Want Break On Insurance Bill? House Will Have To Pose
TALLAHASSEE — Sam Miller has good reason to keep his house as indestructible as possible.
As one of Florida’s top insurance gurus, he knows reinforced roof, thicker drywall, even a couple of hurricane shutters can lower his monthly bill.
It takes a private inspector to certify it all.
But with a vote by the Florida Cabinet Tuesday, now those inspections have to include photos.
Miller says many inspectors have been willing to certify homes in no condition to get a discount.
“”I’m gonna make sure that the discount that you get on your insurance policy covers my fee and you still make money.’ So, when they make a promise like that and they haven’t even seen the house, well, you have to be concerned,” said Miller, Florida Insurance Council.
Up and down the state, there could be untold millions of dollars in fraud taking place, all based on the premise that if it’s on paper, it must be true. But a picture doesn’t lie.
That’s why Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink voted for the crackdown. Sink argues when inspectors lie, we all pay.
“What the insurance companies do is they just take the cost of that fraud and put it right on the backs of the premiums of the honest property owners,” Sink said.
They may not be very glamorous, but they’re portraits of the truth. And if you want a break in your bill, your house will have to pose.
Insurance industry advocates say there have even been reports of drive-by and telephone inspections. But, they also point out the majority of Florida’s inspection companies already include photos in their reports.