Friday, October 7, 2011

Allegedly Faulty Roof, Force-Placed Insurance Could Drive Financially Strapped Homeowner Into Foreclosure; New Insurer Rule Requires Inspection

In New Port Richey, Florida, The Tampa Tribune reports:

  • Jeff Zilinski says he can't afford to replace his roof until he gets his income tax return next year. But it may be too late by then. If he doesn't have a new roof by Oct. 28, his insurance company, Citizens Property Insurance Corp, says it won't renew his policy. If that happens, Zilinski's mortgage company would assign him insurance that could cost triple the amount he pays now.

  • "I work paycheck to paycheck, like most people I know," Zilinski said. "I just got out of bankruptcy. I'm not behind on my mortgage, and this company is going to make me lose my home."

  • Zilinsky is one of thousands across Florida who have had to pass a roof inspection before getting a policy renewal with Citizens, the state's insurer of last resort. Anyone with a home 25 years old or older must get an inspection and prove to Citizens that their roof is expected to last at least three more years.

  • Replacing a roof on a typical home can cost several thousand dollars. In Zilinsky's case, he got four estimates on his 1,200 square-foot-home, and he said the best price was about $5,000.

  • The relatively new requirement for the roof inspection has some customers letting their insurance lapse, local insurance agents said. That decision could push Florida's already high foreclosure rate even higher.

For more, see Citizens Insurance roof rule may cost man his home.

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