The Other State Robberies

Conway, OBT, Ocoee…hmm…seems like the crime “wave” is actually coming this way, doesn’t it? We’ve been fortunate over here so far, but as Rachel said, close the door and lock it! (Interesting: yesterday, I couldn’t decide if big cities were mostly the ones who saw tragedies like the one at Dawson College, but I guess news reports should tell me this stuff happens anywhere/everywhere.)

But here’s the kind of robbery we’re much more used to in Florida. Cypress Gardens has been struggling with hurricane-related debt and has been forced to file Chapter 11. This park has already gone through one rebirth as it tries to survive; now it, like everyone else, is staggering under the weight of insurance-related problems.

Florida’s coastal communities are thinning as premiums have skyrocketed to equal some people’s mortgages. Some Katrina survivors have moved here and stayed because they could never collect enough money to rebuild their homes in Louisiana or Mississippi. And now we’ve got our 70-year-old original theme park on death’s doorstep again because it cannot come back from injuries inflicted by Charlie, Frances, and Jeanne, totaling about $50 million.

I’d love to hear an insurance company’s side of this. Why does it feel like we’re all living at their mercy? The premiums are sky-high now, and they might be able to justify that, but will any of us be able to collect on that when we need to? It’s sort like being robbed, but nobody actually broke into the house.

I wonder how the state will change if nobody puts a lid on this? Will people abandon Naples and Miami as inland Orlando suddenly becomes the enviable real estate? (Now, that would just be WEIRD.)

1 Comment so far

  1. Terry Howard (unregistered) on September 19th, 2006 @ 9:39 pm

    I’m pretty much a hands off let the market decide kinda mind when it comes to business and government, but I think something like Insurance needs a different approach. I think this needs to be more like welching on a debt. We need to have some serious punishments in store for any insurance company that takes money and then turns around and says, sorry, ain’t got it when something actually happens. Something like if you want to play in this game, you better be serious and pay up when the time comes or we will mess you up big time, like imprison CEOs for life. I know, that would only lead to higher premiums and less companies in the market to compete, so not really feasible. I just think it takes a special kind of asshole to take a family’s money month after month only to turn around in their most dire time of need and say, “too bad, yoou’re screwed.” Maybe we can at least have some kind of public back hand slapping line for the board of companies that do this. Damn cruel and unusual punishment bans!

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