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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.

Nine individuals and business owners have been arrested for their alleged involvement in a large-scale organized scheme to defraud insurance companies out of more than $600,000 in fraudulent insurance claims, according to a statement from Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis.

The arrests came after a year-long joint insurance fraud investigation dubbed “Operation Rubicon” that included fraud detectives with the Florida Department of Financial Services, the Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office.

The joint fraud investigation was initiated after several insurance companies notified authorities of suspected fraudulent residential insurance claims in the South Florida and Tampa areas. Detectives believe that The Rubicon Group, a public adjusting company owned by Barbara Maria Gonzalez, committed organized fraud and grand theft.

Gonzalez allegedly utilized the services of unscrupulous Florida companies, including water mitigation and restoration companies, insurance agencies and agents, appraisers, and willing homeowners to allegedly commit the fraud, DFS said. The investigation remains open and ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Patronis joined Rundle and Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan J. Perez to announce the arrests at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Today, we arrested nine individuals who are the ringleaders of an elaborate fraud scheme, with more arrests to come,” Patronis said.

Those arrested include:

  • Barbara Maria Gonzalez
  • Rafael Exposito
  • Rigoberto Lopez
  • Ricardo Alvarez
  • Jose Gonzalez
  • Romy Valdespino Rodriguez
  • Alessandra Kruger
  • Alicia Pardey
  • Ricardo Tello

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/05/02/525286.htm

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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.

The insurance industry and consumers advocates say the abuse has caused higher insurance premiums in the state and made insurance harder to obtain.

The bill’s provisions:

  • Define “assignment agreement” and establishing requirements for the execution, validity, and effect of such an agreement
  • Prohibit certain fees and altering policy provisions related to managed repairs in an assignment agreement
  • Transfer certain pre-lawsuit duties under the insurance contract to the assignee and shifting the burden to the assignee to prove that any failure to carry out such duties has not limited the insurer’s ability to perform under the contract
  • Require each insurer to report specified data on claims paid in the prior year under assignment agreements by January 30, 2022, and each year thereafter
  • Allow an insurer to make available a policy prohibiting assignment, in whole or in part, under certain conditions
  • Revise the state’s one-way attorney fee statute to incorporate an attorney fee structure in determining the fee amount awarded in suits by an assignee against an insurer
  • Require service providers to give an insurer and the consumer prior written notice of at least 10 business days before filing suit on a claim.

The Senate bill was sponsored by Senator Doug Broxson, chair of the Banking & Insurance Committee.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/04/24/524700.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.”

Please enjoy the full article below;

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

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

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.

Please enjoy the full article below;

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

Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial Insurance as well as Life , Health and all group benefits large & small

This article talks about coverage being available for most carriers, but not about prices. Reinsurance carriers suffering losses will raise rates to the carriers who will trickle it down to the consumer. The hope is that non renewal letters do not go out, putting many back into Citizens Insurance where they are not wanted or welcome, but may have to be???

 

Losses to the insurance industry from Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm that hit the Florida Panhandle before continuing a path of destruction through several other Southeast states, will be substantial but not enough to cause problems for insurers or a pullback in capacity, experts say.

Ohio-based ratings firm Demotech, which rates 52 Florida-based insurers as well as others in surrounding states affected by Michael, said these companies are well positioned to handle losses. “Demotech believes that each of the carriers that we review and rate that are exposed to loss and LAE from Hurricane Michael have in place a rigorous and vigorous catastrophe reinsurance program,” Demotech President Joseph L. Petrelli told Insurance Journal.

Others agree that Florida’s heavily-reinsured domestic insurers and an overall well-capitalized insurance industry should be able to handle Michael’s losses without major disruption.

A report by A.M. Best said depending on the severity of losses, primary insurers will likely share the loss burden with traditional reinsurers and alternative capital providers. Reinsurers with an outsize concentration in Florida will be more vulnerable than those with globally diversified catastrophe exposures, Moody’s said.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/10/15/504465.htm

Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial Insurance as well as Life , Health and all group benefits large & small.

Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm hitting Florida Wednesday with wind speeds of more than 150 miles per hour, is not just a major storm for the State of Florida, it is the strongest storm to hit the Florida Panhandle since hurricane records began, according to AIR Worldwide.

In an update released Wednesday from the catastrophe modeling firm, AIR said while there have been several other storms in recent history that have intensified more rapidly—Wilma increased from a 70 mph tropical storm to a 170 mph Category 5 in one day—what is unique about Michael is where it occurred: just prior to landfall, in an area that has never experienced a storm of this intensity.

“Not only is Michael potentially historic for where it will make landfall, it is also unique in terms of when,” AIR said. “If preliminary reports about Michael’s landfall near Mexico Beach, Fla., are correct, Michael will be recorded as the most intense hurricane on record to have struck land in the North Atlantic basin (which includes the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean) in the month of October.”

AIR noted that to date, the strongest hurricanes impacting the Florida Panhandle were all Category 3 storms. Among them, the 1917 unnamed storm #4, hurricanes Opal 1995, Ivan 2004 (an Alabama landfall that impacted Florida), and Dennis 2005. All four storms made landfall west of where Hurricane Michael struck.

The Florida Panhandle went nearly 80 years before experiencing another major hurricane. Opal in 1995 made landfall east of Pensacola with 115 mph winds. As with Hurricane Michael, Opal made use of the extremely warm water of the Gulf of Mexico, as well as favorable upper-level conditions, and rapidly intensified to a Category 4 hurricane before weakening and making landfall as a Category 3, AIR said.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/10/10/504018.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

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