September 2014


It is easy to say to clients that they are no longer in Flood zones, you should ” Save the Money!!!!” This is not real smart because if they cannot afford the premium which is very low for most, they certainly cannot afford the claim which is still very likely!!! Flood misconceptions by Realtors is tremendous. Please be the smart Real Estate professional and let the customers talk to an Insurance Professional  at L & S to decide if they want or need flood. The State of Florida is a flood zone, but much of Broward county now does not need to carry it and that is a shame. When claims occur and they try the Insurance companies, get declined and then have no coverage, they will want to blame someone. As a Realtor, you should not want that to be yourself. Please be prudent in your decisions and take some time to read this Link on Flood Insurance misconceptions. Remember to contact Lee at L & S to come to your location and do an Insurance class which includes Flood Insurance updates. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes or information on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well and enjoy the full article below;

 

https://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart/pdfs/Flood_Insurance_QA_for_Real_Estate_Professionals.pdf

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As Florida seeks to revive its private home insurance market after almost a decade without a hurricane, homeowners are pouring $6 billion a year in premiums into a new generation of small, in-state insurance companies with an unproven record of withstanding a major hurricane.

A consumer-oriented rating agency, Weiss Ratings, recently awarded the companies a median grade of C-minus, and even without a major storm to drive up claims, 11 of them have already failed in Florida since 2006, according to state records.

“This is an accident waiting to happen,” said Gavin Magor, senior financial analyst with Weiss, a national agency with a reputation for tough ratings based in Jupiter, Florida.

Responding to the Weiss ratings, Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, a trade association, said all the companies meet state regulations, noting that other rating agencies gave higher grades.

“Things are moving in the right direction for Florida in attracting private capital. The risk has been diversified and there’s clearly an appetite for this new risk,” said Hartwig.

Almost 80 per cent of Florida’s insured residential and commercial property, valued at about $3 trillion, lies in coastal areas vulnerable to both wind damage and flooding, according to risk modeling experts.

State officials have encouraged the growth of the private market in recent years, seeking to downsize the overloaded state-run Citizens Property Insurance Co., which ballooned as it took on policies after the major companies withdrew.

The major insurers have stayed away from Florida, saying state regulators require rates that are too low to make the risk of doing business profitable.

Citizens remains the single largest carrier in the state, with 14.5 percent market share.

I think we all know that what we have here in Florida is not what we want, but it is all we have. Citizens is not a great place to be and the Private market provides better policies and coverage so we need these new smaller carriers. We need them because the big carriers like State Farm, All State, GEICO, Progressive, Traveler’s, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and even USAA have all stopped writing new business here in Florida. I think the real question is why is this being allowed when they write business in other states? They should be told to write all lines of business at some price or leave the state!!! No one is willing to tell them this and stand up to them so this is what we have left to deal with. Lawmakers in Tallahassee do not want to do things that make waves because this will not get them re-elected!!!
Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well.

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/09/11/340172.htm

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

“Shortly after the 1st of the New Year FEMA is widely anticipated to increase flood insurance premiums a whopping 25% and add an additional $250 surcharge for non-primary residences and commercial properties”, says Evan Hecht, coverholder for the Lloyd’s of London Private Market Flood program.

 

“Private Market Flood targets older pre-FIRM properties with premiums lower than FEMA and is especially competitive on non-primary residences and commercial properties even before the impending FEMA rate increases, at which time, the premium discrepancy will become even greater.” This is very good news for property owners in the 26 States Private Market Flood now offers policies and the 10 additional states Hecht says will be added before October 1st.

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

http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=e172a3ec863ff8cff361b377f&id=eeea27184e&e=1204da2528

Democrat Charlie Crist said he successfully reduced rising property insurance rates as governor and will do so again if elected, vowing to repeal a law enacted under Republican Gov. Rick Scott that he said provides weaker coverage at a higher price.

It’s a familiar theme for Crist, who campaigned in 2006 on a pledge to lower insurance rates that were skyrocketing after eight hurricanes battered Florida in two years. One of his first acts as governor was to call a special session to deal with rising rates. Lawmakers expanded the amount of state-sponsored reinsurance, which brought down costs for private carriers, and froze rates by the state-created Citizen’s Property Insurance Corp., which took on more policies as national companies backed away from Florida.

Minutes after Crist’s announcement, the Office of Insurance Regulation announced that it approved the removal of 428,000 policies from Citizens to private companies. In all, nearly 900,000 policies have been approved for removal as the state tries to reduce the number of Citizens policies. Customers can choose to remain with Citizens.

Scott signed a bill his first year in office designed to attract more insurance companies to Florida. Consumer advocates and legislative critics said it would raise rates by up to 15 percent while taking away benefits from customers. Crist vetoed a similar bill the year before.

Scott’s campaign criticized Crist’s insurance policies for putting more of a burden on state government.

“Florida taxpayers were left on the hook for billions and homeowners were left with fewer options to protect their property,” said Scott spokesman Matt Moon in an email to reporters. “Under Governor Scott, Florida has done the exact opposite, reforming and shrinking Citizens Insurance while giving consumers more choice and competition to protect their home.”

I am not a fan of either of them, but under Governor Scott, the Insurance Industry is definitely way more stabile than it has ever been and we have more carriers writing business than ever before! Please call L & S INsurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well. Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/09/08/339865.htm

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is this good or bad for Fort Lauderdale & S> Florida?? You decide! Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial & Life & Financial products as well.

 

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. officials in a public hearing before the state’s Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) painted a picture of an insurer that has downsized significantly while financially improving over the last several years.

Citizens President Barry Gilway said that the insurer in the past two years has gone from an entity “out of control” when it came to growth to one that is returning to being the insurer of last resort.

“I think we are at a better place than we have been in a decade,” said Gilway.

Regulators have 45 days in which to make a decision on the rate filing.

Gilway said that several factors are driving the proposed rate changes including the lack of any hurricane losses over the past eight years and five years of rate increases under the glide-path regulation that caps annual proposed rate increases at 10 percent.

According to Citizens documents, those factors have allowed the insurer to reach rate adequacy throughout the state with the exception of a few coastal counties where the insurer provides wind-only coverage.

As a result the insurer is requesting an average 5.8 percent decrease for homeowners multi-peril policies and a 3.8 percent average increase in homeowners wind-only policies.

Citizens Chief Risk Officer John Rollins said that barring a major storm, these trends should continue.

“There is so much uncertainty, so many unknowns,” said Gilway.

Gilway also said the insurer has achieved a level of stability due to the insurer’s ability to depopulate and secure reinsurance and catastrophic bonds at favorable rates.

Two years ago, Citizens had more than 1.5 million policies in force, which according to A.M. Best made it the ninth largest insurer in the country. At that point, the insurer’s personal lines and coastal accounts represented 24 percent of the Florida market; now that number has dropped to 16 percent.

Looking forward, Citizens expects that its policy count could equal less than 900,000 by year’s end depending on the success of planned take-outs by private insurers in November and December.

As a result of Citizens downsizing, its exposure had dropped more than 40 percent from a high of $500 billion to $300 billion, which means that the potential assessment risk on all Floridian citizens has declined from $11.6 billion in 2011 to $2.3 billion.

“I see nothing but coming but good news coming when it comes to taking the assessment burden off the back of Florida citizens,” said Gilway.

Gilway attributed that decrease to a number of factors including Citizens depopulation programs that have seen private insurers take out hundreds of thousands of policies out of the insurer.

Please enjoy the full article below!

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/09/02/339189.htm