BLOG

Archive for the ‘Florida’ Category

Public Adjusters Continue to Expand

In Florida, homeowner's insurance, Homeowners' Policy, Insurance on September 23, 2014 at 1:32

If you follow this blog, you’ll know that there is skepticism about some public adjusters.  While there are of course good, honest people in every occupation, homeowners must be aware that there is also a supply of PAs using homeowners’ damages for their own profits.

It’s important to check out PAs that are licensed, look into the reports on line for fraud, abuse or lack of resolutions.  Find ones that recognize that some of their colleagues may not be scrupulous.

Some public adjusters are national – others focus on just one state or just one region.

Research. Ask questions. Be diligent.

Check out the guide to recovery.

It’s a Healthy Market

In Florida, homeowner's insurance on August 25, 2014 at 1:32

 

Homeowners

There’s good news for Florida homeowners insurance – the market is the strongest it has been in 10 years. The bad news is that the general news focuses on the bad news!

The Ocala Star Banner took the time to report and clarify news about insurance failures. “These failures do not happen as frequently as claimed,” said Kevin McCarty, Florida’s insurance commissioner. He quotes the number of demises – far smaller than one would think – and provides insight into why some went under.

In a field of nearly 120 companies, 12 couldn’t sustain themselves. It doesn’t take a math genius to see that 90 percent of companies are doing well. 

Newspapers do their best to report facts and figures, but they often require more in-depth discussions. It’s not that you can’t believe everything you read, but you need to look further.

To read more about this click on the link:

 http://www.ocala.com/article/20140810/OPINION/140809696?p=1&tc=pg

Heritage Insurance Plans to Launch Insurance Program for Florida Properties

In Florida, Insurance, Insurance News, Interesting News on July 29, 2014 at 1:32

Heritage Insurance Holdings Inc. announced that it has created an insurance program for commercial residential properties in Florida. According to a recent statement, the company’s new line will be written by Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance Co.

The new program will offer commercial products such as coverage for condominium associations, homeowner associations, continuing care retirement communities and apartment complexes.

Heritage Insurance says it is listening to its market and answered a need for this industry sector.

Will other companies follow suit?

To view full article click here.

 

 

Florida’s Insurance Industry Well Prepared for Hurricane Season

In Florida, Insurance, Insurance Industry, Natural Disasters on July 8, 2014 at 1:32

Florida has made it to its eighth year being hurricane-free which leaves room to rejoice considering Florida’s size and geographical position reaching into the warm waters of the Atlantic creates a risky spot for hurricanes to form. Despite the high risk location, the condo market is booming.

More than 200 new residential towers near the Atlantic waters have been anticipated for South Florida since 2011. Since then, nearly 50 new high-rises have been built, some already completed. The increase in condos along the coast illustrates the insatiable appetite for coastal living.

This year Florida supposedly is benefiting  from an El Nino weather patterns which forecasters believe will produce a below average number of storms. However, precautions still must be taken since forecasters believe that one large storm can make for a disastrous season.

Almost 80 percent of Florida’s residential and commercial property valued around $3 trillion – lies in susceptible coastal areas. Since Florida has not had a major hurricane since Wilma in 2005, Florida’s Hurricane Catastrophe Fund has collected $13 billion.

To read more on insurance policies and precautions click here. 

Forecasters See Quiet Atlantic Hurricane Season

In Florida, Hurricane season, Hurricanes, Natural Disasters on June 11, 2014 at 1:32

Due to rising heat along the equator in the Pacific Oceans, researchers at Colorado State University predict that this will be the quietest Atlantic hurricane season in five years.

Phil Klotzbach, lead author of the forecast, said there will be nine named storms, with winds of at least 39 miles (63 kilometers) per hour, are expected to develop this year, with three of them growing into hurricanes and one becoming a major storm.

The likely development of El Nino in the Pacific and cool sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic are possible explanations for the low forecast. The formation of El Nino is important because warm waters in the equatorial Pacific trigger atmospheric changes that lead to more wind shear across the tropical Atlantic. Shear is when winds at different altitudes blow in multiple directions or speeds and have the potential to tear apart the structure of a budding tropical system, weakening or breaking it apart.

The Atlantic hurricane season is watched closely by many industries, like energy, commodity and insurance, because of the effect hurricanes have on lives, property and markets in the U.S., Mexico and the Caribbean. The Gulf of Mexico is home to about 6 percent of U.S. natural gas output, 23 percent of oil production and more than 45 percent of petroleum refining capacity. Florida, which has been struck by more tropical systems than any other state, is the second-largest producer of oranges behind Brazil.

