Your many articles and editorials (“Make rate cuts mandatory”) on the 2012 Personal Injury Protection auto insurance legislation have noted that it provides for a premium reduction in exchange for restrictions on PIP coverage. Given that, I was surprised when my recent renewal notice contained not a reduction but an increase in the PIP premium of 19.8 percent.
I was even more surprised when my agent professed to know nothing about the law. Another agent I spoke to opined that there would be no reduction until, and if, the insurance companies realized decreased expenditures as a result of the law. This is another example of legislation that benefits insurance carriers but makes consumer relief optional. So I could not agree more with your position that rate cuts should be made mandatory.
PIP a bad law that should be changed
If you are involved in an accident and injure or kill someone, you better have bodily injury protection coverage, but Florida does not require it. PIP is required. This is a bad law and should be changed.
I can’t remember the last time I saw a renewal premium with a decrease on auto or homeowners insurance. This year, my renewal premiums on auto saw increases on all coverages. Are these increases justified? I don’t think so. I have been in the insurance business for more than 45 years and am past president of the Independent Insurance Association of Palm Beach County.
Insurance firms did not surprise
Is anyone surprised that the latest handout to the insurance industry has not mean the big savings promised to Florida consumers (“Lawmaker rips firm on PIP”)? Does anyone think that the companies would voluntarily lower their rates?
The legislators in Tallahassee give the insurance companies free rein to rake us over the coals every chance they get. The insurance business model is pure genius. You charge the client the maximum dollar for a service that you will do everything in your power not to provide.
West Palm Beach
Vote ‘yes’ on lower height limits in Lake Worth
Regarding the article “Voters to say whether city stays low-rise”: In addition to enabling the disappearance of the small-town character of downtown Lake Worth, the city commission’s raising of the height limit in our comprehensive plan to 65 feet for the Lake and Lucerne avenue corridors would likely result in higher taxes for our residents, since Florida requires any revenue from additional development in this area to go to the Community Redevelopment Agency and none to our general fund to pay for the concurrency required for the development our commissioners are espousing.
Tourists come to Florida for historic areas, and to feel the calming effect of the natural beauty of sky and open water, not to look at condos or modern hotels. This is why citizens gathered the required signatures to lower the height limits to 45 feet and 35 feet. The commission went against the expressed desires of citizens that had been outlined in five years of charettes and approved by the Planning and Zoning Board, the Historic Preservation Board and this Commission in January 2012.
We look forward to a YES vote on Amendment 2 on March 12.
Editor’s note: Laurence McNamara is chairman of Citizens Come First.
Pre-funding mandate has hurt USPS
The U.S. Postal Service’s proposal to eliminate Saturday mail delivery is not a done deal.
The idea that eliminating a day of delivery is the answer for survival is shortsighted and wrong. Losing Saturdays would be harmful to small businesses, rural communities, the elderly, the disabled, and many others. The Postal Service lacks legal authority to end Saturday delivery. It would take Congressional action.
The Postal Service’s red ink has nothing to do with postal operations, email or electronic diversions. The loss of billions of dollars you read about is directly related to the pre-funding mandate that was imposed upon the USPS in 2006. The USPS is mandated by Congress to do something that no other agency or company is required to do. It is mandated to pre-fund retiree health benefits 75 years in advance and do so in 10 years. This equates to a $ 5.5 billion payment each year for benefits of employees who haven’t been born yet. This mandate accounted for the $ 11 billion loss in fiscal year 2012.
If our lawmakers address and fix this unfair pre-funding mandate, rather then allow the reduction of service to businesses and their customers, everyone will benefit.
West Palm Beach
Editor’s note: Rick Abbarno is president of the National Association of Letter Carriers Branch 1690, which covers Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast.
Intense Crossfit not for everyone
I was appalled by the article, “Crossfit taking hold in Palm Beach County.” As a former Crossfitter, I found this article to extremely misleading.
I began Crossfit classes about a year ago, an extremely active girl in my mid-30s. My Crossfit and “active” lifestyle officially ended this past October when I was diagnosed with a herniated extruded lumbar disk. I can’t believe that the owner of BGI Fitness can say that she hasn’t seen a Crossfit-related injury in five years. Crossfit is not for everyone. It is extremely dangerous unless you are under close supervision.
I was supposedly trained under one of the best Crossfitters in the nation, and look at me now — more than $10,000 in medical bills and weekly physical therapy just so I can resume somewhat of a “normal” life. I can’t sit for an extended period of time, let alone exercise as I once did. Thanks, Crossfit.
Physical therapists and orthopedists love Crossfit. It keeps them in business. Please urge readers that if they choose to try Crossfit, do a lot of research before diving in. Make sure you have perfect form and are willing to accept the consequences if you get hurt.
Yes, there was a great camaraderie with Crossfit, and it is extremely addicting. The camaraderie ended the day I got injured. I have yet to hear from any one of my former Crossfit buddies or the owners of the gym.
Palm Beach Gardens
New rail service not necessary
I read with interest again about the All Aboard Florida passenger rail line (“Rail company confirms downtown station.”) I do not understand why we would need another train that goes to Miami and/or Orlando. Tri-Rail goes to Miami and Amtrak goes to Orlando. Both can be boarded conveniently in West Palm Beach and Lake Worth.
I would think that residents in the high-rise condos would object to more train noise in their area. Just think of all the construction work in that area for a long time. I cannot see any advantage to this project, except maybe to provide jobs for construction workers.
Lake Clarke Shores
Banks helping themselves, not homeowners
It is almost not news anymore. Yet another case of bank fraud, committed by the banks themselves, is discovered (“Mortgage relief not keeping many in homes.”)
In March of last year, the banking industry bought what some call a $25 billion “Get Out of Jail Free” card. Bank of America, Ally Financial, CitiMortgage, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo agreed to pay this for their foreclosure-related offenses. The money was to be used to keep people in their homes and bankers out of jail.
Although more than $7.7 billion has flowed into Florida, only about 12 percent of that has actually been used for the intended purpose. The rest has been used to credit back to the lenders the deficiency judgments that result in short sales or foreclosures. In reality, the banks had already been waiving these deficiencies anyway. Seeking a deficiency judgment was often a no-win situation for everyone and the reason banks normally waived the right to seek one.
The banks are simply using the settlement money as another form of a bailout. Obviously, this settlement has done nothing to rehabilitate these criminals. Maybe it is time to try prison cells.
Editor’s note: Jim Weix is owner/broker of The Real Estate Co.-Treasure Coast, Inc.