Concerns brought up about possible impending insurance crisis

by Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Jun 06, 2012 - 03:21 PM

Photo: Gwynn’s Island resident Judy Rowe is having a tough time finding insurance on her waterfront home, shown here, after Farm Bureau Insurance told her it was dropping coverage on her property. Below, Rowe looks over all the paperwork she’s compiled during her search. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Gwynn’s Island resident Judy Rowe is having a tough time finding insurance on her waterfront home, shown here, after Farm Bureau Insurance told her it was dropping coverage on her property. Below, Rowe looks over all the paperwork she’s compiled during her search. Photo by Sherry Hamilton

Photo:
Speaking at the May 22 meeting of the Mathews Board of Supervisors, Gwynn’s Island resident Judy Rowe warned of an impending insurance crisis in the county.

Rowe told the board that her 19-year policy with Farm Bureau Insurance had been cancelled, in spite of the fact that her payments had always been made on time, she had filed only minor claims over nearly two decades, and had filed no claims at all in 2011 or for 2003’s Hurricane Isabel or 2006’s Tropical Storm Ernesto.

"Water does not even come up in my yard," she said.

The problem, Rowe explained, is that Farm Bureau lost a lot of money in 2011 because of storms, tornadoes and other natural disasters, and so decided to cancel every policy holder in Virginia who has only property insurance and no other supporting business. This will occur monthly over the next year, she said.

Rowe said that Farm Bureau’s notification had allowed her only 28 business days to find new insurance coverage, and that she had spent endless hours on the telephone, in insurance offices, searching the internet, and writing letters looking for other possibilities. There are 15 insurance companies on the Coastal Insurance Hot Line list, she said, but 12 of them will no longer write insurance within 2,500 feet of the shoreline.