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Thursday, January 29, 2009

News Notes: Ginn quits all golf sponsorships, and more...

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    Ginn again:  The troubled Ginn Resorts announced yesterday that it was giving up sponsorship of the Ginn LPGA Open and the Champions' Tour Ginn Championship, both slated for Florida in April.  Florida is home not only to Ginn corporate offices (Orlando) but also to Ginn's Hammock Beach property, one of the few Ginn resorts that has escaped the flotsam and jetsam of Ginn's default on a $670 million loan from Credit Suisse.  In recent months, Ginn has been forced to shed properties in the Carolinas and Florida, and last year it bowed out of sponsorship of the Ginn Sur Mer tournament on the PGA tour...
    State Farm waves goodbye:  State Farm Insurance Company has
State Farm's request for a 47% hike in premiums was rejected.

announced it is dropping homeowner policies in the state of Florida because it was prevented from charging high enough rates to cover potential losses from hurricanes.  State Farm had argued for a 47% hike last year that was rejected by Florida regulators.  The State Farm decision leaves its 700,000 policyholders in the state to search for alternative coverage; however, in recent years, small insurers have entered the market to fill the gap left by big insurers, albeit at larger annual premiums...
    PURE salvation?  One of those insurers is Privilege Underwriters Reciprocal Exchange, the length of whose name reflects the value of many of the homes it insures.  PURE writes policies for expensive homes in Florida and South Carolina and recently received licenses to do the same in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Washington, D.C., according to today's Wall Street Journal.  One South Carolina homeowner indicated his 4,000 square foot home near the coast is insured for more than $1 million for an insurance premium of $7,000 annually...
    More bad news for Florida:  Mortgage insurer PMI Group predicted recently that at least one quarter of U.S. housing markets will see lower prices in two years.  According to the PMI survey, Greater Miami, Lake Havasu-Kingman, AZ, and Cape Coral-Ft. Myers, FL run the greatest risk of lower prices than today.  The lowest risk of home price declines are in Pittsburgh, greater Houston and Dallas-Fort Worth...
    Aces Wild:  If you have participated in charity golf tournaments and
The state of Connecticut fined the insurer $5.9 million for peddling hole-in-one insurance without a license.

dreamed of a hole in one that might earn you the brand new car parked adjacent to the green, then consider this cautionary tale.  Kevin Kolenda, a Connecticut businessman, played 12,500 to 1 odds -- the odds of scoring an ace --  and lost $5.9 million.  That is the amount the state of Connecticut charged the unlicensed Kolenda, who had been told by the state in 2001 to stop selling the insurance.  Talk about a toxic combination of bad luck and stupidity:  Golfers at two of the tournaments Kolenda sold insurance to aced the par 3s for a total of $60,000 in prizes.  In commenting on the huge size of the fine, a Hartford Courant editorial said, "State regulators are using a driver when a seven iron would have done the job just fine."  Tell that to the organizations that had to pony up the prizes for the aces.

Read 2677 times Last modified on Thursday, 29 January 2009 04:51
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Larry Gavrich

This blog was conceived and is published by me, Larry Gavrich, a former corporate communications executive who founded HomeOnTheCourse, LLC, in 2005.  Our firm advises baby boomers and others seeking a lifestyle in which golf is a major component.  My wife Connie and I own a home in Connecticut (not on a golf course) and a condo at Pawleys Plantation in Pawleys Island, SC, on a Jack Nicklaus layout.  We began our search for our home on the course more than 15 years ago, and the challenges of the search inspired me to research golf communities and write objective reviews of them.

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