Archive for August, 2013|Monthly archive page

Insurance Reform Bill

In Florida, Florida Legislation, Insurance, Insurance Fraud, Insurance Industry, Insurance law on August 16, 2013 at 1:32

TV stations across the state report on the insurance reform bill – which rejected most changes to current law.

As always, this is an issue in the legislature, and consumers and insurance company’s voices are heard.

The concern for so many insurance companies is the fraud that comes so frequently.  Sam Miller of the Florida Insurance Council notes that companies are in the business of helping those who suffer damage and have all the right policies.  “We want to make sure we pay the legitimate claims but we don’t pay for fraudulent claims.”

As this blog has noted a number of times, fraud is a real concern in the industry and unless it is combatting vigorously, even legitimate cases will be more scrutinized.

Read more here.


Insurance Consumer Advocate Forms Homeowners’ Policy & Claims Bill of Rights Working Group

In homeowner's insurance, Insurance law, Insurance News, Uncategorized on August 13, 2013 at 1:32

Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Smith Westcott has launched a new working group to discuss potential improvements to the homeowners’ insurance claim process. The sole purpose of the working group is to help better serve Florida homeowners who suffer a financial loss.

The idea for the group stemmed from the feedback that Westcott received from a series of Insurance Consumer Forums. The forums provided a platform for Florida homeowners to discuss their experiences with filing a claim.

Unfortunately, many homeowners described long and frustrating processes that impeded their families’ ability to recover.  Westcott stated, “Consumers should not be victimized by poor claims handling and unscrupulous business practices by those seeking to exploit homeowners when they are most vulnerable.”

To learn more about issues that will be discussed by the working group read the Office of The Insurance Consumer Advocate Press Release.

What’s the Story on “Resident Premises?”

In Insurance law, Insurance News, Property Insurance on August 2, 2013 at 1:32

A recent Claims Journal article provides insight and further clarity – or reasons for confusion – regarding the phrase “resident premises.”

According to the report, “An insured must reside at their property to have coverage for damage to their home under an HO form policy. The defense arises out of the typical HO policy’s definition of ‘residence premises,’ and the introductory clause in the building coverage portion of the policy that explains what the insurer covers.

“Insurers previously relied on the ‘vacancy’ exclusion in these circumstances. The ‘vacancy’ exclusion, however, only precludes coverage for homes that are devoid of all contents.”

This definition relates to a case from more than 40 years ago — Hehemann v. Michigan Millers Mut. Ins. Co., 240 So. 2d 851, 854 (Fla. 4th DCA 1970).

Appellate decisions are still in limbo in on the clear directive of “residence premises.”