Miami Condo Collapse Raises New Fears About Florida’s Insurance Market


“I want you to move forward with everything that needs to be done to monetize this property so we can get the money into these people,” said Judge Hanzman.

Attorney Brad Sohn, who represents at least one survivor of the collapse, said apartments need to have much broader coverage for something as devastating as a collapse.

“When catastrophic events happen in Florida, there needs to be stricter laws that force people to be financially responsible, to have bigger insurance policies, so people aren’t left to dry out,” said Mr. Sohn.

Susana Alvarez, 62, who survived the collapse of the building and now lives in a rented home, said she was worried she would not be paid for the $150,000 remodel she had done to her unit, including a new kitchen, floors and windows.

“It’s not about the money I paid to own the apartment,” he said. “It’s about how valuable it is now.”

Mr Rosenthal has a similar concern. When he first purchased his 1,560-square-foot unit in 2001, hoping to spend the rest of his life there, he paid $250,000 for it; The unit’s reassessment two years ago set its value at $650,000.

He wants to at least be able to pay off his mortgage, and with that in mind, he’s been involved in one of the few lawsuits against the building’s apartment association. The survivors will look far beyond the building’s limited insurance policy and will “sue anyone and everyone involved,” he said.

Rick Rojas, Mike Baker and Sophie Kasakov contributing reporting.


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