Like A Good Neighbor?

Real Estate Agent with Scott Ingraham Real Estate Group

Historically, Florida has been known for a few specific things. 

We are the Spring Break capital.  Any college football fan can't deny our talent for producing great players all over the State.  Just this year, one of our very own was the youngest player ever to be awarded the Heisman Trophy.  Ask any 4 year old where Disney World is and he can tell you. 

Oh, and hurricanes.  We have those, too.  Hurricane

Since 2005 when hurricanes ravished our State, insurance companies all over the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts have gone into panic mode.  Rates for homeowners have sky-rocketed...that is, if they didn't drop you entirely.

Enter State Farm Insurance.  Probably one of the most well-known insurance companies in America.  Well, minus Florida. 

Need car insurance?  Health or life insurance?  Great.  They've got you covered.  But you're left out if you own a home.  Sorry.

Fast FoodThis reminds me of a commercial that Burger King runs.  People go up to the speaker at the drive-thru window and are told Burger King no longer serves the Whopper.  What?  Isn't that what they're known for?  What good is a fast-food restaurant without their specialty food item? 

Now, if that really happened, Burger King would probably go out of business pretty quickly.  People would just stop going there if their favorite menu item was no longer available.  And what would happen if Florida was the only state that Burger King no longer served the Whopper?   CNN would be camped out in our back yards!

But for some reason, State Farm doesn't seem to think it should be a big deal they've taken away our "Whopper."  They still believe they deserve a piece of the pie anyway, with the other types of insurances they offer us. 

While I'm on a roll with these food analogies, I'll throw in one more.  Should insurance agencies be allowed to carry out business as a buffet line, where we are only allowed to choose from whatever they've decided to serve us? 

I say no.  Why should Floridians continue to give money to a company who doesn't believe we're deserving of the full menu? 

We can all agree that businesses are in business to make money, right?  But it's my understanding that State Farm can be found in all states.   Over the past ten years, Tennessee has been hit with more tornadoes than I can count.  Betcha they still offer homeowners insurance there, don't they?

In any business dealings, the day I feel like I have to beg anyone to take my money is the day I walk away from that company and never look back.  And that's what we Floridians need to do.  Change car insurance companies, life insurance, etc.   If State Farm is so worried about losing money on us, they don't deserve one dime of what we work for.

Come on, State Farm.   We don't care if you go away mad...we just want you to go away.  Faster than the wind speeds of those hurricanes that have your wallets so scared.

Comments (2)

Darcy Rockwell
eMortgage LLC - Latham, NY
Mortgage Consultant

Terrible what big business controls

Jun 11, 2008 03:14 AM
Thomas Bradley
Century21 Select Group - Lake Harmony, PA

I agree that you have the option and the RIGHT to not spend your money with a company who does not provide the services you think appropriate.  Many companies have felt my "wrath" from this process - probably to little avail, in hindsight.  But an organized thrust to make the point may have an impact.  Good luck with the idea, I hope you succeed.

Having said that, there is also a school of thought that most people (those in the insurance pool which are not subject to the continual natural catastrophy issue) should not be paying for where some people (those who are in that area) choose to live.  This is perhaps more true for flood plains, coastal areas, steep slope areas, overly dry areas prone fire damage, etc since the people there really choose to be there for the view, access to the beach etc and even pay a "premium" in higher real estate costs for that opportunity.  However, after damage and subsequent payment of costs from insurance, they most likely will rebuid right back where the known problem is.  The question is - is that a wise economic choice given what we know about an area's tendency for such disasters?  And should the remaining public pay for the person to continually rebuild on an often beautiful (but dangerous) site?  

Clearly, all areas have potential for natural disaster and clearly that should be protected against by the home owner.  The question comes to mind, though - need that be through insurance policies only or through careful planing by the property owner through home location and financial planning for such choices as well?  Should policies say we'll pay you this time but if you choose to rebuild, the future is on you?  How do we balance the competing interests of the two groups of people?

Having taken both sides of the question, this could also be applied to health care and risky behavior, auto insurance and risky driving etc etc.  Look forward to reading other's comments on Scott's post.

Jun 11, 2008 03:31 AM