December 3, 2021

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

A Florida judge said that lawsuits over the collapsed condominium tower in Surfside will likely go to trial by summer. But thousands of dollars in cash found in the rubble could be distributed to former residents within weeks.

And the cause of the collapse could take two years to determine, a building official said at an insurance conference Thursday.

A court-appointed receiver said this week that about $750,000 discovered in the debris will be sent to the U.S. Treasury, where it will be cleaned up and counted. Then a check will be sent to the receiver so the money can be distributed.

More than likely, the receiver and the judge will create a system to let the surviving Champlain Tower South residents who believe they lost cash to file a claim, said local news reports. Some of the money was found in purses and wallets and can be assigned to former condo residents.

The receiver, Michael Goldberg, told the judge overseeing the matter that he also is working with county officials to develop a plan for condominium residents to claim personal belongings.

Also on Wednesday, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Michael Hanzman said at a hearing that he will move expeditiously toward a summer trial date in the lawsuits. When the tower collapsed in June, more than 98 people died, and dozens of family members and condo owners have filed suits. A mediator is also working to find a way to allocate damages, money from the sale of the condo site, and insurance proceeds between families who lost loved ones and condo owners who lost property.

At the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s annual insurance summit Thursday, the chair of the Florida Building Commission said it could take as long as two years for engineering experts to determine the causes of the collapse.

The south Florida attorney who chaired a Florida Bar task force that has recommended sweeping statutory changes to help prevent future collapses, said at the summit that part of the problem is that Florida requires no maintenance standards for condominiums.

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“This hotel we’re in now and the office building you work in, they all have maintenance standards. Condominiums don’t,” said Bill Sklar, a condominium law attorney who represents developers and lenders. “They have a duty to maintain, but no standards.”

William Sklar (University of Miami School of Law)

Meanwhile, almost every condominium in Florida is underinsured by at least 20%, thanks to increased replacement value due to rising cost of furnishings and construction materials, said Adam Lopatin, senior vice president of commercial lines for USI Insurance Services.

Lopatin, who also spoke Thursday at the Chamber summit, said the Champlain Towers collapse has prompted many carriers to pull back from writing condo coverage. “The market is terrible now,” he said.

The squeeze will likely cause many condo associations and owners to turn to Citizens Property Insurance, the state-backed insurer of last resort. But while a misconception exists that Citizens will have to accept the properties, Citizens is now refusing to write some policies as it moves to reduce its exposure and number of policyholders.

The speakers on the panel said they expect the Florida Legislature, which convenes in five weeks, to pass new condo laws that will require more inspections, new maintenance standards and a prohibition against allowing condo associations to defer needed maintenance.

December 2, 2021

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Thanks in part to higher surplus levels and favorable risk-adjusted capitalization at the start of 2021, the U.S. personal lines insurance segment has managed to navigate the challenges of this year including above-average catastrophe activity, a return to pre-pandemic frequency trends, and increased loss cost severity.

Looking ahead to 2022, ratings agency AM Best is maintaining a stable market segment outlook on the U.S. personal lines insurance industry. AM Best analysts point to the segment’s strong risk-adjusted capitalization, underwriting actions limiting volatility in the homeowners line and the acceleration of the use of technology in the pandemic environment as reasons for the outlook.

Best’s Market Segment Report, “Market Segment Outlook: U.S. Personal Lines,” finds that the segment’s risk-adjusted capitalization levels remain robust, with positive cash flows and favorable liquidity further supporting the position.

Although many companies held off on pricing increases early in the pandemic, they resumed rate actions in late 2020 and continued throughout 2021. Higher pricing was needed, as catastrophe activity spiked in 2020 and remained above average in 2021. Along with other various underwriting actions such as exposure management and enhanced reinsurance, carriers were able to limit the impact of catastrophe losses in 2021.

Technology initiatives to improve personal lines insurers’ underwriting and pricing tools picked up significantly during the pandemic, according to the report. Insurers are seeing auto claims frequency rebound alongside adverse severity trends at the same time that the industry is facing major supply chain disruptions and higher inflation, which are resulting in higher costs for materials and parts.

