CFO


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.

Companies can be shut down or be told to non renew a large book of their business. This will be a huge problem for so many of his happens.

After reviewing the year-end financial statements of the Florida-based carriers it rates, Ohio-based ratings agency Demotech is warning that many insurers could see underwriting and operating losses in their year-end financial statements and that those insurers should be prepared to shore up and strengthen their reserves going forward.

“Florida has experienced three straight years of storms, as well as an [AOB] issue and other court issues – it’s a complex environment,” said Demotech President Joe Petrelli.

On Feb. 18, Demotech announced it had affirmed the Financial Stability Ratings (FSRs) of 51 of the 52 Florida-focused carriers it rates prior to the public release of their year-end financial statements, saying the companies had demonstrated to Demotech realistic estimates of gross and net loss and loss adjustment expense reserves related to claims arising from 2017’s Hurricane Irma and 2018’s Hurricane Michael and that their reinsurance was of “sufficient quality and quantity to expect reimbursement for outstanding losses and loss adjustment expenses…”

Despite these Florida-focused insurers having their ratings affirmed, on Feb. 28 Demotech said underwriting and operating losses should be anticipated from the year-end financial statements of many Florida carriers.

“Matthew, Irma and Michael represented a named event for each of the past three years,” the statement from Demotech said. “Operating profits proved to be elusive for many.”

Demotech further stated that going forward insurers will need to strengthen their loss and loss adjustment expense reserves to deal with the “difficult operational environment associated with assignment of benefits [AOB] and other judicial precedents that expanded insurer liability…”

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Despite these Florida-focused insurers having their ratings affirmed, on Feb. 28 Demotech said underwriting and operating losses should be anticipated from the year-end financial statements of many Florida carriers.

“Matthew, Irma and Michael represented a named event for each of the past three years,” the statement from Demotech said. “Operating profits proved to be elusive for many.”

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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

Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis has announced a new initiative aimed at reducing fraud in the state.

According to a statement from the Florida Department of Financial Services, the “Fraud Free Florida” initiative will work to better coordinate collective investigative efforts to protect Florida’s large population, especially seniors, from “scam artists.”

“Florida currently ranks first in fraud and second in identity theft nationwide. In 2017, identity theft cost Americans nearly $905 million,” Patronis said. “This is unacceptable, and we must use innovative ways to stay two steps ahead of criminals who want to take your identity, steal money from families who need it, and prey on vulnerable Floridians.”

Fraud Free Florida will bring together statewide law enforcement officials, local state attorneys, private sector stakeholders, and members of CFO Patronis’ fraud investigative teams. The goal will be to help Florida stay ahead of new scams and take on fraud already taking place in the state including: fraud at unscrupulous opioid treatment centers, public assistance fraud, identity theft, and cybersecurity issues.

Patronis noted fraud is especially rampant after every hurricane, when “millions of dollars are stolen as crooks prey on Florida families in their time of need to make a quick buck.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/03/05/519550.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,

For the seventh year in a row, the Florida insurance industry, regulators, and consumer advocates will push for reforms to the state’s assignment of benefits issue that has now become an insurance crisis, according to a report from the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)

“[Florida’s] legal environment has encouraged vendors and their attorneys to solicit unwarranted AOBs from tens of thousands of Floridians, conduct unnecessary or unnecessarily expensive work, then file tens of thousands of lawsuits against insurance companies that deny or dispute the claims,” the report says of the misuse of the policyholder protection known as AOB.

Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, said the I.I.I. study underscores the global problem with AOBs in Florida, and highlights the “pernicious effects of our one-way fee law on our justice and insurance systems.”

“It is well past time for the [Florida] Legislature to fix this problem,” he said, noting a bill addressing attorney fees – Senate Bill 122 – has already been filed for 2019 Florida Legislative Session, which begins in March.

With rates rising and insurers pulling back in parts of the state where the abuse is most rampant, such as in South Florida, insurance leaders say the crisis must be addressed.

“The key issue at OIR [Office of Insurance Regulation] is the issue of AOB,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier told attendees at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s annual Insurance Summit in November. “It is an excessive litigation issue driven primarily by a loophole in the attorney fee statute … [it] is being used to the detriment of consumers.”

