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From The St. Petersburg Times:

IT'S HARD TO SELL A HOUSE IN THESE INSURANCE CONDITIONS

By Julie DePiro
Letter - September 03, 2006

My husband and I had lived in Florida for the past eight years and recently moved to North Carolina. There were many factors that made us decide it was time to leave Florida, but one in particular is the insurance situation.

In the past seven years, we have seen our homeowners insurance go from $500 a year to our most recent bill of $5,400 per year. Our home is in New Port Richey in an area that has never had sinkhole problems. We have not had hurricane problems. We have never made any type of claim on our home. We have had our house on the market for almost five months, dropped the price several times (there are 11 homes in our neighborhood for sale and we are the cheapest) and no buyers.

Our real estate agent has told us that part of the problem for many sellers, not just us, is that people want to buy, but when they get the insurance quote, it is too expensive.

What really bothers me about this is that no one in Tallahassee seems to care. I don't think they ever cared. This is a problem that has been a long time coming, but nothing was every done about it. People feel very helpless and it should not have to be this way. I don't even write to the governor anymore because his "standard reply" e-mail just clogs up my in-box. I can only pray that my house sells soon because, for many of us, that is the only way out.

Julie DePiro, Raleigh, N.C.