“In recent years, the best-performing auto and homeowners’ insurers have invested significant amounts of resources into technology to improve their underwriting and pricing tools. Advances in predictive modeling and pricing analytics, as well as the use of third-party data, have provided carriers greater opportunities to pursue profitable growth,” the report says.

AM Best advises that innovative use of technology and data analytics to strengthen underwriting, claims handling and ratemaking remain key to reaching profitability targets. The analysts predict that insurtech in both the auto and homeowners markets will continue to grow.

While a number of factors favor the segment, personal lines writers also face challenges heading into 2022. These include auto loss frequency returning to pre-COVID levels and severity increasing while having premium trends keep pace. Insurers also face the likelihood of a greater number of potentially worse catastrophe events and increasingly problematic claims from secondary perils.

Another challenge is rising reinsurance costs, which the report warns can pressure operating performance as well as balance sheet strength. “Primary carriers may struggle to pass these higher costs through to their customers for fear of losing market share and due to hurdles from regulatory restrictions in certain states,” AM Best concludes.

TOPICS TRENDS

By Elana Ashanti Jefferson

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Auto insurance carriers often say that an insured’s credit score is but one of the factors taken into consideration when determining that individual’s annual premium. Other factors that go into the insurance pricing decision include an insured’s age, location, vehicle, driving record and accident history.

However, a recent study by ValuePenguin.com that ranked car insurance providers by cost found that credit score looms large when it comes to premium rate hikes.

The slideshow above illustrates the most affordable auto insurance providers for drivers with poor credit, according to ValuePenguin.com.

The rankings shine a light on just how much more money people with poor credit pay for auto insurance, which is required by law in most states.

Experian, the credit reporting agency, suggests the following steps for individuals who are looking to increase their credit score:

  • Pay bills on time every month.
  • If a payment is missed, make the account current as soon as possible.
  • Decrease credit utilization by paying down credit-card debt.
  • Check credit reports often to confirm that all of the information there is accurate and up-to-date.

It also may be useful for credit-score challenged insureds to shop around for the auto insurance policy that best suits them. Many consumers may think of car insurance as a one-and-done purchase. But in reality, shopping around may help an individual save money on auto insurance, particularly when that person has less than stellar credit.

See also:https://tpc.googlesyndication.com/safeframe/1-0-35/html/container.html

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Elana Ashanti Jefferson

Elana Ashanti Jefferson

Executive Editor Elana Ashanti Jefferson is a veteran journalist and communications professional. She can be reached by sending email to ejefferson@alm.com.

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November 29, 2021

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Universal Holdings, parent company of Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Co., Florida’s largest private P&C carrier, announced it had placed $100 million in notes to aid in future growth plans.

The oversubscribed private placement was for 5.625% senior unsecured notes that are due in 2026, the publicly traded company said in a news release.

Universal (NYSE: UVE) plans to use the proceeds for general corporate purposes and as capital for growth. It noted that primary rate increases continue to earn for the company’s book of business.

“We are very pleased to have completed this private placement to further our growth and to optimize our cost of capital, with strong demand from the top-tier investor community,” said CEO Stephen Donaghy.

Piper Sandler & Co. served as sole placement agent for the placement. Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher was legal counsel to the holding company, and the Mayer Brown law firm served as counsel to the placement agent. The Notes have not been registered under the Securities Act, or any state securities laws and may not be offered or sold in the United States without registration or an applicable exemption, the news release said.

TOPICS TRENDS FUNDING

November 29, 2021

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

In a sign that Florida’s property insurance problems continue to be a hot-button issue, a Florida state representative will hold town hall meetings next week to hear from stakeholders.

Rep. Kamia Brown

State Rep. Kamia Brown, D-Orlando, announced the “State of the Insurance Crisis” meetings will be Dec. 7. One will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m at Apopka Community Center in Apopka. A second town hall will be from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Pine Hills Community Center in Orlando.