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/01/29/515957.htm

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A Florida man has been sentenced to eight years in prison for taking advantage of people who suffered property damage last year during Hurricane Irma.

Collier County prosecutors says 44-year-old Daniel Lawrence Ohleyer was sentenced Monday. He had been convicted of two counts of contracting without a license during a state of emergency, one count of grand theft and two counts of violation of probation.

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/12/21/512749.htm

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A new study released by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) finds that Florida’s assignment of benefits (AOB) crisis has cost consumers billions of dollars in unnecessary litigation and inflated claim costs as the abuse continues to spread statewide.

“In Florida, abuse of AOBs has fueled an insurance crisis,” the report says of the misuse of the policyholder protection known as AOB. “The state’s legal environment has encouraged vendors and their attorneys to solicit unwarranted AOBs from tens of thousands of Floridians, conduct unnecessary or unnecessarily expensive work, then file tens of thousands of lawsuits against insurance companies that deny or dispute the claims.”

The I.I.I. report says the AOB “mini-industry has cost consumers billions of dollars as they are forced to pay higher premiums to cover needless repairs and excessive legal fees.”

An AOB is a document signed by either an auto or homeowners policyholder which allows a third party, such as an auto repair shop or a roofer, to seek direct payment from an insurer on a policyholder’s behalf. In Florida, a policyholder is permitted to sign an AOB document without notifying their insurer or seeking the insurer’s consent. The abuse has stemmed from the third parties with a signed AOB working with plaintiff’s attorney to sue an insurer when the insurer disputes an inflated bill from the third party.

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/12/12/511654.htm

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Total estimated insured losses from Hurricane Michael have reached more than $2.1 billion, according to the most recent data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

The current number of claims from Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm that hit the Florida Panhandle before continuing a path of destruction through several other Southeast states, had reached 110,183 with 26.1 percent of that total number of claims closed as of Oct. 30, 2018. OIR compiled aggregate information from claims data filed by insurers covering all claims based on filings received.

The lines of business included in the total number of claims are residential property, commercial property, private flood, business interruption and miscellaneous other lines.

Residential property losses account for the majority of the total claims at 78,045 – 57,088 of that number is homeowners claims. Only 20.7 percent of residential property claims were closed as of Oct. 30.

The percentage of commercial property claims closed was lower at 10.3 percent of the 4,471 claims received. Only 460 business interruption claims had been filed so far, with 9.1 percent of those closed to date.

Just 64 flood claims had been filed as of Oct. 30, with 37.5 percent of those claims already closed.

The Florida Department of Financial Services said in a statement Wednesday that Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state insurer of last resort, had 3,231 claims as of Oct. 29.

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/11/01/506263.htm

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In an effort to keep the Florida assignment of benefits (AOB) crisis from further worsening in the state, Florida’s insurance industry, regulators and consumer advocates are on high alert for AOB activity in the wake of Hurricane Michael and working to educate consumers on the pitfalls of signing over their policy rights.

“Consumers need all the information they can get to help navigate making repairs to their homes and vehicles, and we’re working hard to provide resources to help prevent Floridians from becoming victims of AOB scams,” said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which spearheads the Consumer Protection Coalition, formed in 2017 to tackle the state’s AOB epidemic.

pressuring some to sign an assignment of benefits contract. Check with your insurance agent, insurance company, or call my office before you sign anything,” Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis warned in an Oct. 15 press release from the Department of Financial Services. “Storms bring out the best in people, but unfortunately, they bring out the worst in some. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

Florida’s AOB problem has stemmed from unlicensed water remediation and roofing contractors who have homeowners sign over their insurance policy rights in exchange for needed repairs to their homes, and then file inflated or fake claims with the insurer. When those claims are disputed or denied, these contractors file a lawsuit that insurers are often left footing the bill for.

Carriers across the state have seen an increase in litigation because of inflated claims, which is leading to increased costs for policyholders. 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.

State officials have warned that the AOB issue could become even worse in the aftermath of a large-scale disaster, such as Hurricane Michael, due to a large number of claims triggering a contractor shortage, and people who are anxious to get repairs started on their homes assigning their insurance policy benefits to contractors.

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said before Michael hit that scenario was one of his biggest concerns, and noted the quick handling of claims would help ensure people are not taken advantage of

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https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/10/18/504876.htm

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