The last time the Atlantic produced only nine named storms was 2009, which was also a year in which an El Nino formed, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami. That was the least number of such storms since 1997, which had eight.

 

Click here for more information.

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. 

As Hurricane Season Looms, Act Now to Reduce Costs

In Florida, homeowner's insurance, Hurricane season, Hurricanes, Insurance on April 25, 2014 at 1:32

Image

 

Florida’s State Board of Administration – the governor, the chief financial officer, and the attorney general –will have the chance to take proactive steps in reducing the cost of hurricane taxes for all Floridians before the start of 2014 hurricane season.

Global investors learned during the recent recession that they should invest a small percentage of their assets in opportunities which do not relate to the economy. By exploring global capital and reinsurance markets to determine if Florida can economically move some of its hurricane risk out of the state and into global financial markets, the SBA will have the chance to both lower the state of Florida’s risk of hurricane taxes and the ability of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (Cat Fund) to pay its claims in a timely manner.

The Cat Fund has an obligation to provide up to $17 billion of coverage to Florida’s homeowners insurance companies. In the case that the Fund does not have enough the ability to pay these claims on its own, it will attempt to obtain the rest from the bond market even though financial advisors have indicated that it will not have the bonding capacity to make up the difference.

Bonds issued by the Cat Fund are paid back over 30 years through premiums, or hurricane taxes, on almost all property and casualty policies. Automobile policyholders, all businesses, charities, religious institutions, local governments and school boards are paying hurricane taxes yet none are benefiting from the Fund that goes to strictly reinsuring homeowners’ claims.

By moving hurricane risk out of Florida, the amount of hurricane taxes assessed on citizens, businesses and school boards will be reduced and the Cat Fund will be better prepared to pay its claims in a timely manner.

 

Read more here

Florida Homeowners Still Face Threat of Federal Flood Insurance Hike

In Florida, Florida Legislation, Insurance, Interesting News on April 11, 2014 at 1:32

Flood insurance rates increases, as a result of a 2012 law, poses a big concern for many people in the state, especially those in southwest Florida. While only a small percentage of people in the Jacksonville area will be affected by the rate increase, some Floridians who chose to buy property along the coast could see their rates increase as much as tenfold.

“The idea was to make sure people who built in flood prone areas pay their fair share of the premium for the flood insurance that they needed,” said David Miller, CEO and founder of Brightway Insurance.

As a result of this, many homeowners are unable to afford their flood insurance premiums.

Congress is working on providing relief to homeowners. The Senate passed a bill that would delay the rate increases for four years while the House worked on presenting a modified version of the bill that would have been voted on last week but has been pushed back.

There’s a state effort for a revised flood insurance bill designed to cut premiums but it has yet to be brought before Florida lawmakers for a vote.

Read the story. 

Our News goes National

In Florida, homeowner's insurance, Insurance, Insurance Costs, Insurance News, Insurance Rates on February 3, 2014 at 1:32

Image

The report noting the Florida homeowners pay the highest insurance rates in the nation isn’t just making local press.  All over the country, publications, even in small towns, are writing about it – noting that the state hasn’t been hit by a major hurricane in nearly ten years.

Mudslides in California? Tornadoes in the Midwest? Ice storms in the North?  In Texas, windstorms are a problem.  The list goes on and one – every state has its issues.  Those climate crises still don’t hit the insurance companies the way Hurricane Wilma impacted Florida – back in 2005.

Expect to see some balance in the coming years – unless Florida gets hit hard in 2014.  Florida is still the Sunshine State – and in the middle of a frigid winter that started back in November, we’re the envy of the country.

Reinsurance Rates are Down – Why Not Premiums

In Florida, Hurricanes, Insurance on January 24, 2014 at 1:32

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty is completing a study to determine why property insurance premiums have not lowered along with reinsurance. The study is expected to be completed by January 15, 2014.  Jack Nicholson, the executive director of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund – said that the fund that has been created to provide insurance for insurance companies is nearly $10 .  So why all the rate hikes?

The fact is that reinsurance costs have dropped noticeably – from 15 to 20% on average.  McCarty did say that some insurer have suggested a reduced rate is coming, and noted some of the differences in the rate structure.

We look forward to the results of the study.