Tampa Bay Times


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

Florida homeowners’ insurers Edison Insurance Co. is being relaunched with new management and coverage options almost five years after its business was taken over by another insurer.

The company said it plans to begin offering homeowners’ and condominium unit owner policies in Florida on November 3, 2014.

Edison, originally headquartered in St. Petersburg, Florida, was purchased by Boca Raton-based Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. (FPI) in January of 2010.  Subsequently, all Edison policies were transferred to Florida Peninsula.

Under the new management plan, instead of offering only standard coverage and one premium, Edison will display a variety of coverage each time a quote is requested.  The customer and agent can then select from one of the coverage options and further customize the quote before binding.

The company said it will now share the same managing general agency (MGA) and management team as Florida Peninsula Insurance Co. where Paul Adkins is chairman; Roger Desjadon, CEO; and Francis Lattanzio, CFO.

The new Edison said it has $20 million in capital and maintains a reinsurance program backed by reinsurer rated “A” or better. Edison has received a Financial Stability Rating of A-Exceptional from Demotech.

Edison said it does not plan to participate in the Citizens takeout program. Instead, the company will market its homeowners and condominium unit owners insurance through professional insurance agents.

We will represent this new company again so please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home Insurance, Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well.

 

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/11/06/346087.htm

 

 

The Flood Agency, which offers private flood coverage that are backed by the surplus lines insurer Lloyd’s Private Flood, announced the move some nine months after it began offering the coverage.

The Gainesville-based agency’s decision affects Pinellas, Hillsborough, Pasco, Sarasota and Manatee counties. Flood Agency President Evan Hecht told reporters the decision to stop providing new policies in those areas are based on the need to balance Lloyd’s exposure.

“We currently insure more than $250 million of property value,” said Hecht. “Too much of that is in those five counties.”

The Gainesville-based agency, which provides coverage in 24 states, started offering the policies last fall in response to the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012.

At the time, the agency-marketed policies were considered a marked relief from the National Flood Insurance Program, whose policies were due to greatly increase. Additionally, the NFIP was scheduled to end subsidies on homes built before 1974, a move that would effect some 268,000 Florida residents.

The U.S. Congress later approved Biggert-Waters 2013 capping many rate increases while reinstating subsidies. That has slowed the demand for private policies, but state lawmakers and others still believe a private flood market could in time become a viable option to the NFIP.

Holehouse Insurance Agency Vice President Jake Holehouse said the current need for private flood coverage is among secondary homes, rentals and commercial coverage that are still bearing the brunt of NFIP rate increases.

Holehouse said the Flood Agency should be commended for providing private flood insurance at a crucial time. He also said he is optimistic that more private insurers will eventually enter the market.

“They are going to be selective and manage their capacity and exposure,” said Holehouse. “There is also going to be more risk-based rating with more and more emphasis being on properties’ elevation.”

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

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/08/25/338470.htm

Not to surprising are clients who did not know the house they were in was a flood hazard!! No one knew, but the information was there, but we only know what we are told. That is true for most people, so people now paying 15K for Flood Insurance and were paying $1200 what are they to do. This would have been a big decision to make when they bought the house, but if they did not know and were not told then the issue of full disclosure will be a reason to sue. Tampa and in particular Tarpon Springs in the Pinellas area are the worst in the country and nearly 15% of the population will be hit real hard. Time will tell, but please read the full story in the Tampa Bay Times and sent to me from Attorney David Weiss. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-2434-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, and Life Insurance & Financial products as well.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/business/banking/next-front-to-fight-flood-insurance-rate-hikes-lawsuits/2146168

The City Commission of tarpon is asking the Government to hold off in this area as so many people could be affected with Flood rates as much as 10 times what they have been paying currently. The hurt to the Tampa bay economy and the Real estate markets in these areas could be devastating. The area has many older homes and the area is almost completely surrounded by water so the risk seems accurate, but now what happens to people and their homes. We will see what happens, but please read the full article below. The article is from the Tampa Bay times and was sent to me by Tamara Lush of the AP. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, and Life Insurance products as well.

http://www.tampabay.com/news/briefs/tarpon-commission-takes-on-new-flood-insurance-rates/2143294