Rick Scott GOP

The Florida Panhandle and the Alabama Gulf Coast are dealing with severe flooding from torrential rains as a storm system continues to batter the Southeast.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for 26 counties to support emergency response operations for communities experiencing heavy rains.


Please read the full article below and please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial & Life & Financial products as well.




FLOOD INSURANCE BILL ADVANCES TO SENATE FLOORSenate Bill 542 by Senator Brandes was heard by the Full Senate this week. The senate adopted an amendment making clear that insurers offering flood coverage could provide coverage’s beyond those specified in the bill, including a wrap policy available to National Flood Insurance Program insureds to supplement coverage available in that policy. The Senate has removed provisions allowing insurers with surplus of at least $35 million to avoid filing a three year pro forma and reinsurance plan prior to writing, effectively requiring all insurers to file such a plan before entering the flood market. The biggest point of contention between the house and senate involves the senate bill provision allowing policyholders to only purchase enough flood insurance coverage to pay the mortgage holder. While this would provide lower cost options to policyholders, it would leave many without the means to repair their houses after a flood. In addition, it would place greater pressure on wind insurers by policyholders attempting to get their homes fixed by claiming wind, not flood, caused the damage. Bryan Nelson, House Insurance Committee Chairman is dead set against this mortgage coverage limit approach. Some in the legislature question why any bill is needed at all, in light of the Federal pushback of the provisions of Biggert Waters. The House will be hearing its bill in the House Governmental Operations Subcommittee this week.SENATE PASSES UNDERWRITING CRITERIA FOR PERSONAL LINES PROPERTY INSURANCE REGARDING FIREARMSSB 424 by Senator Tom Lee passed the Senate this week. HB 255 by Representative Gaetz has been added to the House calendar; however, it is similar to SB 424 and the House could take up the Senate-passed measure which would expedite this legislation reaching the Governor’s desk. This legislation prohibits a property and casualty insurer or automobile insurer from refusing to underwrite, issue, reissue, or renew a policy, cancel or otherwise terminate a policy, or change a discriminatory rate based on an insured’s household member’s lawful use, possession, or ownership of a firearm or ammunition. The inclusion of ammunition was added by the Appropriations Committee. Additionally, the bill prohibits an insurer from disclosing the insured’s ownership of a firearm to a third party unless the insurer discloses to the insured a specific need to disclose the information and the insured consents to the disclosure. An insurer may charge a supplemental premium for a separate rider voluntarily requested by an applicant to insure a firearm or firearm collection that exceeds the standard policy coverage, so long as it is not unfairly discriminatory. For underwriting purposes, an insurer is not prohibited from sharing such information with its licensed insurance agent when a separate rider has been voluntarily requested by an applicant.FLORIDA HURRICANE CATASTROPHE FUND LEGISLATION IS MOVINGSB 391 by Senator Hager passed the Insurance and Banking Subcommittee and is scheduled to be heard by the Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee this week. The bill reduces the mandatory coverage limit of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (“CAT Fund”) from $17 billion to $14 billion over three years beginning June 1, 2015. The bill allows insurers to purchase coverage above the $14 billion limit in $1 billion increments up to $17 billion to cover potential shortfalls in the CAT Fund.Other bills, including SB 610 by Senator Lee, and SB 228 by Senator Ring, also seek to reduce the mandatory coverage level of the CAT Fund.  Lee’s bill would reduce it by $5.2 billion, and Ring’s bill which lowers it even further, have not been heard.

Please call L & S Insurance at -1888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Business & Commercial & life Insurance & Financial products as well.


They(these House Republicans) do not care because Flood insurance does not affect them and they assume most people in High risk areas are wealthy! This is not the case for many and this will still be a problem that could take weeks or months to resolve. The Private flood market and not the plan with FEMA, with our Legislators, should progress faster so we have 2 options to help us here in Fort Lauderdale, Tarpon Springs and all of Florida. The governor will sign the bill when it passes so time is the only issue so far. I will keep you posted, but keep watching my blogs as the sessions start soon. Please enjoy the full article below and please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial & Life & Financial products as well.


It was set for 1/2/12, but now it will be by the end of January unless more snags come up. Governor Rick Scott really wanted this Bill and now Citizens Insurance president Barry Gilway has to make it happen. I will be in Orlando on Monday 12/16 to hear more details about the program, but it will be interesting to see how this plays out for all of us here in Fort Lauderdale and all of Florida. Please read the full article below, but please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial and Life Insurance products as well.


