Insurance company cancels Florida couple’s policy the day before Hurricane Ian



TAMPA, Florida (WFLA) — A Tampa Bay man took a crash course in Florida’s Home Insurance Crisis when Hurricane Ian hit last month.

Many Floridians have had trouble with home insurance, but Tom Colantuono’s experience really takes the cake.

The night before Hurricane Ian hit Florida, Colantuono and his wife were preparing. They were buying supplies and preparing their house when they heard the news that no one wants.

“She was white as a ghost,” he recalls. “She said, ‘We just got canceled by Frontline. “”

The cancellation notice went into effect on October 22, 2022.

It was the second time this year that Colantuono had a canceled policy.

“Tell me why I was cancelled?” Colantuono said during an interview with Nexstar’s WFLA in May.

Colantuono was one of more than 68,000 Floridians canceled by FedNat Insurance Company in May. In July, WFLA spoke to him again when he was confronted with a double whammy.

FEMA has changed its flood maps, which means Colantuono’s flood insurance costs have increased along with its premium. He called Florida’s insurance market “out of control.”

Colantuono contacted the WFLA again recently, concerned about owners’ rights.

“They just can’t cancel our policy the night before a hurricane makes landfall,” he said.

It’s true, they can’t.

When Hurricane Ian hit, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an order to temporarily protect residents. It reads, in part, “from September 28 to November 28, no insurer or other regulated entity may cancel, non-renew or issue notice of cancellation or non-renewal of any policy or contract, except at the written request of the policyholder”.

They can, however, cancel you after the end of the two months. That’s why Colantuono’s agent listed him with another carrier.

“I just found a policy with the citizens,” Colantuono said.

Like a million other Floridians, the state’s insurer of last resort is Colantuono’s only recourse. It’s a Florida insurance story with no happy ending in sight.

The WFLA asked Colantuono if he was worried he might eventually be deported from Florida.

“Of course – this year alone the increases have gone up, probably doubled, almost tripled,” he said.

So why was the company allowed to cancel its policy? Insurance adjusters said the cancellation was likely in the works weeks before Hurricane Ian.

The Office of Insurance Regulation states that any cancellations issued 10 days before Hurricane Ian must be withdrawn.

Residents who have experienced something similar are encouraged to call their agents. The officer will call the business and tell them to withdraw the cancellation, per the state order. However, an officer might just decide it’s best to move your policy.

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