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Posts Tagged ‘Homeowners’

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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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. 

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.

Sales Tax Holiday an Integral Part of the Property Insurance Reform Agenda

In Hurricanes, Insurance News, Insurance Rates, Property Damage, Property Insurance on February 17, 2014 at 1:32

Governor Rick Scott is pursuing legislative action to allow a sales-tax holiday.  The goal is 15 days of reprieve from taxes in order for homeowners to purchase hurricane preparedness supplies.    This covers the less costly items like batteries, flashlights, and more significant measures such as hurricane shutters.

According to the R Street Institute, a national think tank that houses extensive property insurance research, the proverbial ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  “Each dollar spent on mitigation saves society an average of $4,” said Christian Camara, Florida state director for the R Street Institute.  By preventing property damage, exposure and risk are lessened, and insurance rates drop.

We’ll have to see if the legislation goes through, and if people take advantage of it properly.

Read here to find out more.

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.

Lawsuits + Settlements = More Lawsuits

In Insurance Companies, Insurance Industry, Insurance law on January 6, 2014 at 1:32

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Why do people keep suing property insurance companies?  It’s a question with a lot of replies.  Here’s mine.  They do it because plaintiff’s attorneys can get paid fees, and insurance companies are quick to settle.  What can be done?  Defend those cases and let the plaintiff’s attorneys and the homeowners think twice before they sue frivolously because they’ve heard it’s easy to get settlement payments.

Claims Journal thought it was worth considering. Read my article here.

File Claims Intelligently

In Hurricanes, Insurance News, Natural Disasters on December 14, 2012 at 1:32

When Hurricane Sandy pummeled the Northeast at the end of October, Floridians knew what homeowners were feeling.  While it’s been a few years since the last truly destructive hurricane hit the state, one doesn’t quickly forget Hurricane Wilma, or the quadruplets of 2004 – Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne.

Natural disasters can mean an overwhelmingly busy time for insurance companies.  Homeowners need to be wise about filing claims – because a hurricane hit the area doesn’t mean it’s time to finally getting around to redecorating the living room.

File claims intelligently.  Prepare in advance.

Take it from the Wall Street Journal.