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Scientists at Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project have decreased their forecast and now believe that 2018 hurricane season will have below-average activity.

According to the forecasters, the tropical and subtropical Atlantic is currently much colder than normal, and the odds of a weak El Niño developing in the next several months have increased.

With the decrease in the forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well, report Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell.

The Colorado team now estimates that the rest of 2018 will see additional 4 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 10 named storms (median is 12.0), 41.50 named storm days (median is 60.1), 15 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 1 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane (median is 2.0) and 2 major hurricane days (median is 3.9).

The forecast cites a 22 percent probability of a direct hit to the eastern United States; the average is 31 percent.

Please enjoy the full article below;

 

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/07/05/494264.htm

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Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial & Life, Group Benefits and business policies.

The 2018 hurricane season is officially underway, even as the dust continues to settle on the 2017 hurricane season — one of the costliest hurricane years on record — that brought devastation to Florida from Hurricane Irma.

Meanwhile, the Gulf Coast has already received a stark reminder to be prepared from a Memorial Day storm — Tropical Storm Alberto. The cost was at 50 Million per estimates so far!

Irma first hit the Florida Keys as a category 4 storm on Sunday, Sept. 10, with 130-mile per hour winds. It then worked its way north passing over the east and west coasts. Loss estimates from Hurricane Irma ranged between $25 billion to $65 billion by catastrophe modelers.

According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, 90 percent of the 770,658 reported residential property claims had been closed as of April 6, 2018. Total estimated insured losses as of April 12 had reached $8.6 billion. The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund is expected to pay out $2 billion in claims associated with Irma.

Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort, said in March it had reopened about 37 percent of Hurricane Irma claims as part of ongoing efforts to assist policyholders affected by the storm. As of March 28, more than 24,500 of 66,400 Irma claims, about 37 percent, were reopened for supplemental payment and to allow policyholders or their representatives to provide additional information.

Overall, Citizens has closed nearly 90 percent of its Hurricane Irma-related claims. Open claims include extensively damaged properties, disputes and those waiting for a contractor to provide a repair estimate.

The National Hurricane Center updated the death toll from Irma in April to 44 fatalities directly caused by strong winds and heavy rains, plus 85 fatalities indirectly linked to the storm.

Still, Irma could have been worse, a fact the Florida insurance industry is aware and mindful of as it heads into the 2018 season

Mother Nature wasted no time starting off the 2018 hurricane season, kicking the Atlantic — and more specifically the Gulf Coast — into high gear several days ahead of the official June 1 start date.

Tropical Storm Alberto hit the Florida Panhandle on May 28, bringing winds, rains, and even the possibility of tornadoes. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said winds from the tropical storm reached up to 65 miles per hour.

There is undoubtedly more to come as the season progresses. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric (NOAA) released its forecast for the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season in May, estimating a total of 10 to 16 named storms, of which five to nine could become hurricanes and one to four expected to become major hurricanes with winds of 111 miles per hour or more. It noted a 75 percent chance that this year will be a near or above normal hurricane season.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/06/01/490890.htm

Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial & Life, group benefits and Commercial policies as well.

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFSAT) have been deployed across the state to protect Floridians from post-storm fraud that could occur in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Alberto, according to a statement from Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.

With a state of emergency now declared in all 67 counties, Patronis activated the team to be on alert for fraud in the event of major flooding and damage.

“Unfortunately, storms can bring out the worst in people,” said Patronis. “To get ahead of any attempt to take advantage of those who may need repairs done to their property, we’re activating now so we can quickly ward off fraud. With the 2018 Hurricane Season less than a week away, it’s important consumers are alert and aware of the potential for post-storm scams.”

Patronis issued the following indicators of post-storm fraud that policyholders should be aware of:

  • A contractor or restoration professional who offered to waive or discount an insurance deductible.
  • A contractor or restoration professional that has received payment and has failed to provide any repairs to a home.
  • A contractor or restoration professional who offered to provide repairs at a cash-only discounted rate and has failed to provide repairs to a home.
  • A contractor or restoration professional who pressured a policyholder to sign an assignment of benefit (AOB) and has failed to provide any repairs to the home or stopped responding to contact attempts.

Anyone who experiences or witnesses these types of activity are encouraged to reach out to Patronis’ Fraud Tip Hotline by calling 1-800-378-0445. Callers can choose to remain anonymous

We are the most Fraudulent state in the country! Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/05/30/490562.htm

Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-270-7966 for free quotes for Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial, & life group benefits & Commercial policies as well.

The Florida fund that helps private insurers pay out claims after a hurricane remains in good shape heading into a storm season.

Despite losses from Hurricane Irma, estimates show the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund will have $17.3 billion available this year. This means that the fund has more money than it would need to pay out if storms racked the state.

The estimates were formally approved last week.

The financial health of the fund is important because the state can impose a surcharge on most insurance policies to replenish it if the money runs out. Some critics have called the surcharge a “hurricane tax.”

The fund built up its reserves during a lengthy period when there were no storms. The fund is expected to pay out $2 billion for claims associated with Irma.

Please enjoy the rest of the article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/05/25/490339.htm

Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business Policies & Life, Health and group products for all sizes.

Policymakers need to find a way to get banks involved in property mitigation if Florida is to improve its hurricane resiliency, according to a former state insurance commissioner.

Banks are currently unmotivated to protect mortgages through mitigation because the government steps in and bails them out when there is a crisis, Kevin McCarty, who was insurance commissioner of the state for 13 years, told the audience of the Florida Association of Insurance Reform (FAIR) Foundation’s conference in Tampa on May 2.

