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Archive for the ‘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.

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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. 

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. 

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. 

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

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. 

“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.

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.

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.