Answering questions will be Brown; Tasha Carter, the state’s insurance consumer advocate; and Patrick Gray, a State Farm Insurance agent. Topics will include Florida’s troubled homeowner’s insurance market, in which premiums continue to rise and some insurers have left the state; insurance legislation, insurance fraud, helpful tips and resources, Brown’s office said in a news release.

At least one Florida legislative leader has said that lawmakers may consider further changes to insurance laws. The Legislature in the last three years has adopted measures designed to limit assignments of benefits and reduce lawsuits filed against insurers. Others have said that solons may be inclined to wait another year to see if the 2019 and 2021 reform measures are having the desired effect.

The Florida Legislature convenes Jan. 11.

Brown’s office asked that people who want to attend should reply via email to adrianna.tran@myfloridahouse.gov.

TOPICS LEGISLATION FLORIDA

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Why haven’t I got my deductible back from my car accident?

This seems to be the most common question I have received in the last two weeks. When two or more vehicles are involved in any accident there is a list of priorities that most insurance companies are concerned about. First, was anyone injured? I can replace or repair any car. Injuries, on the other hand, are my major concern. Once we are sure the people involved have received proper medical care, then we concern ourselves with repairing the vehicle.

If the vehicle has collision coverage, we advise our insured to file a claim under their policy. We do this to insure the vehicle is repaired or replaced as quickly as possible. We explain that they will need to pay their deductible to the repair shop when their vehicle is repaired. At this point, we often hear, “But it wasn’t my fault – why do I have to pay my deductible?” We again explain that the purpose of setting up the claim under their policy is to speed the process. If anywhere in the process the other insurance company steps forward and accepts responsibility we can stop our claim and let the other insurance company handle it. If the vehicle does not have collision coverage, then we have no choice but to advise our clients that they must contact the other insurance companies for their damages. Understand insurance companies cannot contact the other company unless we spend money on our insured’s behalf.

At the same time we are repairing your vehicle, we are determining who was responsible for the accident. If we determine you were responsible, then we not only repair your vehicle – if you have collision coverage – but we reach out to the other people in the accident to repair their vehicles. In this situation you will not get your deductible back.

If we determine you were not at fault, then we begin the process of subrogation. Subrogation is the process of contacting the other company and requesting they pay for all the damages their insured caused and we, your insurance company, paid. This is the beginning of getting your deductible back.

Subrogation can result in a direct denial from the other company, an offer of partial settlement or a complete settlement. When direct denial occurs we can proceed to litigate. Offers for partial settlement can be accepted or we can proceed to litigate. Complete settlement gets your deductible and our payments back.

Even when liability is clear, the process of getting your deductible back does not happen overnight. We must first settle your claim, which means all repairs must be finished and paid for. Then we must notify the other company of our intent to subrogate. The other company then must be allowed time to investigate the claim and respond. If we are denied and we decide to take them to court, this process can also take time. To speed this process along, insurance companies can agree to participate in inter-company arbitration. Insurance companies that participate in inter-company arbitration agree not to go to court but abide by the decision of a panel of license insurance adjuster as to who is liable. Not all insurance companies participate in inter-company arbitration.

In March, my insured’s car was backed into while parked. The lady who backed into my insured said she had insurance. The police were called and when they arrived, the lady could not provide a valid insurance card. Within the five days allowed to provide a card, one was produced to the police department. We advised our insured to file a claim, pay their deductible and we will subrogate. Eight months later the other insurance company denied the claim. It seems the lady went and bought insurance after the accident. The police, seeing a valid insurance card for the date of the accident, never thought much about it. What seemed simple turned out not to be. My insured may be out their deductible but their car was repaired in a timely manner. And while we will proceed directly after the lady, as my father would say, you can’t get blood out of a turnip.

by: Christy Bieber

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.

Homeowners insurance protects against many problems that can develop with a property. But does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair? This guide will explain when problems with a foundation are covered so homeowners can be prepared.

When does homeowners insurance cover foundation damage and repairs?

Does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair? It depends on the cause of the damage to the property’s foundation. Here are some examples of situations where the answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover foundation issues, is yes.

