South Florida Property insurance premium rising this year? The federal government would help pay it, under a proposal announced Monday by congressional hopeful Ron Klein. Bedner said he’s worried he’ll have to sell his house because his monthly payment is going up $500, largely because of insurance increases.
‘We’ve really, really fought for this house … ,’ said Bedner, who had called Klein’s office seeking help. ‘We just don’t really want to lose it.’’
Klein, a term-limited state senator and Democrat from Boca Raton, is in a heated race for Congressional District 22, where Fort Lauderdale Republican Clay Shaw has been in office since 1981. The election is Nov. 7. Klein had already suggested property owners should get federal tax write-offs for money they spend fortifying their homes against hurricanes. His new proposal is that homeowners be allowed to write off part of their property insurance premium on their federal taxes as well.
Klein did not suggest how much of the premium would be eligible under his proposal, or what the cost would be to the federal government. He began airing a new TV ad in Broward and Palm Beach counties on the insurance topic Monday.
Shaw said he’s worried about property insurance, too. After a fundraiser last week featuring House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., he said Florida’s economy is at risk.
‘If we get hit with a major hurricane here, this economy is going to be in a world of trouble,’ Shaw said.
Hastert said he agreed with Shaw that the federal government should supply a financial ’safety net’’ for insurance companies. He said the idea needs ‘more hearings’’ in Congress. Home insurance prices are a key election issue this year, particularly in District 22, a mostly coastal area with a history of hurricanes. The district covers the coast from roughly Fort Lauderdale in Broward County, north to Jupiter in Palm Beach County, with some inland pockets in both counties. Voters can look at their voter identification cards to find their districts. U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, D-New York, flew down for Klein’s news conference and called his idea ‘one of the best that I have heard on this issue.’’
If government can afford $2 billion in tax credits to help oil companies drill off Florida’s coast, Israel said, it can find money to help homeowners write off some of their property insurance premiums. Israel serves on the House Financial Services Committee, which has authority over insurance issues.
SOURCE: South Florida Sun-Sentinel