U.S. Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of hurricanes Katrina and Rita."Things are still out of flux, and many residents still don't have electricity due to Wilma," Martin says. "This is a good, proactive move to make sure that no cancellations or non-renewals occur in the middle of the cleanup and rebuilding efforts."—By Bridget McCrea for REALTOR® Magazine Online

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