Damage from covered natural disasters

Homeowners policies usually cover damage resulting from:

  • Fires
  • Lightning
  • Collapse due to snow or ice

In some parts of the country, damage from windstorms is also covered. If a covered cause results in foundation damage, then insurance will pay for necessary repairs. So in determining, does homeowners insurance cover foundation issues, the big question is what the cause of the issue is.

Damage from fallen trees

If a tree falls on a property and damages the foundation, the answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair, is likely yes. However, in many cases, damage from tree roots is excluded. So when asking, does home insurance cover foundation problems related to trees, it’s important to be specific about the cause.

Water damage from certain leaks

Does home insurance cover foundation repair due to water damage? It depends. Standard home insurance policies exclude flood coverage. So, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair after a flood? Not unless the property owner has a separate flood insurance policy.

Water damage, however, can be covered if it occurs as a result of a plumbing or HVAC system leak.

Damage from man-made causes

Most homeowners policies cover damage due to riots or civil disturbances. Many also cover damage resulting from aircraft accidents. Vandalism may be a covered peril as well. As long as a policy doesn’t exclude a man-made cause, any resulting damage to the foundation should be covered.

Does homeowners insurance cover foundation leaks?

This is a complicated question. In some cases, a policy will cover this type of loss. But in others, it won’t. It will cover a foundation leak only if the leak occurred due to a covered cause.

For example, if the plumbing in the soil surrounding the home leaks and cracks the foundation, the underlying cause is a covered plumbing issue. The foundation leak would be covered. While homeowners insurance wouldn’t usually pay for any damaged pipes in this situation, it would pay for water damage resulting from the foundation leak as well as repairs to the damaged foundation itself.

However, foundation leaks resulting from earth movements, flooding, or other excluded causes will not be covered.

When is foundation damage not covered by your home insurance policy?

Foundation damage is not covered if it occurs due to certain excluded causes. Here are some examples of situations where the answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair, is no.

Natural settling

Homes can settle over time. This can cause cracks in the foundation. Home insurance will not cover repairs resulting from natural settling of a house.

Normal wear and tear

Sometimes, foundations simply get old. When normal wear and tear causes foundation problems, it’s typically not covered.

Floods

Floods are excluded from coverage with standard insurance policies. If a flood occurs and damages the foundation, it will not be covered.

Sinkholes

Sinkholes are also excluded from standard home insurance coverage. Policyholders can choose to buy separate sinkhole protection. When sinkholes cause damage to foundation, standard insurance policies will not pay for repairs.

Does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair necessitated by pests such as vermin or termites. The answer is no. Unfortunately, any pest-related damage to a home’s foundation is not paid for by home insurance.

Faulty construction

If a builder or contractor fails to construct the home’s foundation properly, this can result in serious issues. Home insurance does not cover this type of problem.

But while the answer to the question, does homeowners insurance cover foundation issues caused by contractor negligence is no, homeowners may have some recourse. They could potentially make a claim against the builder.

What to do if your policy doesn’t cover foundation issues

When choosing a home insurance policy, property owners should make sure they are fully covered. This may mean buying additional protection beyond standard homeowners insurance coverage. For example, someone who lives in a sinkhole or flood prone area may want supplementary sinkhole coverage or flood insurance.

Buying extra protection can raise the average price of homeowners insurance. But it may be well worth it to avoid having to pay for costly foundation damage out of pocket.

What are signs of foundation or structural damage?

Common signs of foundation damage include:

  • Cracks in walls, floors, or window and door frames
  • Bowing in the walls of a home’s basement
  • Water intrusion or signs of water damage
  • Sagging floors in crawl spaces
  • Doors that don’t open or close properly
  • Sunken steps, decks, or porches

How to prevent home foundation damage

Steps to prevent damage to a home’s foundation include:

  • Limiting water intrusion by ensuring proper drainage around the home
  • Using the services of a pest control company to prevent an infestation
  • Avoiding planting trees too close to the house that could cause foundation problems through overgrown roots
  • Ensure gutters are kept clean and drain water away from the home

By avoiding damage, property owners should hopefully never need to ask, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair?

