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Archive for May, 2014|Monthly archive page

Believe it or Not, Insurances Rates Decline – a Little

In Insurance, Insurance Costs, Insurance News, Insurance Rates on May 16, 2014 at 1:32

Property insurance rates are on the decline after steadily increasing for Florida homeowners over the past eight years.  Even without the widespread devastation associated with a major storm or hurricane system hitting the state, rates have climbed.

Now, reports show a reduction, primarily tied to reduced rates for reinsurance.  The rate decrease, which is anywhere between 2.4 to 9.2 percent, is helping relieve Floridians homeowners who already pay twice the national average in property insurance premiums.

Although many claim that this decrease is not enough, it could be a beginning to some long awaited relief in the continuous escalation in rates.  Advocates believe the problem isn’t simply hurricanes but also sinkholes – and consumers themselves.  The ubiquity of fraud only hurts homeowners.

With Mother Nature’s help and a focus on reducing frivolous lawsuits, homeowner insurance rates can decline.

Read more here. 

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Florida Lawmakers Pass Homeowners’ Rights Bill With Credit Restriction

In Florida Legislation, homeowner's insurance, Homeowners' Policy, Insurance on May 6, 2014 at 1:32

A homeowners’ rights bill with credit restrictions on insurers is on its way to Florida’s Gov. Rick Scott’s desk for approval. The bill, SB 708, unanimously passed the Florida House and would require insurers to create a “homeowner claims bill of rights” so policy holders are aware of what to expect when filling a claim. The initiative became a top priority for Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater after thousands of calls were made to his office over confusion on how to file a claim.

The bill also includes a provision that prevents insurers in Florida from using credit information to deny a claim or cancel a policy that have been in effect for more than 90 days. This provision came out of a dispute between regulators and one of Florida’s largest insurance companies.

Read the Insurance Journal article. 

Florida House Rejects Proposal that was Narrowly Passed by Senate

In Florida, Florida Legislation, homeowner's insurance, Homeowners' Policy on May 5, 2014 at 1:32

The Florida House rejected a proposal that the Florida Senate had passed the week before. The proposal would have allowed homeowners seeking coverage from Citizens Property Insurance to be shifted to out-of-state insurers. With the rejection from the House, this provision has now been stripped from Senate Bill 1672.

The concern: out -of-state and private surplus line insurance companies are not subjected to the same regulations as those that are based in Florida. The reality: this could have been another option for homeowners, and plenty of Florida residents already use these types of insurers. The result: This issue is dead for this year’s session, which means there will be no major changes in the way policies are shifted away from Citizens.

Whether this is a positive development for policyholders and insurers remains to be seen.

To view the full bill information click here.