Barry Gilway


Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer.

Florida’s state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has joined a chorus of insurance companies accusing the Strems Law Firm of lawsuit abuse. Citizens says it has lost millions of dollars due to an alleged scheme of “sham” claims by the law firm, a public adjusting company and restoration company.

Citizens also alleges a “pattern of racketeering activity in violation of [the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act] RICO.”

The allegations came in a civil complaint filed against Fort Lauderdale-based The Strems Law Firm; attorney Scot Strems; public adjuster Guillermo Saavedra and his public adjusting firm Contender Claims Consultants (CCC) of South Miami; and All Insurance Restoration Services (AIRS) of Miami, its president Cesar I. Guerrero, and its operations manager Derek Parsons.

“This lawsuit is about what we contend are concerted actions by the defendants to abuse the claims process for their own gain, and to the detriment of both Citizens and our policyholders,” Citizens Spokesperson Michael Peltier told Insurance Journal. “These abuses have made it virtually impossible for Citizens to handle claims efficiently and effectively. We believe we had no choice but to file this suit to address the costs of these abuses that are shouldered by all Citizens policyholders through higher premiums.”

Citizens filed the complaint in the Second Judicial Circuit Court for Leon County, Fla., on June 16. The 26-page document details Citizens’ allegations of how Strems, his firm, CCC and AIRS acted individually and in concert to defraud the insurer into paying for “sham first-party property insurance claims.”

Representatives for Strems, CCC and AIRS did not return Insurance Journal’s request for comment on Citizens’ allegations.

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2020/06/22/572946.htm

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer.

It has been two months since COVID-19 began to turn the U.S. economy upside down. Suffering massive losses due to the damage caused by coronavirus, businesses have quickly turned to their insurance companies for assistance.

Unfortunately, most have been stonewalled by two party-line arguments from their insurance companies: That COVID-19 does not cause the “damage” needed to trigger coverage and that viruses like COVID-19 are excluded causes of loss anyway.

Fortunately for policyholders, the analysis is rarely so simple. The unprecedented breadth of damage caused by COVID-19 has already spawned unique fact patterns and novel policy interpretation questions.

As the pandemic develops and insurance companies refine their denial arguments, the battle lines will be drawn. At present, however, there are as many questions as there are answers.

Explicit Communicable Disease Coverage? Not So Fast

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Nicholas Maxwell, attorney, Anderson Kill

Even for policyholders without communicable disease coverage extensions and with contamination exclusions listing “virus,” coverage may still be available.

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COVID-19 and Business Interruption: Some Losses Are Covered and Here’s Why

Please call  Lee from Calles Financial and Chaisteli Insurance  at 954-270-7966, Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer.

If your carrier is experiencing 100% or more from claims last year, then expect huge rate hikes this year. Not counting Reinsurance hikes this summer, rates could jump 30-40% for the next 2 years!!! Do you need to shop your Insurance, Home, Auto, Life or Long Term Care, I can help you understand and shop rates, premiums, coverages or the lack thereof.

The long-awaited Demotech rating decisions for Florida domestic carriers are in, with many carriers having satisfied necessary steps to avoid ratings downgrades by the financial analysis firm.

After affirming a slew of companies in mid-March, Demotech announced April 2 that the remaining carriers that had yet to be decided were affirmed (see chart) because of enhancements to their business models

On March 30, Demotech affirmed the ‘A’ financial stability ratings of the following companies: Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Co., Centauri Specialty Insurance Co., Cypress Property & Casualty, Safepoint Insurance Co., and Tower Hill Signature Insurance Co. Also affirmed were Tower Hill Select Insurance Co. and Omega Insurance Co., after their merger into Tower Hill Signature was approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on March 25.

Since Demotech sounded the alarm in January that as many as 18 Florida carriers could see downgrades due to deteriorating insurance market conditions in the state, the ratings firm said several actions have been taken: one company was downgraded, one company was acquired by a carrier with an FSR of A; five companies were merged into carriers with FSRs of A, and an additional nine companies enhanced their business models.

The specific actions include:

  • Anchor P&C Assigned an FSR of M – ceased operations
  • Anchor Specialty FSR of A – Acquired by insurer with FSR of A
  • Omega FSR of A – Merged into an insurer with FSR of A
  • Tower Hill Select FSR of A – Merged into an insurer with FSR of A
  • Cypress TX FSR of A – Merged into an insurer with FSR of A
  • Prepared FSR of A – Merged into an insurer with FSR of A

Demotech said other carriers “aggressively enhanced the capability of their business models to respond to the anticipated continuation of jurisdictional and weather-related challenges, the substantial increase in reinsurance costs during 2019, the likely increase in the cost of reinsurance in 2020, and the cost of the Rapid Cash Buildup Program of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.”

