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Archive for May, 2013|Monthly archive page

What’s Happening in the Florida Legislature

In Florida Legislation, homeowner's insurance, Hurricanes, Insurance News on May 31, 2013 at 1:32

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With so many issues spinning around the legislature while Florida lawmakers are in session, homeowner insurance is front and center – or at least way up on the list.  Insurance News Report follows the fray, with an article titled “Lawmakers aim to take action before hurricanes cause financial ruin.”  True, Florida hasn’t had a severe storm in eight years, but it’s only a matter of time – everyone agrees.   Hurricane Sandy made its way up the coast to an unprepared Northeast – but Florida will not be in the same position.

For more information on the legislative session, click here.

Fire Trucks and Clipboards

In Florida Property Insurance, Insurance Industry, News Article on May 24, 2013 at 1:32

When fire fighters get the initial call, public adjusters are not far behind them. Public adjusters are present and their chief goal is to get money.  Lauderhill Fire-Rescue lieutenant Jerry Gonzalez says, “They are very aggressive…We’ve had to warn residents to be careful of these guys”. In simper terms, among the group at the fire scenes are public adjusters who promise to guide you through the trapeze of an insurance-claim process. They listen to police scanners to get informed about the incidents and then they typically blend themselves into the crowd at the scene in order to persuade people that they need additional assistance.

Public adjusters are generally allowed to charge 10 percent to 20 percent of a claim payout. Prior to 2004, there were fewer than 400 licensed public adjusters, but according to the states department of financial services, the number of registered adjusters has flourished to more than 2,000. Multiple laws have been enacted to help fix this problem but people continue to complain. “There are bad public adjusters out there,” Boardman said. “But a good public adjuster is going to make sure that the money that is recovered from the insurance company is there for you to get back in your house. Victims can’t do this by themselves.” Opinions regarding this issue and the steps people take to overcome it remain diverse.

For more details read the Sun-Sentinel article here. 

Work by Unlicensed Contractors

In homeowner's insurance, Insurance News on May 22, 2013 at 1:32

Work by unlicensed contractors has been on the upswing in Southwest Florida for several years, part of a Great Recession-inspired shift that has pushed licensed firms to other parts of the country.

Those working with contractors who have lost their jobs and are unlicensed are doing work on the side. Officials acknowledge that some homeowners willingly work with unlicensed contractors to save money, since those workers charge less by avoiding liability insurance, workers’ compensation, permits and other overhead.

Issues arise in questions of insurance coverage. Defective workmanship is not covered by most homeowner’s insurance policies, and homeowners may be liable for damages suffered by the unlicensed contractors.

Homeowners must be wary. According to Alan Anderson, executive vice president of the Home Builders Association of Manatee-Sarasota, “You’re trying to save a few dollars. But in the majority of cases, you are not getting the highest quality and safest job. And when they are gone, you have no recourse.”

Read more here.

Cap on Public Adjusters Fees Lifted

In Florida Legislation, Florida Property Insurance, Insurance law, Insurance News, News Article on May 17, 2013 at 1:32

Florida lawmakers have repealed a 10 percent cap on fees paid to public adjusters who handle claims from the state-backed property insurer. The new law will certainly impact new claims, new lawsuits and the upcoming storm season in numerous ways. One specific instance is that this new law requires public adjusters to meet with the insurer and try to settle the claim as opposed to refusing to meet the insurer and forcing the claim into court.

According to Claims Journal, “The Department of Financial Services currently licenses some 33,000 resident adjusters and 51,500 non-resident adjusters. Out of those, there are roughly 15,000 independent adjusters who live in the state and 16,000 who do business in the state but resided elsewhere.”   There’s a significant population that this impacts.