Today's Letters: Now insurer can avoid coverage

Published May 23, 2007

Now it comes to light that Citizens Insurance realized what it wanted from the insurance reform bill that was passed by our lawmakers with the help of Sen. Mike Fasano and Rep. John Legg.

Pasco and Hernando homeowners will have their full sinkhole coverage dropped automatically from their policy when they renew. However, homeowners in other counties will not have it dropped unless they request it. Is this legal?

If we in Pasco and Hernando want full coverage, we must request it. Of course, at a higher premium. I will carry full sinkhole coverage as I'm sure other homeowners will. That's what insurance is all about, no matter what type we buy: health, car, boat, travel, house, etc. We buy it to protect our property and ourselves.

From what I understand, Citizens seems to think that with this policy in place, it will stop fraud claims. In my opinion, it will never happen.

Homeowners with full coverage will file a claim if they find cracking walls, walkways, driveways, tiles in living space, doors and windows that do not open or close correctly, etc. - all of which are signs of possible sinkhole problems.

I agree that some sinkhole claims may be fraud. However, it's the insurers' responsibility to review each claim and weed out the fraud. They have not been doing that. They do it the easy way - pay the claim and then cry wolf. If the insurers would investigate each claim with their eyes open, there wouldn't be so many claims in Pasco and Hernando.

Our insurance commissioner agrees dropping full sinkhole coverage will save homeowner premium dollars. However, in the long run, it could cost them thousands of dollars to repair cracking walls, tiles, etc. Without the full sinkhole coverage policy, a claim can not be filed unless the home collapses and becomes uninhabitable. In short, the family must live in the house until it falls apart.

Frank DeAngelo, Hudson

Re: Dredging of the Hernando Beach channel.

What about fill, storms' approach?

I know they have wanted this since 1993, but in the light of Katrina, do you really think it is wise to open a channel up for a storm to move smoothly along and into?

Who will take the blame if a hurricane devastates that area? This affects all Florida taxpayers and insurance payers. I think they should get this with a caveat: no claims against the state or county if, God forbid, the worst happens.

Now, on top of this, we cart all that fill over to cover a wetlands site that just happens to be owned by the powerful Manuel family? Wow! It reads like something coming out of Washington, D.C., these days. Not the best trend to be following in lieu of the public's heightened awareness of cronyism and collusion, etc. It would be better to use the alternative dumping site for "looks" sake alone (unless this family still really does give the orders around here).

Why not create a spoil island while they are out there? This would provide a storm buffer and would use less energy than trucks hauling the stuff down the roads.

Jennifer Sullivan, Spring Hill

Re: Dredging details draw dissent May 21 story.

All wetlands are animal nurseries

I've heard enough of these definitions of Class 1, Class 2, etc., wetlands. I have owned a house on Eagle's Nest Drive for more than six years and I must say it is a pleasure to observe hatchlings and crabs feeding in this area at high tide.

It has been proven knowledge for quite a number of years that any and all wetlands are nurseries for aquatic life and filters for the gulfs and oceans. I am so tired of entities redefining environmental reality in the name of housing and profit, let alone recreation.

Let's reread all those old Audubon magazines, shall we? I think we've forgotten a few things and may regret our current environmental disregards in the not-so-distant future. Let's let the Nature Coast be natural.

Parry Donze, Spring Hill