BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. – Elected officials in Brevard County held a townhall meeting Wednesday evening to speak with homeowners and discuss possible solutions for ongoing insurance issues.
Florida state representative Randy Fine — along with Florida Senate Majority Leader Debbie Mayfield — listened to concerns from residents before they head back to Tallahassee for a special session set for later this month.
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Several Melbourne city officials also sat on the panel.
Residents spoke about insurance companies pushing homeowners to replace roofs before they needed replacing.
“I don’t know what we are going to do. I wanted to see if there are any resources out there that could help us financially pay for our insurance — barring putting a GoFundMe page up,” a resident said.
Elderly and disabled residents told the panel how fixed incomes and other vulnerabilities put them more at risk for losing their homes if they are not able to come up with the money to keep their insurance policies.
The legislators in attendance said widespread insurance fraud throughout Florida has significantly increased expenses paid out by insurance companies, who in return said premiums have been increased to cover those costs.
“Compel companies to list the names of clients for whom they have denied claims. Then, the homeowners that have been denied can find each other and do a class action lawsuit,” suggested another resident.
Fine said a combination of fraudulent claims and attorneys collecting a record amount in fees will both be discussed by the legislature during the special session.
“There are attorneys who are out helping people who aren’t getting paid, and then there are absolutely attorneys who take advantage of the situation with frivolous claims,” Fine said.
With the special session yet to begin, Fine encouraged anyone who feels they are being treated unfairly or suspects fraud with their insurance claims to contact their representatives to investigate the issue.
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