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Florida Insurance Commissioner Says Chinese Drywall Not Covered Under Homeowners’ Policies

Chinese drywall is not a covered peril under homeowners’ insurance polices, according to the Florida Insurance Commissioner. Speaking to state legislators, Kevin McCarty warned that insurers have no obligation to cover defective Chinese drywall.

The U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has received about 1,897 reports from residents in 30 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico concerning Chinese drywall. Gases emitted from Chinese drywall are being blamed for significant property damage, including damage to HVAC systems, smoke detectors, electrical wiring, metal plumbing components, and other household appliances. These gases also produce a sulfurous odor that permeates homes, and cause metals, including air conditioning coils and even jewelry, to corrode.

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Citizens Gets 5.4 Percent Florida Insurance Rate Hike

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — State-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has won approval to raise rates by an average of 5.4 percent for homeowner coverage that includes hurricane damage, except in high-risk coastal areas where premiums will be revised later.

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced new rates Friday for 719,000 policies of various types including 350,000 homeowners. They will go into effect Jan. 1.

McCarty also approved average statewide increases of 8.8 percent for residential rental properties, 1.7 percent for mobile homeowners, 2.1 percent for commercial mobile home physical damage and 10.2 percent for residential condominium associations.

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Collision Repair Costs Found to Increase In Third Quarter

The average vehicle crash damage repair on an adjusted basis increased $164 in the third quarter, according to an electronic processing provider for the collision industry.

San Diego-based Mitchell International said in the third quarter average gross appraisal value for comprehensive coverage estimates processed through company servers was $2,468 compared to $2,356 in the same period for 2008.

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