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HOUSE ENACTS AOB REFORM

 

The Florida House of representatives passed HB 7015 by Representative Trumble and sent it to the Senate in the first week of the legislative session. While 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 House bill requires disclosures be provided to insured’s before entering into an AOB. It also moves to a “loser pays” attorney fee system. The House legislation provides the insured with an opportunity to rescind the assignment within 7 days of entering into the contract with the vendor. Further, the bill increases 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 NAIFA Florida supports eliminating attorneys’ fees to repair vendors altogether, this bill is an improvement over the current system.

 

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Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-351-1960 or cell at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial, & life, group & Financial products as well.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the Florida state-run insurer of last resort, is anticipating its policyholder count will increase in 2018 for the first time since its efforts to shed policies through depopulation began several years ago.

As it moves on from a tumultuous 2017 that included a major hurricane and ongoing assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse, Citizens executives said at its board of governors meeting last week that it anticipates more than 60,000 policyholders from private insurance companies will return to the state-run insurer of last resort.

Citizens President, CEO and Executive Director Barry Gilway told the board at the Dec. 13 meeting that the Florida domestic insurance market’s combined ratio and surplus have declined, and the majority of Florida insurers experienced negative net income for the first time in five years.

While the active 2017 storm season is one factor contributing to deteriorating insurer results, the biggest factor is increasing costs from nonweather-related losses and AOB abuse fueled by attorneys and contractors. The industry has started taking steps to limit losses from AOB, with some insurers not writing in certain areas of the state where it is the rampant.

Citizens, which is statutorily obligated to offer coverage when the private market will not, will have to pick up these policies. Gilway said he expects Citizens will see significantly less depopulation next year.

“When the market is healthy, and companies are making money, depopulation soars; when it becomes negative, depopulation drops. We are not expecting a lot of depopulation next year,” Gilway said.

Instead, Gilway said, Citizens is expecting its overall policy count of 442,000 – the lowest it has been since the company was formed in 2002 – to climb back up to around 500,000. Citizens policy count reached a high of 1.4 million before the depopulation program began in 2012.

Please read the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/12/20/474844.htm

Please call Lee at Acentria Insurance at 954-351-1960 or 954-270-7966 for free information or quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial & Life, group & Financial products as well.

The hurricane season is officially over, but it didn’t go by without leaving a major mark on Florida and its insurance industry.

Hurricane Irma, a name most in the state won’t soon forget, 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 have ranged between $25 billion to $65 billion by catastrophe modelers. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) reported total estimated insured losses at more than $5.8 billion as of Nov. 13, with more than 689,000 residential property claims and 51,396 commercial property claims. Business interruption claims reached more than 3,700 as of Nov. 3.

In the immediate aftermath of the storm, 6.7 million homes and businesses — about 65 percent of the state — were without power.

The Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund said the state fund that provides backing to private insurers would pay about $5.1 billion in claims. Florida estimated it had spent nearly $650 million on emergency resources and clean up from the storm.

Florida’s state-run insurer of last resort, Citizens, expects $1.2 billion in insured losses and 70,000 Hurricane Irma claims over the next 18-24 months. The carrier said Nov. 29 it had closed nearly two-thirds of the 62,000 claims it had seen so far, including more than 42,400 claims in Miami-Dade, Broward and Monroe counties.

The damage to Florida crops was also epic. According to The Associated Press, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said Irma’s path couldn’t have been “more lethal” for Florida agriculture, with few crops spared. More than half of the state’s iconic orange crop is estimated to be lost.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/11/30/472582.htm

Please contact Lee at Acentria Insurance at 954-351-1960 for free quotes On Home Insurance, Flood Auto, Private Flood, Car Insurance, Business & Commercial policies and Life & Financial products as well.

Hurricane Irma’s damaging rampage through Florida may require the state fund that provides backing to private insurers to pay up to $5.1 billion in claims.

Anne Bert, chief operating officer for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, said Thursday the fund will be able to pay claims with cash. That means the fund will

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

The fund entered storm season in good financial shape and new estimates conclude the fund could borrow up to nearly $8 billion.

