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Some coastal residents always put off emergency preparations until storm clouds loom on the horizon. The National Hurricane Center is going to try giving those people a deadline this year, issuing experimental advisories showing when tropical-storm force winds may hit particular communities to help them understand when it’s too late to put up storm shutters or evacuate.

The forecasters’ advisories will be fueled by more data than ever, thanks to new weather satellites and an expanded network of underwater gliders.

New Advisory

To help people understand when storm preparations should be completed, the hurricane center will experiment with advisories showing the times when sustained tropical-storm force winds are estimated to hit land. If a tropical disturbance nears shore, forecasters also could post advisories or warnings before it develops into a tropical depression or named storm.

Florida’s emergency management director, Bryan Koon, said the new advisories could help validate evacuation orders for people who complain about “hype” around approaching storms.

“We can say, `Listen, this is when things are going to get bad in your area,”’ Koon said. “We can also use that to say, `A few hours ahead of that, stores are going to close, roads are going to get jam-packed with people, we might have to shut down power substations.”

Storm surge watches and warnings will be issued this year when U.S. coastlines are at risk for life-threatening flooding.

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/06/07/453709.htm

 

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Florida Governor Rick Scott is looking for a replacement for the state’s top insurance regulator and has already contacted a potential candidate from Louisiana.

Scott’s office has confirmed that the governor contacted Ron Henderson, Louisiana deputy insurance commissioner for consumer advocacy, as a possible replacement for Florida’s current insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, who has headed the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) since 2003.

McCarty has reportedly been targeted for replacement as part a shake-up of top officials by Scott as he embarks on his second term.

In a letter to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Scott called for new heads of the OIR, the Office of Financial Regulation and the Department of Revenue.

Please enjoy the full article below!

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/27/355570.htm

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A national consumer group is urging Florida to keep its current insurance regulator, a man the group says is one of the best regulators in the country but who is rumored to be under pressure to resign by the Scott Administration.

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has reached out to the Florida Financial Services Commission in support of Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, following recent reports that second-term Governor Rick Scott is opposing McCarty’s reappointment.

Hunter hopes that they will act to keep McCarty, he wrote in an email to Insurance Journal. “McCarty is very strong given his great track record,” wrote Hunter.

Hunter said it is not typical for a member of the CFA to reach out in support of an official because usually a state governor would make the final decision and no vote is needed

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/23/355006.htm

Florida’s insurance regulator’s tenure could be coming to an end after more than a decade as the newly re-elected governor looks to shake up his administration by replacing the heads of state agencies.

Rumors have been circulating that Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty may not survive the transition into Governor Rick Scott’s second term. And Scott’s office isn’t exactly stopping them.

The News Service of Florida reported that in a letter to CFO Atwater on Tuesday, Scott wrote that he hoped the Cabinet could “begin a search for new leadership” at the Office of Insurance Regulation, the Office of Financial Regulation and the Department of Revenue.

Scott’s spokesperson Jackie Schutz said it is important for a governor to have new leaders and new ideas heading into a second term. While not addressing McCarty specifically, Schutz laid out the rationale for finding a replacement for McCarty.

“Executive office positions are not lifetime appointments and for the same reason there are term limits in elected office, it is important to search for the best newest ideas whenever possible,” said Schutz.

“In regard to the Office of Insurance Regulation, we have no announcements at this time,” said Schutz, in what some see as a signal that a change is coming.

Industry representatives are reticent to discuss McCarty, perhaps not wanting to risk antagonizing either McCarty or the next commissioner.

When asked, industry representatives said it is not a matter of one choice or one decision that McCarty has made that got him to this point. Most just say McCarty’s fate is the product of years of unpopular decisions.

Several industry representatives said, “It’s time.”

McCarty is not the only state official whose job is up for grabs.

 

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/20/354497.htm

The race between Scott and Crist has been closely watched by the insurance industry, which has worked under the radar to try and influence the race in Scott’s favor.

With polls showing Scott and Crist virtually even, industry representatives know that the slightest incident could swing the race one way or another. That is why representatives looked on with a mixture of horror and disbelief at the beginning of the debate and the so-called “fangate” affair, which some fear could define the race.

Fla. Gov. Rick Scott

In what has become fodder for late night comedians and TV political pundits, Scott initially refused to participate in the debate because Crist had a small electric fan underneath his podium.

FAIA, through its Trusted Choice program, was a co-sponsor of the debate.

