FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — With financial losses mounting over recent years, insurance companies in Florida are ordering more home inspections. Their aim is to force homeowners to fix potential problems or find justifications to dump risky properties.
John Strautman, owner of an expansive home in Fort Lauderdale’s historic Colee Hammock neighborhood, learned this the hard way several months after switching from his longtime insurance company to one with a lower annual rate.
Strautman was stunned several weeks ago when his new insurer, Sunrise-based Monarch National Insurance, sent him a letter ordering him to remove one of several historic live oak trees surrounding the home he built in 2010. The letter demanded he remove “a large tree within close contact of the dwelling.”
“Please provide color photos showing the tree has been completely removed,” the letter stated. “Requested documentation is required within 15 days to prevent further underwriting action.”