Ark Royal/ASI

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In a significant turn of events in the insurance industry’s fight against Florida assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse, Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (DCA) has ruled that an insurer’s anti-assignment provision was not prohibited.

But the battle isn’t over yet as it is likely this decision will be brought to the Florida Supreme Court.

The Fourth DCA ruling came on Sept. 5, 2018 in the case of Restoration of Port St. Lucie, a/a/o, John and Liza Squitieri v. Ark Royal Insurance Co., in which the court disagreed with a decision by the Fifth DCA in Dec. 2017 prohibiting any such conditions.

The Fourth DCA found that a homeowner’s insurance policy may contain a restriction requiring the consent of all of the insured and the mortgagees before a valid assignment of benefits. The ruling could allow insurers to seek to use these restrictions to stem the rise of fake or exaggerated claims and allow parties with valid, vested interests in a property to have a say in the assignment. The ruling could be a turning point in stemming abuse of AOBs that is leading to increased homeowner insurance rates statewide.

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Citizens launched the clearinghouse at the end of January, making it the latest tool for the insurer to reduce its 940,000-plus policyholders.

Until recently, four insurers were participating in the clearinghouse program including Ark Royal Insurance Co., Cabrillo Coastal General Insurance Co., Florida Peninsula Insurance Co., and United Property & Casualty Insurance Co.

As of March 30, six other insurers had joined the clearinghouse: American Traditions Insurance Co., Modern USA Insurance Co., Federated National Insurance Co., First Community Insurance Co., Heritage Insurance Co., and the Tower Hill Insurance Group.

So far, the clearinghouse has led to 1,173 Citizens applications being deemed ineligible for Citizens’ coverage, representing $302 million in exposure. Of those, 658 applications have been confirmed as finding coverage with one of the participating insurers.

That number, however, is just a fraction of the number of applicants being submitted by agents. As of March 3, the latest data available, agents have submitted 26,714 requests for coverage, of which fewer than 20 percent received an offer of coverage from one of the four participating insurers.

Professional Insurance Agents of Florida CEO Corey Matthews said that it is far too soon to measure the success of the clearinghouse. However, he said, so far insurers are not appointing as many agents as hoped for.

Even so, said Matthews, agents remain optimistic that eventually it will open new markets to them.

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

The Legislators in Tall. have now realized that from 2006 to 2010  SinkHole claims have quadrupled or more. Of course people who have claims and the homes  are in the ground need help, but all the frivoulous claims submitted by Public Adjustor’s and people just trying to collect are the biggest part of the problem. Our New Governor Rick Scott is looking to reform Insurance comapnies and help them as well by deregulating them on rates. Claims from Sinkholes are now at over 80 million in Florida and the premium received is only 20 million for it. Now you can begin to see the problem and most of this falls on Citizens Insurance as well as others like ASI/Ark Royal. Because of all the claims and  many of them being frivoulous as well, the verbiage in policies will soon change to the 10 foot rule which will help control  the Public adjustors from getting so much money from the Insurance companies which also will cause even higher premiums then we are already seeing. A home will have to have sunk 10 feet to quoalify for a claim to be processed.Please read the whole article on SinkHole issues in Florida  and see if you would want to be Insurance commissioner Kevin McCarty who is already fighting for his job. Please call L & S   Insurance for quotes or fill in your info on the Blog page quote section and thanks,