Tampa Bay Times


Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, 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 the employer.

At WeInsure, since we carry National General, we will soon also be able to sell Allstate policies!!!!!

U.S. Insurer Allstate Corp. said on Tuesday it will buy National General Holdings Corp. for about $4 billion in cash, scaling up its auto insurance business at a time when the coronavirus has crushed traffic on roads and reduced claims.

National General’s shareholders will receive $32 per share in cash and closing dividends of $2.50 per share for each share held. This would imply a total deal value of $3.92 billion and a premium of about 69% to National General’s Tuesday close, Reuters calculations showed.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2020/07/08/574808.htm#

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, 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 the employer.

Within the past few months, experts in all industries have analyzed the ways the coronavirus pandemic will affect their business environments. Insurance is no different.

As the pandemic’s impact on the insurance market gradually unravels, experts can turn to various indicators to determine how much the industry has been affected thus far.

Consider USI Insurance Services’ recently released “Q2-2020 Commercial Property & Casualty Insurance Market Outlook Report,” which highlights key industry trends amidst ongoing COVID-19 challenges.

“While it is too soon to determine the full impact of COVID-19 on the property & casualty insurance industry, markets are facing unique and interrelated challenges that industry insiders feel will continue through 2020 and well into 2021,” Robert Meyers, senior vice president, property & casualty leader at USI, said in the report. ”In fact, as rate increases, capacity reductions, and other negative trends continue to harden the market, the industry faces a number of challenges and uncertainties resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The property, umbrella/excess liability, casualty, and directors & officers (D&O) liability markets are currently dealing with the most significant issues.”

Among USI’s findings is the reveal that all segments of the property sector are experiencing higher rates, capacity restrictions/limitations, and other challenges resulting from excessive underwriting submissions, virus claims and lawsuits, and more.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.propertycasualty360.com/2020/07/06/pc-insurance-market-outlook-q2-2020/?ref=insurancedailynews

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, 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 the employer.

Most Fla. property owners will likely pay more when their policies renew, as insurers pass along increasing costs of coverage they need to pay claims after a disaster.

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Florida homeowners, already paying nearly the highest home insurance rates in the nation, should get ready for more sticker shock if and when their policies next renew.

Premiums for most Florida property owners are poised to jump again – sharply – as insurers pass along skyrocketing costs of coverage they need to pay claims after a catastrophic hurricane or other weather event.

That coverage is called reinsurance. It’s insurance that insurers must buy to prevent them from going broke – and to make sure you get paid – after a disaster.

By the June 1 start of every year’s hurricane season, insurers negotiate new reinsurance contracts for the upcoming year. Global capital firms provide the coverage, financed by investors who hope their outlay brings them a higher percentage of profit than if they had left the money in stocks, bonds or other investments.

This year, reinsurance prices increased 20% to 30% in Florida, and averaged 26.1% for companies that cover the most vulnerable catastrophe zones in the U.S., according to a report from artemis.bm, a reinsurance-focused news website.

The increases are the steepest in Florida in more than a decade and are similar to increases that drove up rates for policyholders after the 2005 hurricane season, the report stated, adding that companies hit hardest by claims and lawsuits in recent years faced increases of more than 45%.

Big hikes coming for policyholders

Industry experts say the increases soon will trickle down to Florida property owners who already pay $3,643 on average a year to insure their homes. That’s nearly $1,338 more than the national average

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.floridarealtors.org/news-media/news-articles/2020/06/insurance-firms-ready-charge-more-money-storm-season

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, 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 the employer.

Insurers are opposing the consolidation of more than 100 federal lawsuits filed by companies arguing that they should receive business interruption coverage stemming from COVID-19 shutdowns.

The insurance industry has filed more than 24 briefs opposing multidistrict litigation, following in the footsteps of arguments posed in a brief by two Chubb affiliates that stated consolidation would complicate and prolong the litigation, according to Reuters. The insurers were joined by plaintiffs’ firms, some with MDL experience, who also don’t want their cases moved to a nationwide, multidefendant proceeding.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/us/news/breaking-news/insurance-industry-rises-up-against-business-interruption-lawsuits-224651.aspx?ref=insurancedailynews

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, 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 the employer.

The number of traffic crashes in Florida dropped by 50% in April compared to the same time last year, according to highway officials.

With residents holed up at home, working remotely and running fewer errands, rush hour traffic has dipped considerably. Shuttered bars and restaurants has meant fewer drunk drivers on the roads. Florida drivers were involved in 16,191 crashes last month compared to 33,692 in April 2019, according to data from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2020/06/04/571102.htm

 

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, 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 the employer.

The official start of the Atlantic hurricane season on Monday could signal more steep losses for insurers and reinsurers, already battered by the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on their underwriting and investment positions.

However, recent years of hefty damage from hurricanes and high claims due to the pandemic mean property rates at a key June 1 renewal date are expected to get pushed up by as much as 50%, providing an income boost.