How do you file a claim for foundation damage?

Insurers lay out the claims process within insurance policies. Generally, policyholders must contact an insurer within a limited period of time after damage occurs. Depending on the insurer, they may be able to file a claim online or via phone.

Homeowners should provide documentation of damages resulting from a covered cause. An insurance adjuster will evaluate whether the claim is covered and how much compensation the property owner should receive. Always make sure to ask, does homeowners insurance cover foundation repair, before spending time making a claim.

FAQs

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Christy Bieber

Christy Bieber

Christy Bieber is a full-time personal finance and legal writer with more than a decade of experience. She has a JD from UCLA as well as a degree in English, Media and Communications with a Certificate in Business Management from the University of Rochester. In addition to writing for The Ascent and The Motley Fool, her work has also been featured regularly on MSN Money, CNBC, and USA Today. She also ghost writes textbooks, serves as a subject matter expert for online course design, and is a former college instructor.SHARE THIS PAGE    

November 18, 2021

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.

An insurance company is suing the mother of two boys killed by her estranged husband over a $4 million life insurance payout which claims she may not have been legally entitled to receive. Meanwhile, she is trying to collect $10 million from her husband’s estate.

The legal battle, just underway in federal court, is the latest twist in the crime that happened earlier this year. It sheds new light on the father’s actions days before the killings and hints at the vast amounts of money at stake for surviving family members.

Paul Reinhart, 46, of Gainesville, fatally shot the couple’s young sons on May 4 before setting fire to the family’s vacation home near Suwannee in western Florida and fatally shooting himself.

Court records in the new lawsuit revealed that Reinhart – a former medical device sales executive – attempted to change term-life insurance policies on April 26 to prevent his wife, Minde Reinhart, 42, from collecting any of the money upon his death. They were separated at the time and heading toward divorce.

The policies were worth $2 million each and were purchased in 2005 and 2015. They permitted full payouts in the instance of suicide as long as Reinhart hadn’t killed himself for at least two years after buying them.

With the changes, Reinhart sought to designate his sons, Rex, 14, and Brody, 11, as primary beneficiaries. If they had died, Reinhart identified one of his brothers, Konrad Reinhart, 45, of Gainesville, as a secondary beneficiary. Paul Reinhart submitted a signed, notarized document with the requested changes to Fidelity Investments Life Insurance Co.

Reinhart’s actions add to evidence suggesting he plotted the deadly violence days in advance. Records in a related probate court case showed that Reinhart had updated his will on April 19, just 15 days before he killed his sons and himself, to prevent his wife from receiving any of his assets after 19 years of marriage.

In a related dispute over that change to the will, Mrs. Reinhart’s lawyers said in court records that based on Reinhart’s actions in the days before he died, Konrad Reinhart knew or should have known that her husband was plotting violence, according to Florida news reports.

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Fidelity wrote back to Reinhart in a letter dated April 30 saying it was unable to update his policies as requested because he failed to specify the city and state where he had signed the document, which was notarized in Gainesville. The company’s “term beneficiary change form” did not specify on the document that information was required.

It was unclear whether Reinhart received Fidelity’s letter – mailed from the company’s life insurance offices in Atlanta – before he fatally shot his sons and himself four days later. A final report covering the criminal investigation by two sheriff’s offices and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in the case has been mysteriously delayed for months.

Mrs. Reinhart declined to discuss the new lawsuit through one of her attorneys, Jeff Aaron, of Gray Robinson in Orlando. She has continued to honor the memory of her sons on social media, posting pictures of a new bench in Suwannee earlier this month dedicated to Rex and Brody and placed near a bridge where they swam. She flew to Washington with her parents in late September to attend the congressional baseball game, where Rep. Kat Cammack, R-Fla., said she was playing in memory of the boys, who were avid baseball players.

In its lawsuit filed earlier this month, Fidelity said Mrs. Reinhart requested the $4 million payout through her attorney on May 14. The company said it sent her two checks, for just over $2 million each, which also included small amounts of overpaid premiums and unpaid interest.

