Years ago (prior to the exodus of real insurance companies selling homeowners insurance in Florida), we had two instances of our vehicles being broken into and valuable items stolen. In both instances we were fully compensated, minus the deductible. On top of that, in one of those thefts, Denise’s purse was stolen, and it had $500 cash. Although there was a clause that did not cover cash being lost/stolen outside of the home, the insurance company (State Farm) accepted the stolen $500 as our deductible.
Unfortunately, we no longer have good insurance, and neither do many others. I suggest for everybody to have a conversation with their insurance agents because you probably do NOT have insurance that will cover anything, or not enough to make it worthwhile.
In 2011 I was hit by an elderly man who ran a stop sign. I required extensive surgery to fix the index finger of my left hand and the vehicle was totaled. The man had the minimum insurance required by law. With medical bills and replacing the truck, we lost about $10,000.
In 2012 Topical Storm Debbie flooded our property in the Osceola National Forest and the “replacement truck” was a total loss due to flooding. Our neighbors did not have flood insurance, and they had not out of pocket expenses, after FEMA grants were issued. When all was said and done, we lost another $10,000. (Seems to be a pattern developing…).
In 2014 Denise was rear-ended by another vehicle. The man was without insurance. Our insurance paid to fix the car, but our auto insurance rates increased by 20% and our deductible went from $500 to $1,000. At least we were not out $10,000 this time, up front…
In August of 2019 our house in Palm Bay was burglarized. We were lucky in the fact that the thieves did not vandalize the house. We also could have lost a lot more. There were a few bizarre items taken (e.g., an embroidered pillow, couch cover, etc.), but the thieves were after jewelry, pharmaceuticals (They didn’t get any!), and firearms. The loss this time was over $10,000.
When we called our insurance agent, we were surprised to learn that he did not have our home insurance (that is for a different rant), so we contacted the insurance company directly. When we filed the claim, the adjuster kept saying “limits.” We were confused, because our policy has $65,000 of personal property insurance; so, we contacted the agent of record (in Tampa) and he explained that insurance companies have limits on certain items. In our policy the limit on jewelry is $1,000 (to replace Denise’s diamond stud earrings alone is over this limit) and the limit on firearms is $2,000 (two of the stolen firearms have replacement values over $2,000 each). In addition, we have a $2,500 deductible. Thus, we would have received approximately $500 if we had pursued the claim.
We chose to withdraw the claim because the agent explained that Florida has a registry system and any “non-act-of-God” claim is reported to a database, and if you have a claim it becomes very difficult to buy homeowners insurance. In other words, even if you use the insurance, then you possibly lose by paying more for insurance or not being able to get insurance.
Ergo, there are three inevitabilities in life: taxes, death, and being screwed by an insurance company. With taxes, at least we get some benefits (e.g., Social Security); but with insurance, the only benefit seems to be making people in the insurance industry richer.