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Port St. Lucie homeowner says trying to go solar caused insurance headache

Dispute about solar panels leaves Bob Treon uninsured during hurricane season
Posted at 11:40 AM, Sep 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-19 11:58:34-04

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — For Bob Treon, a single dad, packing lunches is one thing, but taking punches from homeowners insurance companies is wearing him out.

Treon's nightmare began earlier this summer. Like so many Florida homeowners, he started shopping around when he was notified his policy was about to nearly triple.

"I let Progressive know that I was dropping them and moving onto State Farm," Treon said.

But then came the second punch. The homeowner was told he had to get a new roof when he started looking into solar panels as a way to save long-term.

Treon said the roofer filed a claim with his old policy provider since the hurricane and hail damage happened under them. However, it was his new carrier, which had already received his initial payment, that threw the surprising blow.

"It says State Farm won't be issuing the policy as requested as a result of this claim on Aug. 10," Treon said.

Treon figured State Farm's risk was going to be reduced because of a new roof. He said when he contacted the company, he was told State Farm would not take him back.

Now at the height of hurricane season and no insurance, Treon said his mortgage company just informed him it will insure his house, but not his belongings. It makes him wonder if he needs to pack more than just his daughter's lunch.

"It's very, very discouraging. This is kind of where I thought I was going to spend the rest of my life and now I'm saying maybe I going to move or something," Treon said.

WPTV contacted State Farm. The company would not talk about specifics citing its privacy policy. A representative said that while a home may meet the initial eligibility and coverage is typically provided during the underwriting process, by state statute, carriers still have 60 days to accept or reject the application.