The $5.1 billion claims estimate is preliminary, but actuaries said they based it on experience from previous hurricanes.

not have to borrow any money.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/10/30/469653.htm

Please call Lee at 954-351-1960 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial & Life & Health Insurance and Group financial products as well.

 

Nearly 17,000 flood insurance claims connected with Hurricane Irma have been filed, and more are expected in the coming weeks.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that of 16,786 flood claims filed through Thursday, 3,969 were filed in Monroe County.

FEMA data shows that Miami-Dade residents have filed 1,870 claims, 829 have been filed in Broward County and 199 have come from Palm Beach County.

Other counties with large numbers of flood insurance claims are Duval, with 1,514, Lee, with1,426 and Collier with 1,364.

Fewer than 200 claims have been filed in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Charlotte counties – an example of how the Tampa Bay region was spared the severe impact feared by forecasters.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/09/27/465727.htm

Please call Lee at 954-351-1960 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Flood, Private Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial policies as well as Life, Disability and all group products.

With two Florida landfalls in the same day, Hurricane Irma‘s destructive wind and flood damage could cost up to $65 billion for both insured and uninsured losses, according to a recent estimate by CoreLogic.

Residential property flood loss is estimated at up to $38 billion, CoreLogic reported, noting that includes storm surge, inland and flash flooding in five states – Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina

80 percent of the flood damage is uninsured, the company said.

Reported insured flood loss for commercial properties could top out at $8 billion.

AIR Worldwide estimated insured losses for the U.S. States resulting from Irma will range between $25 billion – $35 billion.

The catastrophe modeling firm noted the hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from the eye and tropical storm–force winds extended more than 400 miles, covering the entire state and driving storm surge into both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Downed trees, signs and utility poles and flooded or debris-strewn streets could be seen in the southern regions of the state, AIR Worldwide reported.

Karen Clark & Company estimated losses in the U.S and Caribbean at $25 billion. Of the $18 billion insured loss in the U.S., the majority is in Florida, followed by Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, KCC reported.

As of Thursday, Sept. 21, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported more than 397,000 residential property claims and just over 17,000 commercial property claims had been filed. Including all types of losses, total estimated insured losses thus far had passed the $3 billion mark. OIR has been updating claims data daily.

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/09/22/465115.htm

Please call Lee at Acentria Insurance at 954-351-1960 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Flood, Private Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial and Life & Financial products as well.

Although insured losses as a result of Hurricane Irma will not be as severe as originally forecast, the storm still represents a sizeable catastrophe event that will test the infrastructure and potentially strain the financial wherewithal of some local and regional carriers in Florida, particularly those that are geographically concentrated, according to a new briefing from A.M. Best.

The Best’s Briefing, titled, “Hurricane Irma Tests Newer Participants in Florida Market,” notes that over the past decade, the number of more concentrated local/regional writers in Florida’s insurance market has increased as national writers pulled back on the state

The state-formed Citizens Property Casualty Insurance Corporation took on much of that risk exposure, and as a result, experienced significant financial pressure. This led to a fairly successful depopulation program, whereby private insurers were given incentives to assume policies from Citizens. This, along with other factors that included benign weather in Florida and favorable reinsurance pricing, prompted many new insurance companies to form.

According to the report, a number of new insurance companies were formed since 2007, writing nearly a fifth of the property market lines: homeowners, farmowners, fire and allied, and commercial multiperil (non-liability). Hurricane Irma represents the first severe event to test the strength of these business models, particularly with regard to risk selection, loss mitigation and potentially their reinsurance programs.

The report also states that with Hurricane Irma occurring in such close proximity to Hurricane Harvey, the demand for independent catastrophe claim adjusters has increased. A.M. Best-rated entities had already started strengthening their claims processes in response to the state’s Assignment of Benefit issues. Newer companies may face additional pressure from a lack of experience as well as limitations due to scale.

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/09/18/464615.htm

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