Six weeks later, the insurance company said, Konrad Reinhart asked about his brother’s life insurance payments and said he should be the sole surviving beneficiary under the changes his brother had requested.

Fidelity said it stopped payment on the $4 million in checks it had sent to Mrs. Reinhart. It said she and Konrad Reinhart have agreed the money should be deposited in a bank account controlled by Fidelity’s law firm until a judge decides who will receive the money. Its new lawsuit named both Mrs. Reinhart and Konrad Reinhart as defendants.

Mrs. Reinhart’s law firm wrote in a letter Aug. 3 that it anticipated litigation against Reinhart’s estate. At the time, the family was already fighting behind the scenes over the $4 million and related matters, but the life insurance dispute – and size of the payout – didn’t become part of any public record until now.

Konrad Reinhart months ago threatened a reporter who called to ask about a related issue. “If you call this number again it’s going to be a big problem,” he said in early September. “Stop calling me.” He and his lawyers did not respond to phone messages this week.

In court papers, the insurance company described itself as “merely a disinterested stakeholder” and said it was “in danger of being exposed to multiple liability” unless a judge rules in the case. It stressed that it was not attempting to keep the $4 million.

In the probate case, Mrs. Reinhart filed a claim in September for $10 million against her husband’s estate, citing the “wrongful death by murder” of her sons. That case in Alachua County Circuit Court is pending.

In that case, Konrad Reinhart was fighting efforts by Mrs. Reinhart to obtain confidential files from Withers Harvey, the Gainesville law firm that handled the updated will that excluded her. In court papers last week, Konrad Reinhart’s lawyers said those files were protected by attorney-client privilege.

Mrs. Reinhart’s lawyers earlier objected to a request by Konrad Reinhart that the estate be divided among Reinhart’s five siblings and Mrs. Reinhart. Konrad Reinhart’s lawyer estimated the estate’s value at $75,000 in personal property. He did not list any bank accounts, investments or other assets.

Konrad Reinhart’s request listed himself, a sister and three brothers as beneficiaries before also including Mrs. Reinhart in the court papers. His lawyer included on the list Erick Von Reinhart, 50, who pleaded guilty in an unrelated crime to fatally stabbing his own ex-wife’s new boyfriend – just one week after their divorce – then trying to take his own life with a large kitchen knife.

Erick Reinhart is serving a 40-year murder sentence in a Florida prison and could be released as early as July 2053.

Last month, Mrs. Reinhart finalized the sale to a chemical industry executive of the $1.65 million home in Gainesville she had shared with her husband before they separated. She used the proceeds to pay off a $900,000 mortgage on the home Oct. 15, records showed.

The family still owns the waterfront home in Dixie County where the murders and fire occurred, according to property records.Copyright 2021 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

November 19, 2021

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

After two months of significant declines, litigated claims for Florida’s largest property and casualty insurers rose 5% in October, a litigation tracking service reported.

CaseGlide, a litigation management software firm that analyzes claims dispute data, said the number of litigated claims is still down almost 40% from the peak in July. The numbers fell sharply in August and September, partly due to legislative reforms that have sought to limit assignments of benefits and lawsuits, and because of the three-year time limit on filing claims from Hurricane Irma, which hit parts of Florida in 2017.

The CaseGlide report noted that just over 4,000 litigated claims were filed against the 17 largest Florida carriers in October, up from 3,909 in September.

The October increase was expected.

“The October 2021 results follow a similar pattern to previous years in that there was a moderate increase over September figures, a trend that could continue until we reach a level of around 5,000 litigated claims per month where we were prior to July’s spike,” said Wesley Todd, CEO of CaseGlide.

“One new trend worth noting is that Hillsborough County crept into the top five counties in Florida for new litigation for the third straight month, a top five generally dominated by counties located in the southern part of the state,” he said.

Of the 17 largest carriers monitored, all but three saw an October increase. Three of them registered an increase of greater than 40% from September.

