Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

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Search results for "property insurance" ...

  • Florida's Insurance Nightmare

    Six years after eight hurricanes ripped across Florida, state residents still struggle to recover from the storms' legacy - a wrecked property insurance market. Exorbitant premiums, the highest in the world, have soured the state's struggling economy, killed real estate sales and forced families from their homes. Homeowners were told that unless they paid even more, no insurance company would take their hurricane risk. The Herald-Tribune showed that is a lie. Floridians have been lied to about why there is a crisis, where their money is going, and whether they're even protected against storm losses. Public policy has been corrupted by fiction spun by the insurance industry and its supposed regulators. Billions of dollars desperately needed for the next disaster have been siphoned offshore. And millions of homeowners are left to entrust their financial security on a system rigged to extort profit. To expose the hidden truth of Florida's insurance crisis, St. John cultivated key sources deep within every aspect of the insurance industry and sought massive amounts of financial and policy data from multiple state and national entities. When it became obvious Florida's crisis was manipulated from afar, she traveled to Bermuda and Monte Carlo to discover the hidden players truly in charge.
  • Florida's Insurance Nightmare

    The Herald-Tribune's series about the Florida property insurance market gives Floridians their first look at the risk of the insurance companies on which they rely. "In print and online, readers can see detailed financial information of more than 100 insurance carriers, the capital they have to weather a disaster, the degree to which they are overexposed, and the extent to which they are leveraged. It is the only public source to alert consumers whose homes might be in danger."
  • Insurers Criticized for New Rate Models

    This story investigates property-casualty insurers' use of controversial computer models created by various modeling firms; the computer models use complex data to project potential losses from hurricanes and other natural disasters. But investigative reporting revealed the models can be flawed in their design, in their assumptions or in their application by insurers.
  • Home Insurers Secret Tactics Cheat Fire Victims, Hike Profits

    In this series, the reporters "documented a pattern of deception and abusive practices by the $6.1 trillion insurance industry. The reporters unearthed confidential company documents that showed, along with on-the-record interviews with former agents and regulators, how the entire property insurance industry had changed the way it handles customers, starting in the 1990s."
  • The Insurance Hoax

    The authors explored how the property insurance industry has changed over the last couple of decades and adopted a policy of consistently underpaying policyholders. The authors used internal documents from major insurance companies as well as first person sources to show how insurance agencies are handling claims in ways that pressure policyholders to accept low payments.
  • Storm Surge

    Florida Trend Magazine investigates the stability of Florida's real estate market after Hurricane Opal, and the complex property insurance programs run by both the state and private agencies. The investigation reveals that without major changes in underlying insurance market conditions, the state-run insurer likely will begin growing faster that ever, as overexposed private insurers start canceling and non-renewing policies in earnest.