“Most people thought it was a joke and it was like they were waiting for the punch line,” said Grady. “But then there was no punch line.”

Professional Insurance Agents of Florida CEO Corey Mathews said that unfortunately the fan incident was a “big deal,” which on the surface exposed the different temperaments of both candidates.

“You have two very different candidates with two very different perspectives,” said Mathews. “Crist is a natural campaigner and a populist, while Scott is more focused on jobs and making a difference.”

Many in the insurance industry feel they have a lot at stake in this election and fear a victory for Crist with whom they have had their differences in the past.

Now the fear is that the election could some down to a bizarre fight over a fan.

“It was really hard to watch,” said another industry onlooker. “Clearly it rattled Scott and it seemed he could never clean it up.”

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Please enjoy the full article for a good laugh at Florida Politics!!!

As Florida seeks to revive its private home insurance market after almost a decade without a hurricane, homeowners are pouring $6 billion a year in premiums into a new generation of small, in-state insurance companies with an unproven record of withstanding a major hurricane.

A consumer-oriented rating agency, Weiss Ratings, recently awarded the companies a median grade of C-minus, and even without a major storm to drive up claims, 11 of them have already failed in Florida since 2006, according to state records.

“This is an accident waiting to happen,” said Gavin Magor, senior financial analyst with Weiss, a national agency with a reputation for tough ratings based in Jupiter, Florida.

Responding to the Weiss ratings, Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, a trade association, said all the companies meet state regulations, noting that other rating agencies gave higher grades.

“Things are moving in the right direction for Florida in attracting private capital. The risk has been diversified and there’s clearly an appetite for this new risk,” said Hartwig.

Almost 80 per cent of Florida’s insured residential and commercial property, valued at about $3 trillion, lies in coastal areas vulnerable to both wind damage and flooding, according to risk modeling experts.

State officials have encouraged the growth of the private market in recent years, seeking to downsize the overloaded state-run Citizens Property Insurance Co., which ballooned as it took on policies after the major companies withdrew.

The major insurers have stayed away from Florida, saying state regulators require rates that are too low to make the risk of doing business profitable.

Citizens remains the single largest carrier in the state, with 14.5 percent market share.

I think we all know that what we have here in Florida is not what we want, but it is all we have. Citizens is not a great place to be and the Private market provides better policies and coverage so we need these new smaller carriers. We need them because the big carriers like State Farm, All State, GEICO, Progressive, Traveler’s, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and even USAA have all stopped writing new business here in Florida. I think the real question is why is this being allowed when they write business in other states? They should be told to write all lines of business at some price or leave the state!!! No one is willing to tell them this and stand up to them so this is what we have left to deal with. Lawmakers in Tallahassee do not want to do things that make waves because this will not get them re-elected!!!
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Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/09/11/340172.htm

Democrat Charlie Crist said he successfully reduced rising property insurance rates as governor and will do so again if elected, vowing to repeal a law enacted under Republican Gov. Rick Scott that he said provides weaker coverage at a higher price.

It’s a familiar theme for Crist, who campaigned in 2006 on a pledge to lower insurance rates that were skyrocketing after eight hurricanes battered Florida in two years. One of his first acts as governor was to call a special session to deal with rising rates. Lawmakers expanded the amount of state-sponsored reinsurance, which brought down costs for private carriers, and froze rates by the state-created Citizen’s Property Insurance Corp., which took on more policies as national companies backed away from Florida.

Minutes after Crist’s announcement, the Office of Insurance Regulation announced that it approved the removal of 428,000 policies from Citizens to private companies. In all, nearly 900,000 policies have been approved for removal as the state tries to reduce the number of Citizens policies. Customers can choose to remain with Citizens.

Scott signed a bill his first year in office designed to attract more insurance companies to Florida. Consumer advocates and legislative critics said it would raise rates by up to 15 percent while taking away benefits from customers. Crist vetoed a similar bill the year before.

Scott’s campaign criticized Crist’s insurance policies for putting more of a burden on state government.

“Florida taxpayers were left on the hook for billions and homeowners were left with fewer options to protect their property,” said Scott spokesman Matt Moon in an email to reporters. “Under Governor Scott, Florida has done the exact opposite, reforming and shrinking Citizens Insurance while giving consumers more choice and competition to protect their home.”

I am not a fan of either of them, but under Governor Scott, the Insurance Industry is definitely way more stabile than it has ever been and we have more carriers writing business than ever before! Please call L & S INsurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well. Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/09/08/339865.htm

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