May 2014


The execution of the letter of intent was previously announced by the company on May 15, 2014.

“While we are disappointed not to be able to move forward with this acquisition, we are confident that this decision is in the best interest of our shareholders,” said John Forney, president and CEO of UPC Insurance. “Our organic growth both in Florida and elsewhere continues to be robust, and that has always been the main driver of our policy growth. We will continue to seek other complementary growth opportunities, but we will always remain disciplined in our approach.”

The company did not immediately respond to an inquiry about why the transaction was terminated.

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, and Life & Financial products as well. Please enjoy the full article below.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/05/28/330189.htm

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It seems all 3 sources agree that we should have a quiet season, but they are not able to predict today’s weather so time will tell. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 to see  how this storm season will affect Fort Lauderdale and all of Florida and for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, and Life & Financial products as well.

“The main driver of this year’s outlook is the anticipated development of El Niño this summer. El Niño causes stronger wind shear, which reduces the number and intensity of tropical storms and hurricanes,” says NOAA in a statement after announcing its prediction this morning in New York. “El Niño can also strengthen the trade winds and increase the atmospheric stability across the tropical Atlantic, making it more difficult for cloud systems coming off of Africa to intensify into tropical storms.”

In total, NOAA is calling for 8-13 tropical storms, compared to a 30-year average of 12; 3-6 hurricanes, compared to a 30-year average of six; and 1-2 major hurricanes, compared to a 30-year average of three. NOAA says there’s a 70% likelihood of it’s prediction for 8-13 storms.

 

Please read the full article below and you can check our website at http://www.yourinsurancepros.com for all of your Hurricane season updates from the NOAH system.

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2014/05/22/noaa-8-13-storms-predicted-for-near-to-below-norma?eNL=537e058b160ba0c775fd3cee&utm_source=FloridaInsuranceMonitor&utm_medium=eNL&utm_campaign=PC360_eNLs&_LID=74308859

 

Please call L and S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for Flood Insurance info and quotes on Home, Flood, Auto, Business and Commercial, Life and financial products as well. You can use the interactive map viewing tool to find out if your home or business is in a flood zone. To use the tool, follow these steps: 1. Click on the search tool below. 2. Type in the address of your property in the area at the top right, above the map titled “Find address or place”, and click on the magnifying glass to search. 3. Use the tool on the left side of the map to zoom in and locate your property. 4. Click on your property and the 2011 FEMA Flood Designations box will let you know your current and proposed FEMA flood zone designation. http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=64a60d8ee29d4bbc90e5156762ed8855

Florida is heading into hurricane season with good news.

New projections show that the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund should have nearly $13 billion available for the Atlantic hurricane season that starts on June 1.

On Thursday, an advisory panel for the fund will hear Wall Street firm estimates on how much money the fund would have to borrow if Florida was hit with a devastating storm. Those estimates show that the fund should be able borrow more than enough for this year.

The financial health of the fund is important because the state can place a surcharge on most insurance policies if the “Cat Fund” runs out of money.

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial, and Life & Financial products as well.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/05/16/329452.htm

 

Responding to pleas from highway troopers and the state’s sheriffs, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday he will veto a bill that could increase the speed limit on Florida highways from 70 to 75 mph.

Scott said that he has decided to “stand with law enforcement” who urged him to veto the legislation that narrowly passed the Florida Legislature late last month.

“I want everybody to stay safe, I don’t want anybody to be injured,” Scott said. “I think by doing this we are doing the right thing for our troopers and the right thing for law enforcement. I’ve been to too many law-enforcement funerals.”

The bill (SB 392) would not raise speed limits automatically, but would allow the Department of Transportation to increase them when it saw fit. The department could also raise the speed limit from 65 to 70 mph on rural, four-lane divided highways and up to 65 mph on other roads.

Legislators only approved the bill after a contentious debate where opponents said raising Florida’s speed limits would embolden motorists to drive faster and result in more accidents.

Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, and one of the sponsors of the bill, contended that the safety concerns were not accurate.

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, and Life & Financial products as well.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/05/15/329313.htm

Scientists at Coastal Carolina University expect no hurricane to make landfall on the East Coast or in the Gulf of Mexico this year.

The forecast Tuesday anticipates a “below to near normal” hurricane season in 2014. Hurricane season begins June 1 and ends Nov. 30.

The forecast expects between three and six hurricanes this year.

Good news for South Florida, Fort Lauderdale and most of Florida. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, and Life & Financial products as well.

