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Archive for the ‘homeowner’s insurance’ 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

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. 

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

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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

“Earth Movements” Not Covered in Typical Homeowners Insurance Policy

In homeowner's insurance, Insurance, Insurance News, Policies on March 14, 2014 at 1:32

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Does your homeowners insurance protect you in the case of a rockslide? How about if a sinkhole forms under your garage? Or if that recent flash flood caused a mudslide that swept your house away? You may want to check your homeowner’s insurance coverage because chances are your policy does not cover you against these types of home damage.

The typical policy in the United States does not cover damages that are caused by “earth movements,” and it is cause of many insurance claims being denied every year. Through increased awareness, the insurance industry is hoping to minimize these occurrences and that homeowners will educate themselves on their coverage.

Read more about this and what to be aware of as the season begins to change.

Buying Homeowners Insurance is Confusing, 4 Tips for First-Time Buyers

In homeowner's insurance, Homeowners' Policy, Insurance Industry on March 7, 2014 at 1:32

When it comes to searching for the right homeowner’s insurance policy, the experience can be overwhelming but the wrong coverage can end up causing more harm than good when you need it the most. Here are four tips for first-time buyers to guide them to getting the best coverage for their needs:

1. Compare coverage from at least three companies. It’s a buyer’s market out there for those looking to buy insurance and insurance companies are fighting for your business. Shop around and compare coverage, price and customer reviews for the best value for your money, not just the cheapest price.

2. Escrow your insurance payments with your mortgage payments. Lenders prefer you to tack on your monthly insurance payments onto your mortgage check. This lets them know your insurance premiums are being paid, and their investment is protected.

Read the last two tips!

Our News goes National

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

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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.

Does What Happens in New York Stay in New York?

In homeowner's insurance, Homeowners' Policy on October 4, 2013 at 1:32

The New York Department of Financial Services just proposed a new rule that impacts force placed insurers.  The rule prohibits forced place insurers from placing coverage on a property that is served by an affiliated bank.  Why is this proposal on the table?

A profit-sharing plan seems to be the reason and this proposal will forbid carriers from paying commission on the force-placed insurance, thus limiting the appearance of a “kickback culture,” according to the Superintendent of the Department.  The proposal suggested other provisions including barring payment of contingent commissions based on underwriting profitability or loss ratios.

If this proposal becomes law in NY, will it set a precedent in other states? Will it really help homeowners? Read more.

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.