Deal of the Day August 27, 2008

If you’re local to South Florida and don’t already have a Sunpass, now is the time to get one.

I used to hardly ever use mine.  I’d always take the non-toll roads to save money.  But now with the price of gas hovering around $4 it makes sense to take the quickest route…

For a limited time if you buy a Sunpass transponder for $4.99 you get $4.99 in tolls loaded onto it.  So it’s kinda free.  Plus you’ll save 25 cents on all your tolls.

What are you waiting for?

Check back tomorrow for another great deal!

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Florida Residents: Save Money By Combining Citizens Policies

I called my old office last week to get a quote for insurance for my Dad’s new condo. I knew that State Farm would not let him move his policy from the house to the condo – the condo is right on the beach. I also knew he’d need a policy through Citizens Property Insurance Company, the state entity. What I didn’t know was that if you live in Florida and Citizens Property Insurance Company insures you separately for Homeowners and Wind coverage, you may save a bundle by getting these policies combined – something they didn’t used to do.

This could save some people a great deal of moolah.

First let me explain how we got where we are…


The state of Florida started the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA) to provide Windstorm only coverage for people who could not find it through the regular market, specifically Florida’s coastal properties in Monroe County and the Florida Keys. Over time, the FWUA was expanded to include all or parts of 29 of Florida’s 35 coastal counties as insurers grew wary of insuring those properties closest to the coast.


In the wake of Hurricane Andrew the insurance industry was in trouble. Several went out of business and the ones that remained decided to cancel large chunks of their policies to reduce their potential loss exposure in the event of another major hurricane. As a result there was a need to create another residual market for people that were being canceled, as no insurance company was accepting new policies. The people of Florida needed a policy similar to a standard multi-peril Homeowners policy. The Florida Residential Property Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (FRPCJUA) was created in 1992 and was structured similarly to the FWUA. At the same time insurers decided to expand their definition of “coastal” and began excluding windstorm coverage from homeowners policies for millions more. The FWUA was expanded to cover Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties, and Hillsborough and Pinellas counties followed a short time later.


That left people with either:

  • FRPCJUA policy for multi-peril (Homeowners) and wind
  • FRPCJUA policy for multi-peril (Homeowners) and FWUA for wind
  • X Company for multi-peril (Homeowners) and wind (no change)
  • X Company for multi-peril (Homeowners) and FWUA for wind

Got it?


Citizens Property Insurance Corp was created when the Florida legislature passed a law combining the Florida Residential Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (FRPCJUA) and the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association (FWUA). The organizations may have been combined but wind was still written as a separate policy for the next five plus years, so many people had/have a Citizens Homeowners policy AND a Citizens Wind policy. Two policies, two bills, two sets of paperwork (and some have a separate Flood Insurance policy, too!).


On August 1, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation rolled out a new product: one policy that covers both windstorm damage and traditional multi-peril (Homeowners) coverage. The two-for-one coverage is in response to a change in Florida law designed to make Citizens more profitable and less vulnerable to the risk of a catastrophic event. According to Citizens, policyholders who combine their plans could see annual premium savings of up to 10% (When my Dad’s policy was quoted it was more like 20-30%, but his is right on the ocean). Citizens customers who have windstorm coverage through Citizens and multi-peril coverage from a private insurer may also take advantage of the new single policy.

The Bottom Line:

If you have any Citizens Windstorm policy call your insurance agent to see if you can take advantage of the new policy and see how much you’ll save. They don’t just do a price adjustment so you will need to have a new policy written. That means you’ll have to have money available to pay the new premium and then wait to get pro-rated refunds on the old policy(ies), or wait for renewal.

Either way better in your pocket than the state’s.


The preceding information is not advice, it’s just my thoughts and opinions. I’m just a girl on the web, not currently licensed in insurance or anything else in any state. You should absolutely seek the counsel of an insurance agent licensed in your state before taking any action at all. Coverages and programs discussed may or may not be available in your state.

Florida’s Democrats Don’t Get a Vote

Florida Democrats aren’t going to get a do-over primary, and I’m glad.

It’s not that I think their vote shouldn’t count. It bothers me that so many ordinary citizens are going to see their votes mean nothing.

But Florida politicians really gall me. There was no good reason to move up Florida’s primary, except ego. After all, it’s much more important to be one of the first than to honor agreements, or have voters’ votes count.

And Howard Dean galls me. There’s no good reason not to count Florida’s votes, except ego. After all, it’s much more important to be right than than to keep thousands from being disenfranchised.

Who woulda thunk that ego had such a prominent place in politics?

What a Deal! Just Not for YOU, Florida…

I ran across an article titled Publix Penny Products at Pennies to Nickels today (part of the Festival of Frugality) . I was immediately intrigued because Publix is my local grocery store, I already take advantage of many of their coupons and other savings strategies.  If they have some penny products I certainly want to get me some!

Apparently Publix offers these special products on Sundays and Mondays, and if you spend $10 or more you can get the item for a penny. PTN’s article focused on the fact that you don’t usually need the coupon, included in the Sunday newspaper Publix flier, in order to get the deal.

Those of you who are regular readers know that frugality is not just a hobby for me, it’s what feels right. So to miss a special like this, on my home court, is just so very wrong. My first emotion was a little bit like panic. WHAT? Publix has a penny mystery item, and I don’t know about it??????????

Is Hell actually freezing over???

Upon further research, I found out that like double coupons, Publix doesn’t offer the mystery item in Florida. Just…doesn’t.

My near-panic changed to extreme irked-ness.

Why the heck not?

I want to know.

I’ve got my theories about the whole double coupons thing – an obvious conspiracy between Publix and Winn Dixie to keep that savings windfall from Floridians (Oh, no. I’m sounding like Husband now…). I’ve long been unhappy about that.

This new blow to my frugalability has spurred me to action. So, I am going to write an itty bitty e-mail to Publix and see what generic, not-really-addressing-the-question response I’ll get.

I’ll keep you posted.

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