Meteorologists are forecasting that the Atlantic 2020 hurricane season, which officially finishes on Nov. 30, will be above average.

“What we’ve seen over the past couple of years is an increase of (storm) losses from a frequency and severity perspective,” said Susan Fallon, Global Head of Property at Zurich Insurance Group.

“There’s an expectation we will see increased rates.”

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.carriermanagement.com/news/2020/06/01/207322.htm?ref=insurancedailynews

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance  & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966, 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 the employer.

Capitol Preferred Insurance Co., one of the top writers of homeowners insurance in Florida, has received approval from the state’s insurance regulator to shed 23,800 policies just weeks before the start of hurricane season.

In a March 12 consent order, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation found that the early cancellation of the Capitol Preferred policies was necessary based on its magnitude of losses in 2017, 2018, and 2019, the increased cost of reinsurance and “to protect the best interests of the public and policyholders,” according to an OIR spokesperson.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2020/05/15/568657.htm

Please call  Lee from Calles Financial and Chaisteli Insurance  at 954-270-7966, 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 the employer.

If your carrier is experiencing 100% or more from claims last year, then expect huge rate hikes this year. Not counting Reinsurance hikes this summer, rates could jump 30-40% for the next 2 years!!! Do you need to shop your Insurance, Home, Auto, Life or Long Term Care, I can help you understand and shop rates, premiums, coverages or the lack thereof.

The long-awaited Demotech rating decisions for Florida domestic carriers are in, with many carriers having satisfied necessary steps to avoid ratings downgrades by the financial analysis firm.

After affirming a slew of companies in mid-March, Demotech announced April 2 that the remaining carriers that had yet to be decided were affirmed (see chart) because of enhancements to their business models

On March 30, Demotech affirmed the ‘A’ financial stability ratings of the following companies: Avatar Property & Casualty Insurance Co., Centauri Specialty Insurance Co., Cypress Property & Casualty, Safepoint Insurance Co., and Tower Hill Signature Insurance Co. Also affirmed were Tower Hill Select Insurance Co. and Omega Insurance Co., after their merger into Tower Hill Signature was approved by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation on March 25.

Since Demotech sounded the alarm in January that as many as 18 Florida carriers could see downgrades due to deteriorating insurance market conditions in the state, the ratings firm said several actions have been taken: one company was downgraded, one company was acquired by a carrier with an FSR of A; five companies were merged into carriers with FSRs of A, and an additional nine companies enhanced their business models.

The specific actions include:

  • Anchor P&C Assigned an FSR of M – ceased operations
  • Anchor Specialty FSR of A – Acquired by insurer with FSR of A
  • Omega FSR of A – Merged into an insurer with FSR of A
  • Tower Hill Select FSR of A – Merged into an insurer with FSR of A
  • Cypress TX FSR of A – Merged into an insurer with FSR of A
  • Prepared FSR of A – Merged into an insurer with FSR of A

Demotech said other carriers “aggressively enhanced the capability of their business models to respond to the anticipated continuation of jurisdictional and weather-related challenges, the substantial increase in reinsurance costs during 2019, the likely increase in the cost of reinsurance in 2020, and the cost of the Rapid Cash Buildup Program of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund.”

Those companies include:

  • Centauri Specialty FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Centauri National FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Safepoint FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Gulfstream P&C FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Avatar P&C FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Capitol Preferred FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Security First FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Tower Hill Signature FSR of A, Business model enhanced
  • Cypress P&C FSR of A, Business model enhanced

“Our view of Florida’s current residential property insurance marketplace is that the numerous financial and market based criteria that affect Florida residential property insurance have never been more difficult for carriers to navigate since we first rated Florida focused carriers in 1996. The marketplace as well as carrier-specific financial metrics drove the need to consider downgrades,” Demotech said in an April 2 report on its ratings decisions.

The ratings firm said it asked certain Florida insurers to provide projections of their year-end 2019 financials immediately after it finished reviewing third quarter results in November last year. At that time, it also asked those insurers to answer two questions based on the following Florida-specific circumstances: 1. the lingering impact of the judicial activism of the past; 2. the litany of named weather events; 3. increases in the cost of reinsurance, and 4. the specter of additional increases in the cost of reinsurance in 2020.

The questions posed to companies were:

  • Will you continue to be focused on residential property insurance in Florida?
  • If so, based upon the conditions in the marketplace and the operating results that will emanate from those conditions, how will you revise your business model, or otherwise position your company, to combat more of those same conditions in the future?

Demotech said carrier responses used to make ratings decisions included documentation of the company’s jurisdictional diversification, voluntary runoff, marketing existing books of business to other carriers, merging affiliates, or securing assistance.

“The management teams of these carriers have fought the conditions in the most difficult operating jurisdiction in the country to a draw,” the Demotech statement says. “They have addressed the needs of policyholders, investigated and settled claims, paid their employees, producers, and reinsurers, met with us, negotiated with reinsurers for their 2020 programs, and filed timely financial statements in an orderly manner.”