Reinsurance prices have dropped this year, but we are not seeing any relief with price decreases yet on Home Insurance, and our CFO is finally asking the question why. This has taken a while as prices are way above where they were after Hurricane Wilma and things have improved since then in many ways! The reason is simple!! No one has made them lower rates. They are following the requests of our Governor Rick Scott when he came into office saying the Insurance companies need to get fiscally healthy, but not many knew what that meant. Let’s see how this pans out as The people of Fort Lauderdale, and all of S. Florida need a rate hike break as it is killing the Real estate market as well. So many are struggling with budgets and Foreclosures are still everywhere so why does the Insurance rates have to be so high. I like the pressure from the CFO and it is long overdue! Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, and Life Insurance products as well. Please enjoy the full article below!


This started in May and has been and will continue to be under investigation by the office of Insurance Regulation and The Insurance Commissioner’s office(Kevin McCarty). For this 40K policies they removed they have received another 33 Million in cash payouts from Citizens to take them Immediately instead of waiting till the renewal which was always done in the past. Heritage did give Governor Rick Scott and many others some big Campaign Contributions and they in turn had this deal almost slip under the radar, but it was caught.Barry Gilway, the head of Citizens Insurance said this was not intended, but any carrier can do the same deal. Sure they have paid several hundred claims and paid out 2-3 million so far, but they were allowed to Cherry Pick(Underwrite) the policies they wanted. If that was me, I would pick any policy that does not have a current claim pending and has not had a Claim while they were in Citizens so they are less likely to have one. Looks Like Heritage is the winner so far at about 30 million so far plus the premiums from the clients which all take out carriers receive. How will this affect Fort Lauderdale and South Florida, time will tell and the next Hurricane will tell us more about financial solvency. In the meantime, please enjoy the full article below. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial Coverage and Life Insurance products as well.


So many concerns and we do not know if anyone is listening. The affordability study was never completed as required and it will still not be ready till next year. The head of The Florida Association of Realtors(FAR) spoke to our Florida congress. The director of FEMA does not have the authority to do anything as it is Law and he is following his Job Requirements, and our Florida Congress, and Governor Rick Scott are also asking our State Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to be involved. Flood Insurance rate Hikes could affect the 20 consecutive months of Real Estate sales Increases which is what we need. I do not think it can be stopped since it has already began. Our clients here at L & S are already receiving bills for higher rates and some policies have to be rewritten for the Month of October with new Flood Elevation certificates. This will be complicated for all and it will also cost more as it should. A lot of people and especially higher end Homes and Incomes will be the most likely hurt. Let’s see what happens as the story continues on. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial and Life Insurance quotes as well. Please enjoy the full story below.


Citizens Insurance has many property owner’s with what we call DP3 or DP 1 policies(Landlords). They may have always been landlords, or could have lived there and moved away, but there are 180K policies in Citizens like this. There is now a large group that wants them out of Citizens as well. Interesting concept except in most scenarios, we do not have a place to put them with the Private market. If the prices were raised enough to cause private Insurance carriers to write more of these policies, that could help, but what do we do now? Every conversation to help Citizens Insurance is always about Higher premiums. Fort Lauderdale, South Florida and all of Florida will be affected by these changes and the new bill signed by our Governor, Rick Scott, in Tallahassee this past summer will most Importantly affect rates to be much higher for the next 2 years at least. The FEMA issue for Flood Insurance just makes things worse. The Real Estate market will not handle this well and it could affect a big part of our state Income which is Real Estate and Tourism. Please read the full article below and call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial and Life Insurance products as well.


6.6% statewide average is not so bad, but some will see much more. In Fort Lauderdale and most of S. Florida the increases will be at least 10% and in the hard hit Sinkhole area of Pasco, Pinellas, and Hernando counties, the increases are capped at 20%, but could be less. The bottom line is that for the 4th year in a row prices of Home Insurance will increase significantly and with ease. Our Governor is in his 4th year as well so this is what we expected and what he campaigned about. Did you expect it or understand why? Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes or information about Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial and Life Insurance products as well. PLease enjoy the full arrticle below.


CFO Jeff Atwater together with the head of the OIR(Office of Insurance regulation) will start to look into this problem. The fact is that Insurance companies can buy more reinsurance to protect the assets they have in reserves and that cost can also be passed along to the Florida consumers. Governor Rick Scott will now also want to know because his re-election campaign is well under way and he will need a boost to his ratings that are terrible. If a solution can be found so South Florida will finally get some needed relief, he would be a hero. Everyone should call their Florida Senator and Congressman to make them aware of this problem soon. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial and Life & Health Insurance products as well. Please enjoy the full article below;


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