 

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/05/15/329311.htm

5.  FLOOD INSURANCE RELIEF SB 542 achieved final passage on May 1 and will be sent to the Governor. This legislation contains language de-regulating rates for private flood insurance for the next few years, which can be offered in a stand-alone policy, or as a coverage or endorsement to a homeowner’s policy.  Insurers would also have the option of filing their rates for approval.

The legislation allows insurers limited flexibility to design their forms and coverages. The bill allows insurers to write only four types of flood insurance, standard, preferred, custom and supplemental.  The standard policy will track coverages under the existing Federal flood program, and uses the current definition.  Under the house bill, the preferred plan provides additional coverage by expanding the definition of “flood”, adding additional living expenses, and mandating replacement cost for personal property, instead of ACV.  The expanded definition of Flood includes water intrusion originating outside a structure that are not considered a flood loss under a standard flood policy issued by the NFIP.  “Custom policies” must include the standard coverage at a minimum, but allow insurers to be creative.  “Supplemental policies” authorizes a wrap policy product that is sold in conjunction with someone that has existing flood coverage from the NFIP or a voluntary insurer.

Agents must notify consumers being removed from the NFIP by a voluntary insurer that if the consumer later wants to re-enter the NFIP, a full risk rate for flood insurance may by charged by NFIP.  This bill encourages surplus lines insurers to offer flood by eliminating the three declinations from other insurers when placing flood coverage.

Insurers must notify the OIR 30 days before they begin to write flood insurance, and file a plan of operation and financial pro forma with the OIR.

This legislation is effective upon becoming law.

6.  HOMEOWNER CLAIMS BILL OF RIGHTS PASSES WITHOUT ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS SB 708 achieved final passage on April 30 and will be transmitted to the Governor. This legislation was a priority of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. “The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights is a much-needed resource for homeowners that will notify them of their rights and responsibilities when filing an insurance claim and give them the confidence that they will be treated fairly during a stressful situation,” said CFO Atwater.

This legislation requires insurers to provide a “claims bill of rights” to consumers that file homeowners’ claims within 14 days after the claim is reported.  We worked extensively to make the notices track existing law provisions throughout the insurance code, and inserted language clarifying that this notice does not create new law or a new cause of action in the courts.  Originally, the legislation included numerous requirements for contractors accepting an assignment of benefits (“AOB”).  The Legislature removed the AOB language, as passage of weak AOB requirements could weaken progress insurers may make in the courts by codifying clearly that AOB’s are permissible.

Upon signing by the Governor, this legislation is effective July 1, 2014.

 

7.  TWO CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE CORPORATION MEASURES PASS HB 1089 achieved final passage on April 28 and will be transmitted to the Governor. This legislation provides that, with respect to wind-only coverage for commercial lines residential condominiums, effective July 1, 2014, a condominium is ineligible for coverage if 50% or more of the units are rented more than eight times per calendar year for a rental period of less than 30 days. This legislation also delays the implementation of the prohibition on Citizens coverage for new construction seaward of the coastal construction control line or within the Coastal Barrier Resources System from July 1, 2014 until July 1, 2015.

Upon signing by the Governor, this legislation is effective July 1, 2014.

HB 1672 achieved final passage on May 1 and will be transmitted to the Governor. This legislation directs Citizens to stop writing new commercial residential multi-peril policies in the coastal account. Citizens will write separate wind and all-other perils policies for these structures. Among the other items set forth in this legislation is the prohibition on insurance agents, brokers or insurance agency employees from accepting any referral fees or other compensation from an authorized mitigation inspector. This legislation creates the same process for Citizens that exists for state agencies, which allow bid protests to go before an administrative law judge at the Florida Division of Administrative Hearings.  Citizens is required to issue an annual report of its estimated bonding capacity, estimated claims paying capacity and estimated year-end cash balance.

Language placing surplus lines into the Clearinghouse was stricken from the bill.

Upon signing by the Governor, except as otherwise expressly provided in the act, this legislation shall take effect July 1, 2014.

 

16.  MAXIMUM SPEED LIMIT INCREASESB 392 achieved final passage on April 30 and will be transmitted to the Governor. This legislation raises the speed limit on access highways to 75 miles per hour and certain other highways to 70 miles per hour. Additionally, the Department of Transportation is authorized to set such maximum and minimum speed limits over other roadways under its authority as it deems safe, not to exceed a maximum of 65 miles per hour.

Upon signing by the Governor, this legislation is effective July 1, 2014.

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well.

 

 

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