Demotech said it reviewed public and private financial information of companies, including:

  • Managing general agency contract and financial statements, when necessary
  • Holding company financial statements, when necessary
  • Actuarial reports and documents containing appreciably more detail than the actuarial opinion letter, which is a public document
  • Independent audits
  • Anticipated operating results in the form of pro forma financials in a prescribed format
  • Claims adjusting details and reports
  • Litigation services
  • Asset and investment management contracts
  • Disaster recovery plan
  • Catastrophe response plans
  • Catastrophe modelling output
  • A preliminary review of horizontal and vertical reinsurance programs
  • A final review of horizontal and vertical reinsurance programs
  • Review of rate level indications
  • Personal financial statements of key financial supporters.
  • On-site meetings with reinsurers
  • On-site meetings with companies\

Please enjoy the full article below!!

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2020/04/03/563193.htm

Please call  Lee from Calles Financial at 954-270-7966, 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 the employer

This will still be a band aid and could be a huge problem if the big storm actually hits Florida, but, we need the help now for rate relief!

Floridians currently pay the highest homeowner’s insurance rates in the nation, and no one should be surprised by this. Florida is a long relatively narrow large peninsula jutting out into bodies of warm water prone to tropical storms and hurricanes.

At the same time, we also have the most robust and competitive homeowner’s market of any state by far. This fierce competition keeps rates lower than they might be otherwise. As a consumer advocate, I have never been shy about stating that good market conditions create competition and innovation which benefits insurance consumers.

The last four years have not been good for the Florida homeowner’s insurance market. The impact is that the average policyholder will pay about $500 more per year to insure their homes—an average 25% rate increase on the median $2,000 a year policy.

What caused this? In the last four years, we have not only had several hurricanes after a 10-year respite, but also in each year we have had expensive non-hurricane events that have deteriorated insurance profits and claims reserves. Because of this, private reinsurance prices (this cost is about 40% of total premium collected) have sharply increased, and investment capital has dried up—tripling the cost of borrowing.

This situation is nothing new. Florida will always have good and bad cycles when it comes to the weather and insurance.

The good news is that elected representatives in Tallahassee have mechanisms that were put in place by their predecessors to mitigate the damage that would be caused by cyclical rate increases.

Legislative reforms during the current session could reduce this average rate increase by at least half, and could include:

  1. Repeal the rapid cash build-up factor for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF). The Florida “Cat Fund” was designed to promote stability in the international reinsurance market. Years ago when the FHCF was depleted after eight hurricanes in two years, a 25% surcharge was placed on the price of reinsurance purchased through the fund to replenish cash in the fund so that it would have enough money to pay claims for a future rainy day. Today the FHCF has $13 billion of cash on hand to pay claims and will collect over $1 billion more this year. The total $14 billion is equal to all the claims paid by the FHCF in the 26 years since it was created. Repeal of this rainy-day surcharge would pass about $350 million back to insurance consumers and reduce the average rate increase by 20%.
  2. Allow the Cat Fund to offer an additional $4 billion in coverage through a temporary layer of reinsurance that would offer about $600 million in savings that again would be passed on to insurance consumers. Companies would be able to buy more reinsurance from the FHCF instead of the private market. This would also increase capacity and lower private reinsurance costs. This reform would reduce the average rate increase by another 40%.
  3. An additional and temporary measure that the legislature could take is to provide short-term loans that would replace existing debt. According to the rating agency Demotech, this reform (which has been employed by the legislature in the past) would allow at least six Florida-based carriers to provide their policyholders with lower rates. It would also help keep this market robust and competitive.
  4. We simply cannot ignore these expected rate increases. The Florida Legislature should use the existing policy levers to get in front of the problem.

Watch out Fort Lauderdale and Broward county. With 250K people now with no flood coverage,  Murphy’s law is likely so be careful!!!

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

A summer deluge has flooded streets in the Tampa Bay area, forcing some road closings and evacuations, delaying airline flights and overtaxing parts of local wastewater treatment systems.

Major intersections were closed Monday near downtown Tampa, snarling traffic throughout the region. At Tampa International Airport, 161 outgoing and incoming flights were delayed in the morning due to rains and wind shear.

Even theme park Busch Gardens closed for the day because of inclement weather.

Pasco County was among the hardest hit areas. Emergency management officials reported $1 million in damage from weekend flooding, and county leaders said one river could reach record-levels by late Monday afternoon.

National Weather Service officials were checking on whether the rainfall may have broken records in some places.

They said that as of about 10:30 a.m., about 3.78 inches were reported at Tampa’s airport during a 12 hour period. Palm Harbor, a suburb in Pinellas County northwest of Tampa, received 7 inches of rain. There, sheriff’s deputies used boats to pull residents out of a swamped RV park and golf courses were inundated. Shelters opened for residents who were evacuated.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/08/05/377513.htm

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