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Guest Column

Eliminate high-risk home insurance

By JAMES PETTICAN
Published February 8, 2007


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Politicians proclaim and experts expound on the high cost of homeowners insurance, and as the babble goes on, the rates get even higher.

Our high rates are not the problem. The real problem is too much insurance and too many people being fiscally sheltered by others.

All we need to do is eliminate all insurance for structures built too close to the beach (experts would work out the actual distance) and structures built on or near floodplains of lakes or rivers.

That way, those of us sensible enough and, perhaps, unimaginative enough, to build on high, dry land would not have to subsidize, through higher rates, those who build "sand castles" because the view is just "so beautiful."

Everyone would still be free to build on or close to beaches or floodplains but would have to supply evidence of sufficient personal worth to enable them to self-insure.

They might post a bond with the state or county or use other means to guarantee their post-hurricane solvency.

That would relieve the state of any responsibility to clean up their mess at government expense.

Meanwhile, the rest of us could enjoy lower rates because high-risk property would no longer be on insurance company ledgers.

No, we don't get to see the sunset over the bay or gulf, although we can by driving there now and then.

Meanwhile, we sleep better at night, knowing that those who like to take risks are still free to do so but not at our expense.

All of us would, of course, still have to contend with wind and rain, but not with flooding and storm surges.

We might need earplugs for a while to drown out the protests of the waterside dwellers, but eventually, common sense would prevail.

Sounds good to me.

Retired journalist James Pettican lives in Palm Harbor.

[Last modified February 7, 2007, 23:32:11]


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