MHC Residents Upset with Insurer

Citizens Property Insurance Corp., created by the state to insure manufactured home owners not eligible for private insurance, is coming under fire from the homeowners for raising premiums while cutting coverage. FloridaToday tells Citizens insures 4,500 of the 4,900 homesites in Barefoot Bay and is now the largest property insurer in the state with 1.5 million policies. The community, located at the southern tip of Brevard County, south and east of Orlando, is the largest MHC in the state, as over 300 MHC residents packed a community center at Barefoot Bay to hear Citizens justify ending coverage for carports and screens while raising premiums an average of ten percent. Many were upset hurricane-hardening measures did not reduce their premiums. Christine Ashburn of Citizens said there were no studies to indicate those measures reduce damage to MH during a hurricane. Monte Stevens with the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, says insurance availability is a major issue for traditional homes as well as MH, and the state is trying to lure more insurers in an attempt to lower premiums. He also says Barefoot Bay has been undercharged in the past. Members of the homeowners association say they will research the possibility of starting their own insurance company.

(Photo credit: FloridaToday/Tim Shortt—MHC residents at meeting)

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