Homeowners insurance crisis: Tampa Bay woman reports roofer who told her she had storm damage

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida lawmakers gathered in Tallahassee Monday for a special session to address the state’s property insurance crisis.

Hundreds of viewers have contacted 8 Mahsa Saeidi, our Investigator over the past months, saying they have seen their property insurance rates skyrocket – doubling or even tripling in a year. . Other Floridians are losing their coverage entirely.

Lawmakers scheduled to discuss this week are not expected to have an immediate impact on premiums. Lawmakers hope these changes will stabilize the market and lure new insurers into the cheers.

Industry experts say roofing programs are putting the market on the brink of a recession. Florida has a litigation problem, unlike any other state.

In 2019, three of four property insurance lawsuits nationwide occurred in Florida, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).

Kathy Metz is a retired nurse living in Beverly Hills, Florida. The town of Citrus County doesn’t have many celebrities – instead, it’s home to working families and seniors.

“My roof is old, just worn and torn,” Ms. Metz said.

However, early last month, Metz said a roofer told her otherwise. The man knocks on her door and hands her a flyer that says, “You suffered storm damage.”

“I knew I wasn’t damaged by the storm,” Ms. Metz said. “I really can’t let someone bill my insurance company when in fact it’s not a legitimate claim.”

Metz reported the encounter to her insurance company. She even wrote a letter to Governor Ron DeSantis in April.

A homeowner from Naples filed a similar complaint about this particular roofer with the Office of Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody.

In the complaint, obtained by 8 On Your Side, the homeowner wrote, “Our property suffered no storm damage … This company has hung doors all over our neighborhood.”

8 Your side has contacted the roofing company to get their support. In a statement, the company’s founder said, “we pride ourselves on educating property owners” and that many consumers are “unknown” to roof damage.

Lawmakers in general, in general, inflated claims have cost us all. Sometimes, the business crosses the line to defraud.

During a press conference in Clearwater on May 4, 8 On Your Side asked Governor Ron DeSantis for a solution.

“You have created a task force to combat election-related fraud. Many legislators told me there was a big, big scam in another area: The property insurance market. Are you in favor of creating a task force to combat property insurance fraud? ‘ Investigator Mahsa Saeidi asked.

“We are doing a special session! So you asked about that and we are doing it,” said Governor DeSantis. “We have big problems with how this market works. And so I would love to see anti-cheat measures. If you look at how Florida does… in the most recent numbers, we represent 8% of property insurance lawsuits nationwide but we account for 78% of lawsuits nationwide. And so all those costs will drive up the rate. In fact, companies are failing and certainly some have made some mistakes. But we need to have a situation where if some company increases your rate you will have four or five other options to choose from and so they really have to compete for your business. We don’t have that now. We’re going to do a session to try to work that out. “

“There’s absolutely a lot of fraud, there’s no doubt about that,” he added. “And look, at the end of the day, the sufferers are just our basic hosts. It hurts a lot of old people. But we have fundamental problems with this system and you need to work it out. We’re moving forward, I want to try as hard as I can and I want to get it done. “

In a memo sent to colleagues Friday, Representative Jay Trumbull, Chairman of the Appropriations Committee, outlined measures to prevent fraud. The House proposal “limits the attorney fee multiplier in property insurance cases by allowing them to be awarded only in rare and exceptional circumstances,” Trumbull wrote.

The bills also aim to eliminate attorney fee awards in lawsuits involving Assignment of Interest (AOB) cases. In AOB cases, the homeowner transfers the claim right or interest to a third party contractor.

The legislators also want to require contractors, in their referendum text, to include the following statements: “Consumers are responsible for paying any deductions,” and “Fraud Practices.” Insurance can be punished as a felony if you knowingly file a claim that contains false, fraudulent or misleading information. “

Meanwhile, Ms. Metz has been upgrading her roof. She chose another company and her pocketbook dropped.

“It was completed yesterday, that was at my expense, not the insurance company,” Ms. Metz said.

If you have property insurance tips or if you’ve been scammed and want to share your story, email Investigator Mahsa Saeidi at Homeowners insurance crisis: Tampa Bay woman reports roofer who told her she had storm damage

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