Those companies include:

  • Centauri Specialty FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Centauri National FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Safepoint FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Gulfstream P&C FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Avatar P&C FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Capitol Preferred FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Security First FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Tower Hill Signature FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Cypress P&C FSR of A, Business model enhanced

“Our view of Florida’s current residential property insurance marketplace is that the numerous financial and market based criteria that affect Florida residential property insurance have never been more difficult for carriers to navigate since we first rated Florida focused carriers in 1996. The marketplace as well as carrier-specific financial metrics drove the need to consider downgrades,” Demotech said in an April 2 report on its ratings decisions.

The ratings firm said it asked certain Florida insurers to provide projections of their year-end 2019 financials immediately after it finished reviewing third quarter results in November last year. At that time, it also asked those insurers to answer two questions based on the following Florida-specific circumstances: 1. the lingering impact of the judicial activism of the past; 2. the litany of named weather events; 3. increases in the cost of reinsurance, and 4. the specter of additional increases in the cost of reinsurance in 2020.

The questions posed to companies were:

  • Will you continue to be focused on residential property insurance in Florida?
  • If so, based upon the conditions in the marketplace and the operating results that will emanate from those conditions, how will you revise your business model, or otherwise position your company, to combat more of those same conditions in the future?

Demotech said carrier responses used to make ratings decisions included documentation of the company’s jurisdictional diversification, voluntary runoff, marketing existing books of business to other carriers, merging affiliates, or securing assistance.

“The management teams of these carriers have fought the conditions in the most difficult operating jurisdiction in the country to a draw,” the Demotech statement says. “They have addressed the needs of policyholders, investigated and settled claims, paid their employees, producers, and reinsurers, met with us, negotiated with reinsurers for their 2020 programs, and filed timely financial statements in an orderly manner.”

Demotech said it reviewed public and private financial information of companies, including:

  • Managing general agency contract and financial statements, when necessary
  • Holding company financial statements, when necessary
  • Actuarial reports and documents containing appreciably more detail than the actuarial opinion letter, which is a public document
  • Independent audits
  • Anticipated operating results in the form of pro forma financials in a prescribed format
  • Claims adjusting details and reports
  • Litigation services
  • Asset and investment management contracts
  • Disaster recovery plan
  • Catastrophe response plans
  • Catastrophe modelling output
  • A preliminary review of horizontal and vertical reinsurance programs
  • A final review of horizontal and vertical reinsurance programs
  • Review of rate level indications
  • Personal financial statements of key financial supporters.
  • On-site meetings with reinsurers
  • On-site meetings with companies\

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2020/04/03/563193.htm

Please call  Lee from Calles Financial at 954-270-7966, Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer

So many issues of Property coverage, claims, who will pay, Timeframes, and so much more. Please click on the link below and know what to watch out for.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2020/01/16/555028.htm

Please call  Lee from Calles Financial at 954-270-7966, Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer

This is so Important to read as so many will be affected and the news will break un just 3 weeks .

The rating agency responsible for assigning financial stability ratings (FSR) to more than 40 Florida domestic insurers has warned that several carriers will receive downgrades due to deteriorating conditions in the state’s property insurance market, and more than a dozen more could be downgraded in the next few months.

In a letter dated Dec. 20, 2019 that was forwarded to Insurance Journal, Demotech President Joe Petrelli warned Barry Gilway, head of state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., that Gilway’s hoped-for shrinking of Citizens’ policy count might be “more difficult than expected as Demotech would be downgrading several carriers in January, February and March 2020.”

Please enjoy the full article below and read it all!

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2020/01/09/554155.htm

Please call  Lee from Calles Financial at 954-270-7966, Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer

As a board member of the MAAC committee in Florida for Citizens Insurance, I can conform this for sure. On top of all of the other carriers also trying to reduce exposure and cut the middle markets, where will people go to get Insurance coverage especially here in S. Florida. I work with Chaisteli Insurance for Property Coverage and together we  can offer help and be sure you understand all options.

 

Florida’s insurer of last resort Citizens Property Insurance Corporation will make shrinking its policyholder count a priority next year, despite potential headwinds that may come from Florida domestic carriers raising rates and restricting coverage.

