December 2015


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

It was another busy year for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). From conducting the annual property/casualty data call and subsequent stress test of Florida property insurers, to working on the depopulation efforts of Citizens, to calling out the National Flood Insurance Program on Florida’s “unfair” flood insurance rates, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has addressed some important insurance issues facing his state in 2015.

In the middle of it all, McCarty overcame rumors of being replaced, testified before U.S. lawmakers on behalf of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), was recognized with a lifetime achievement award by the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR) in September, as well as honored with the Latin American Association of Insurance Agencies “Insurance Man of the Year” award in December.

In a wide-ranging interview with Insurance Journal in November, McCarty talked about how he approaches his position after all these years and shared his views on the important issues facing Florida.

Please enjoy the full article below!

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/12/21/392698.htm

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

 

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s Board of Governors on Wednesday approved a slate of policy changes to bolster oversight of water loss claims while continuing to protect policyholders who need immediate emergency repair to water loss claims, according to a statement from the state-backed insurer. The move was in response to what the company calls “skyrocketing” water loss claims, particularly in South Florida.

By unanimous vote, Citizens board agreed to modify policy language in response to a surge of questionable water loss claims by limiting initial payouts for emergency services and clarifying ambiguous policy language relating to coverages typically affected by water loss claims. The recommended changes will be forwarded to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation for approval.

The recommended changes are the first steps, board members were told, to better control costs without jeopardizing customer service following a spike in the frequency, severity and litigation of water claims particularly in South Florida, which last year accounted for 72 percent of all water loss claims. Recent data shows that the claim activity is spreading to other regions of the state, according to Citizens.

The board action comes as lawmakers continue discussions to create a framework governing the use of post-loss assignment of benefits to ensure that customers remain in control of their own claims. Citizens’ contract changes would complement these legislative initiatives, the insurer said.

“The bottom line is these policy changes and clarifications are necessary first steps to keep premiums as low as possible while protecting our policyholders who have legitimate claims,” said Barry Gilway, Citizens president, CEO and executive director. “However, they in no way fix the assignment of benefits cost-driver that must be addressed by statute.”

“Without these changes, Citizens would be forced either to take more draconian measures to curb costs or continue to raise rates,” Gilway continued.

Citizens said water loss claims now account for more than half of every premium dollar collected in Miami-Dade County. The issue, though concentrated in South Florida, appears to be spreading throughout the state.

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/12/09/391379.htm

Please be sure to call L & S Insurance at -1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Business & Commercial & Life & Financial products as well. The new Maps are still Preliminary and could be updated again. The new changes will start in Mid January and about 76,000 homes will need to start to have a new Flood Policy where one was not needed before. Most people do not understand the risk of Flood, but ask people in N.J. from Hurricane Sandy and they will tell you otherwise. Please be prepared and check your information now. You can call Lee at L & S at x-209 for a class at your office soon to review the maps with your agents.

http://maps.co.palm-beach.fl.us/gis/floodzones.aspx?

 

New Updates!!! we have 2 carriers who will also now take Poly Pipes, but not provide coverage for water damage claims. Not a great scenario, but another option to help your closings happen.

Poly Pipes which are grey and look like White PVC, but are Grey have been a huge problem since 2012. No company would accept them and they are a problem for any homeowner. Buyers need to beware that they can and will burst with water damage claims and then they can be 2-3 in a  year once it starts. sellers need to know that a buyer will need to replace them at some point so prices should be adjusted when a home is sold or purchased.

Citizens Insurance will now write a policy on a home that is less than 30 years of age and no history of any water damage claims!!! The claim issue is a huge one since the computers called CLUE will verify a claim has occurred and will cause issues after the policy is issued and after closing. I know most of you do not want issues with your deals and clients so please be careful. The pipes were used in the years 1080-1994 and 30 years old is 1986 and newer which covers most of those years!! The pipes still need to be dealt with, but at least most closings can now happen as long as the pipes are fully disclosed and the cost of repairs is reflected in the sales price. I hope this helps most of you and please remember to give us a call. Please call L & S at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well. Please come to one of my Insurance lunch and learn classes soon or let me know if you have interest in having me do a class at your office.

Thank you and happy selling!!
Lee the HomeInsuranceGuru!!

The state of Florida is marking a big milestone with the official end of the 2015 hurricane season – 10 years without a major hurricane making landfall in the state.

The Miami Herald reports that the hurricane-free streak is a new record for the state.

Experts say Floridians shouldn’t count on the streak continuing. Michael Brennan of the National Hurricane Center has been exceptionally lucky and that residents should always be prepared for the possibility of a storm hitting the state.

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

Please enjoy the full article below.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/12/01/390411.htm