McCarty spoke about resiliency and mitigation, emphasizing the need for both in the catastrophe prone state.

“We know we are going to have more storms; we also know there is a lot of uninsured property,” McCarty said. “We also know somebody is mysteriously not at the table.”

He was referring to banks, which he said continue to be bailed out by the government and therefore will continue to make money no matter what. He referenced the financial crisis as an example of how banks are not motivated to protect their financial assets.

“Until banks actually have skin in the game, they are not going to be at the table,” he said.

McCarty’s said it’s important to think about what strategies could work to hold banks accountable and bring them to the table.

“If I as a taxpayer have to pay for it, it should be part of the law that if you have a federally backed mortgage you have to have an all-perils policy – and that means all perils,” McCarty told the audience, which responded with big applause.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/05/08/488539.htm

Please call Lee Gorodetsky at 954-270-7966 for free quotes and information about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood car, Business & Commercial & Life , group & Financial products as well.

In another step shifting risk to private markets, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said it intends to secure additional reinsurance for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through issuance of a catastrophe bond.

FEMA began purchasing private reinsurance in 2017 and recovered $1.042 billion from the private markets due to losses from Hurricane Harvey. In early January 2018, FEMA continued the practice by securing $1.46 billion in reinsurance from 28 private reinsurers to cover any qualifying NFIP flood losses in excess of $4 billion per event occurring in calendar year 2018.

FEMA said it now plans to transfer additional risk by engaging the capital markets for the first time through an insurance-linked securities (ILS) transaction on or about July 1, 2018.

Adding this new resource will enable FEMA to transfer risk through two avenues – the traditional reinsurance markets and the capital markets. Wright said that using both markets will create more competition and reduce the NFIP’s risk transfer costs. It will also enable FEMA to access greater market capacity and spread its risk across a more diverse pool of companies and investors, according to the announcement.

“The NFIP requires a stronger financial framework built on expanding our portfolio of actuarially-priced policies. Transferring more of the risk burden to the private capital markets continues to be part of that strategy,” said Roy Wright, director of the NFIP.

Please click on the link below to read the full article

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/04/05/485448.htm

Please call Lee at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial and Life, Health and group benefit policies.

 

Please read below how for 3 years in a row now AOB is still not resolved. Our Legislators in Tallahassee receive t much PAC money so why solve problems and help the consumer. instead we will see an average of 15% rate hikes for several years because they cannot agree on to much.

 

SB1168, by Senator Steube, passed two of its committee of three committees, but that’s as far as this onerous version of AOB reform ultimately got prior to stalling out in the Senate. SB1168 also amended current law to provide that a misrepresentation, omission, concealment of fact, or incorrect statement on an insurance application may prevent recovery only if the misrepresentation, omission, concealment of fact, or incorrect statement directly relates to the cause of the claim. If the misrepresentation, omission, concealment of fact or incorrect statement directly relates to the cause of the claim, one of the following must have applied:

  • The misrepresentation, omission, concealment, or statement is fraudulent or is material to the acceptance of the risk or to the hazard assumed by the insurer; or
  • If the true facts relative to the loss claimed had been known to the insurer pursuant to a policy requirement or other requirement, the insurer in good faith would not have:
    • Issued the policy or contract;
    • Issued the policy or contract at a premium rate at least 20 percent higher than the rate actually charged;
    • Issued a policy or contract in as large an amount; or
    • Provided coverage with respect to the hazard resulting in the loss.

In addition, SB1168 also would have amended current law to prohibit an insurer from utilizing “managed repair” controls, such as requiring that a particular vendor make repairs to a dwelling insured on the basis of replacement costs. It also prohibits the insurer from even recommending or suggesting a particular vendor to make repairs to a dwelling insured on the basis of replacement costs.

 

The bill required the assignee to provide a copy of the assignment agreement to the insurer within the earlier of 7 days after execution of the agreement, or 48 hours after beginning nonemergency work if the insurer has a facsimile number and e-mail address on its website designated for the delivery of such documents. It allowed the insurer to inspect the property at any time. If the insurer fails to attempt in good faith to inspect the property within 7 days after learning of the loss and promptly deliver to the assignee written notice of any perceived deficiency in the assignee’s notice or the work being performed; however, the failure may be raised to estop the insurer from asserting that work done was not reasonably necessary or that the notice was insufficient. We worked hard to stop this bill from advancing or being amended onto other legislation.

 

Industry’s preferred AOB bill, SB62 by Senator Hukill, was never scheduled for a committee hearing by the Banking & Insurance committee in the Senate.

 

Meanwhile, the Florida House of Representatives AOB reform, HB 7015 by Representative Trumbull was sent to the Senate in the first week of the legislative session. While the House version was not a perfect solution, the bill makes significant changes to the way property repair vendors are restricted in their use of an “assignment of benefits” or “AOB.”   The bill requires disclosures be provided to insureds before entering into an AOB. It moved to a “loser pays” attorney fee system. The House legislation provided the insured with an opportunity to rescind the assignment within 7 days of entering into the contract with the vendor. Further, the bill increased consumer protections and required vendors to provide written estimates of the work to be completed and required the assignee to notify the insurer of the assignment within 3 days of it being executed.   While it would be better to eliminate attorneys’ fees to repair vendors altogether, this bill would have been an improvement over the current system.

 

In the end, the House and Senate versions of AOB never matched up. This issue will be revisited next session.

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