Assignment-of-benefits cases dropped slightly, from 26% in September to 25% in October. The share of litigated claims that were AOB cases is still near its highest level since January 2020, Todd said. One restoration contractor was responsible for 6% of the litigation in 2021.

TOPICS TRENDS FLORIDA CLAIMS

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

American International Group Inc. and other insurers avoided steep losses from a spate of extreme weather this year thanks in part to the reinsurance industry. But increased reliance on those policies probably means price hikes are coming.

“This year we’re seeing good demand and good price increases for reinsurance, and I think that just keeps happening,” Matthew Palazola, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence, said in an interview.

Disaster costs this year are approaching $300 billion, and insurers are expected to foot the bill for more than $100 billion of those losses, according to data from insurance brokerage Aon Plc.

AIG Chief Executive Officer Peter Zaffino this month pegged global third-quarter catastrophe losses at $45 billion to $55 billion.

Paying those bills was easier because of coverage from reinsurers — the firms that backstop risks for insurance companies — helping AIG and its peers power through the catastrophe-heavy third quarter and still report a profit. It’s likely the industry’s reliance on reinsurance will increase as extreme weather becomes more common.

“If climate change has a truly material impact on the volatility of these events and the size of these events, then reinsurance becomes more and more important,” J. Paul Newsome, an analyst with Piper Sandler Cos., said in an interview.

Greater Severity

The insurance industry is set to surpass $100 billion in losses in 2021 for the fourth time in five years, according to Aon, and company executives have pointed to rising global temperatures and ensuing extreme weather as key culprits.

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“We’ve never seen consistent CAT losses at this level,” AIG’s Zaffino said on a conference call with analysts earlier this month, referring to catastrophe losses. The industry needs “to acknowledge that frequency and severity has changed dramatically as a result of climate change and other factors.”

It’s too early to say exactly how much reinsurers are on the hook for when it comes to Hurricane Ida and other third-quarter natural disasters, according to Tom Johansmeyer, who heads Verisk Analytics Inc.’s property-claim services division. The process typically takes many months, he said.

But it’s clear those disasters battered reinsurers. The property/casualty reinsurance business at Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. posted an underwriting loss of $247 million in the third quarter, compared to a profit of $99 million during the same period a year earlier. Berkshire attributed some of the reversal to “significant catastrophe events,” including Hurricane Ida.

As reinsurers grapple with more destructive natural disasters, as well as inflation in the cost of construction materials, higher premiums can’t be far behind.

Another possible option is fine-tuning the models they rely on to better grasp their exposure.

“It all comes down to pricing the risks appropriately,” said Karen Clark, CEO and co-founder of risk modeler Karen Clark & Co. The firm estimated in a white paper this month that average annual hurricane wind losses could increase 10% to 19% by 2050 as climate change strengthens storms.

Outside Capital

While steeper losses mean higher prices, there is one encouraging development for the reinsurance industry: Financing has become easier to secure.

“The path for capital to get to the reinsurance market has been well-paved,” Palazola at Bloomberg Intelligence said. “You can participate in this market a lot more ways.”

Rates in the sector are becoming particularly attractive for outside sources of capital, and that could help to keep prices down, Palazola said.

At the same time, higher reinsurance rates could bode well for hedge funds and pensions that seek out tangential investments such as catastrophe bonds. Pricing for those securities often mimic reinsurance rates, since both markets rely on modeled natural-disaster losses.

And it’s been a booming market, with $13 billion of bonds issued in the 12 months through June 30, $4 billion more than a year earlier, according to data from Aon. More broadly, capital tied to insurance-linked securities increased to $97 billion from $91 billion.

For their part, reinsurers see an opportunity to tackle one of the vexing issues facing the global financial system and society more broadly.

“Due to our industry’s holistic view of the risk chain, we are uniquely positioned to understand the systemic risks of climate change, and deploy the capital needed to better protect people in the face of extreme events,” RenaissanceRe Holdings Ltd. Group Chief Risk Officer Ian Branagan said in a statement.

–With assistance from Katherine Chiglinsky.Copyright 2021 Bloomberg.