- Posted September 19, 2010 by
Boca Raton, Florida
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Make your case, America!
FLORIDA CITIZENS AT RISK FROM CITIZENS INSURANCE CO.
Florida's government run insurance company, named Citizens, could put you into foreclosure!!!!
I am the owner of a split level duplex in an upscale area of Florida. A Tenant using "Meth" started a fire that destroyed the pool level of one-half of the duplex. Since it is a split-level, and a duplex, that means there are 4 areas of occupancy; two street levels and two pool levels. The Tenant's credit check was perfect, so were his references, including a very good job. Of course, owners have no way of knowing if a Tenant is using drugs, is an alcoholic (which is protected by the 1986 discrimination laws), or has a medical problem for either and has been treated for that problem.
I had surgery 14 hours before the early morning fire and when notified by my manager I was unable to do anything. My manager got all of the other Tenant's out of the building but the Arson Tenant left his dog to die in the fire and never called the fire department to save the other Tenants. He is serving a short jail sentence. God was with us and the Firemen saved the dog and I paid for him to go to the Vet to be taken care of. He is fine.
The day after the fire a man left a card with my manager and he was from an "Insurance Adjusting" company and he said his company would take care of the entire fire, get the insurance company to pay the "correct" price for damages, hire a contractor and handle all money from the insurance company, make sure I had "lien releases" on everything, etc., etc. The company was told to me to be excellent in fire restoration cases and always prevailed. The cost was 10% of the total insurance claim.
I had no choice but to say yes. I knew nothing about insurance fires and I figured the Citizen's Insurance company would repair the unit as cheaply as possible and obvioulsy not with the new applicances, granite, wood cabinents, porcelain floors, etc., that I had just remodeled with.
Today is 12 months later and the unit is the same as the morning it burned.
We just finished going to "Umpire" (what a joke) which is an arbitration and the Umpire looks at the Insurance company's appraisal and the Adjusting company's appraisal and decides on a settlement number for the insurance company to pay to the Owner to settle the claim; and that is final.
Good ole' "Umpie" favored the Citizens Insurance company and I did not get enough money to remodel the unit. "Umpie" did not take into consideration that the other 3 areas of the units were smoke damaged and had already used half of the money he allowed so they could be fixed and the tenants could move back in after the fire.
I cannot sue the government insurance company, by Florida law, and am left by the insurance company with little money although my policy was for the entire building, not just 1/4 of the building.
I say JUSTICE IS A FANTASY and Insurance Companies have a license to STEAL.
This is the first claim I have had in 35 years. It seems that only crooks get ahead in this country, not good, honest, upright citizens that are striving to survive.
What is the answer? There is none. If anyone knows of something that I do not about Florida insurance law, please make a comment. As usual, unless you are powerful, know the right people to "pay off," or have a lot of money, you are "scr???? in this corrupt country. Insurance is a JOKE. We are paying someones salary and not getting any protection!!!