Prompted by a request from Florida State Senator Jeff Brandes, the company announced at its December Board of Governors meeting that it will again seek input from independent evaluators to determine if there are exposure reduction or depopulation opportunities that can be identified for Citizens to further reduce its overall exposure and financial impact on the state.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/12/20/552579.htm

 

Please call  Lee from Calles Financial at 954-270-7966, Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer

The head of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. says it is already seeing a difference in assignment of benefits (AOB) litigation since reforms passed by the Florida Legislature took effect in July. Meanwhile, many Citizens policyholders may see premium relief from the new law, as the insurer’s post-AOB reform rates will take effect next month.

Speaking at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Insurance Summit in Miami in early November, Citizens President, CEO and Executive Director Barry Gilway said thanks to AOB reform Citizens litigation has dropped from 2,000 to 1,750 suits a month over the last two months

Wow, so many claims monthly, please click on the attachment below to read the article;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/11/20/548368.htm

Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them.

A bill the Florida insurance industry says will help reign in assignment of benefits abuse that is plaguing the state and raising insurance costs has passed its final committee in the Florida Senate and is now headed to the full Senate floor for debate.

The Florida Senate Rules Committee passed SB 122 on Wednesday, inching AOB reform one step closer to being a reality after seven years of failed attempts by the Florida Legislature.

“Year after year we have watched the AOB crisis negatively impact our consumers – many of which are recovering from hurricanes. Now, more than ever, is the time to pass meaningful reform so we can protect consumers and start recovering from years of compounding abuse,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said in a statement Wednesday. “The advancement of SB 122 is a significant step towards protecting Floridians from future AOB abuse.”

The Senate bill, introduced by Senator Doug Broxson, is now identical to Florida House Bill 7065, which passed that chamber last week.

“This is a great development. For the first time in nearly seven years we are poised for final passage of meaningful AOB reform. The bill will directly address cost drivers that are pushing up rates by reducing AOB abuse and fraud. Florida consumers will benefit, and the insurance market will be healthier as a result,” said Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF).

The bill includes certain consumer protection provisions such as rescission and emergency services sublimit provisions, and creates a new rate filing requirement for Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which has filed rate increases for the last several years that it has largely blamed on AOB.

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/04/18/524155.htm

 

Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. plans to purchase approximately $200 million in traditional reinsurance coverage for the 2019 hurricane season to protect its Personal Lines Account (PLA) surplus it says is exposed to storm risk in areas located away from the coast.

The company said for the first time since 2005, Citizens will purchase traditional reinsurance for its PLA, which is comprised of 301,000 residential policies, most of which are not located along the coast. The reinsurance coverage will reduce Citizens’ PLA surplus exposure from 62 percent to 52 percent in the event of a 1-100 year storm.

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/03/28/521996.htm

 

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“I think the number one thing the insurance industry can do is link AOB (assignment of benefits) to the impact that it’s having on the individual consumer and the huge impact it’s having on the premiums that the consumer’s paying,” Barry Gilway, president, CEO and executive director of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. told attendees in a recent Insurance Journal webinar on Florida AOB abuse

Education, education, education, Gilway said, will be critical to slowing the Florida AOB epidemic that is leading to higher insurance rates, reduced coverage and a potential insurance market crisis in the state.

Gilway was one of a panel of four experts participating in the “Florida AOB Crisis: Where Does the Industry Go from Here?” webinar conducted by Insurance Journal on June 26.

Logan McFaddin, regional representative for the Property Casualty Insurers Association (PCI), Paul Huszar, CEO of remediation contracting company VetCor, and Patrick Wraight, director of the Insurance Journal Academy of Insurance, joined Gilway in discussing the AOB situation in Florida and ways to rein in what they all agreed is runaway abuse.

The AOB problem in Florida stems from unlicensed water remediation and roofing contractors who have homeowners sign over their insurance policy rights in exchange for needed repairs to their homes. The contractors, typically working with an attorney, file inflated or fake claims, and then pursue lawsuits against insurers when those claims are disputed or denied. Because of Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute, insurers are left footing the bill for the inflated claims and the attorney fees if the insurer is found to have underpaid the claim by any amount.

Carriers across the state have seen an increase in litigation because of these inflated claims. According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, there were 405 AOB lawsuits across all 67 Florida counties in 2006, and by 2016 that number had risen to 28,200.

But Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort, has borne the brunt of the abuse. It reported in its 2019 rate hearing in June that it would spend $70 million this year defending AOB-related litigation – equal to 17 percent of its total premium.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/07/19/495520.htm

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