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A bill the Florida insurance industry says will help reign in assignment of benefits abuse that is plaguing the state and raising insurance costs has passed its final committee in the Florida Senate and is now headed to the full Senate floor for debate.

The Florida Senate Rules Committee passed SB 122 on Wednesday, inching AOB reform one step closer to being a reality after seven years of failed attempts by the Florida Legislature.

“Year after year we have watched the AOB crisis negatively impact our consumers – many of which are recovering from hurricanes. Now, more than ever, is the time to pass meaningful reform so we can protect consumers and start recovering from years of compounding abuse,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said in a statement Wednesday. “The advancement of SB 122 is a significant step towards protecting Floridians from future AOB abuse.”

The Senate bill, introduced by Senator Doug Broxson, is now identical to Florida House Bill 7065, which passed that chamber last week.

“This is a great development. For the first time in nearly seven years we are poised for final passage of meaningful AOB reform. The bill will directly address cost drivers that are pushing up rates by reducing AOB abuse and fraud. Florida consumers will benefit, and the insurance market will be healthier as a result,” said Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF).

The bill includes certain consumer protection provisions such as rescission and emergency services sublimit provisions, and creates a new rate filing requirement for Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which has filed rate increases for the last several years that it has largely blamed on AOB.

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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.

A licensed insurance agent out of Orlando, Fla., was arrested this month for allegedly submitting fraudulent insurance applications to multiple carriers, according to a statement from Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis.

Sheila De Lima Torres Tecchio with Enterprise Insurance Agency, Inc. is accused of preparing and submitting fraudulent insurance applications to multiple insurance carriers in an effort to defraud her customers out of insurance coverage and steal $16,763 in commissions

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has released a top 10 list of most wanted insurance fraud criminals and called on local communities to help with finding the individuals.

According to a statement from the Florida Department of Financial Services, each of the following individuals is wanted for various insurance-fraud related crimes:

  • Anthony Fitzgerald Phillips, last known address Fullerton, Calf.: Grand Theft.
  • Huberto Del Sol Puerto, last known address Hialeah/Miami, Fla.: Organized fraud ($50,000 or More), false and fraudulent insurance claims, grand theft (3rd Degree), money laundering, false statement (Jurisdiction of Department of State).
  • Gabriel Sanchez, last known address Miami, Fla.: Racketeering.
  • William Brenes, last known address Hillsborough County: Fraudulently presenting a false statement ($100,000 or more).
  • Jose Alexis Orellana Ramos, last known address North Lauderdale, Fla.: Organized fraud ($50,000 or more), grand theft (1st Degree, $100,000 or more), workers’ compensation fraud (Over $100,000).
  • Joseph J. Beckford, last known address Carrollton, Ga.: False and fraudulent insurance claim.
  • Bernardo Romero-Ortiz, last known address Orlando, Fla.: Workers’ compensation fraud ($100,000 or more); organized fraud.
  • Roland Terencio Delgado, last known address Coral Gables, Fla.: Racketeering, grand theft (2 Counts).
  • Paul Emmanuel Pierre, last known address Orlando, Fla.: Racketeering, false and fraudulent insurance claim.
  • Javier Lopez Rivero, last known address Miami, Fla.: Racketeering, grand theft, false and fraudulent insurance claims.

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Please call Lee at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car,  Business & Commercial, & life, group & financial products as well.

Looks like the house version of AOB is weak and the Senate version will not pass so the combined version if it passes will be little action again. Why would a Senator or Congressman do anything to really help if the PAC money keeps coming when nothing happens and they just do more Band-Aids to not really help, but it can be called a Political win for all? Read for your self and you can decide if I am correct!



  1. AOB REFORM  SB62/SB1168/HB7015


An onerous version of AOB reform may be stalled in the Senate. SB1168, by Senator Steube, passed its second committee of three committees on February 6th, but no action last week. SB1168 also amends current law to provide that a misrepresentation, omission, concealment of fact, or incorrect statement on an insurance application may prevent recovery only if the misrepresentation, omission, concealment of fact, or incorrect statement directly relates to the cause of the claim. If the misrepresentation, omission, concealment of fact or incorrect statement directly relates to the cause of the claim, one of the following must apply:

  • The misrepresentation, omission, concealment, or statement is fraudulent or is material to the acceptance of the risk or to the hazard assumed by the insurer; or
  • If the true facts relative to the loss claimed had been known to the insurer pursuant to a policy requirement or other requirement, the insurer in good faith would not have:
    • Issued the policy or contract;
    • Issued the policy or contract at a premium rate at least 20 percent higher than the rate actually charged;
    • Issued a policy or contract in as large an amount; or
    • Provided coverage with respect to the hazard resulting in the loss.

In addition, SB1168 also amends current law to prohibit an insurer from utilizing “managed repair” controls, such as requiring that a particular vendor make repairs to a dwelling insured on the basis of replacement costs. It also prohibits the insurer from even recommending or suggesting a particular vendor to make repairs to a dwelling insured on the basis of replacement costs.


The bill also requires the assignee to provide a copy of the assignment agreement to the insurer within the earlier of 7 days after execution of the agreement, or 48 hours after beginning nonemergency work if the insurer has a facsimile number and e-mail address on its website designated for the delivery of such documents. It allows the insurer to inspect the property at any time. If the insurer fails to attempt in good faith to inspect the property within 7 days after learning of the loss and promptly deliver to the assignee written notice of any perceived deficiency in the assignee’s notice or the work being performed; however, the failure may be raised to estop the insurer from asserting that work done was not reasonably necessary or that the notice was insufficient.

SB1168 passed the Judiciary committee with 7 yeas, and 3 nays in week five. Committee Chairman Greg Steube pushed an amendment that eliminated language that prohibits carriers from factoring any attorney fees into their premium. The bill now has one more committee in the Senate. We continue working to stop this bill from advancing.

Industry’s preferred AOB bill is SB62 by Senator Hukill, which has not been scheduled for a committee hearing and is unlikely to advance given the composition of the Banking & Insurance committee in the Senate.


Meanwhile, the Florida House of Representatives AOB reform HB 7015 by Representative Trumbull was sent to the Senate in the first week of the legislative session. While the House version is 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 bill requires disclosures be provided to insureds 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 it would be better to eliminate attorneys’ fees to repair vendors altogether, this bill is an improvement over the current system.


In the end, it is unlikely that the House and Senate versions of AOB will match up. But if the House bill moves toward the Senate version, it will be a weaker product.


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

Catastrophe bond managers are launching new funds and hedge funds have bought reinsurance stocks to benefit from expected double-digit price rises, following hurricanes in the United States and Caribbean, wildfires in California and earthquakes in Mexico last year.

Global prices rose by up to 7.5 percent, Willis Re said in a report, while JLT Re said its property-catastrophe reinsurance index gained 4.8 percent. [Editor’s note: see below for links to the reports].

“The concerted effort by many reinsurers to seek meaningful … rate increases across the board has been unsuccessful,” said James Kent, global CEO of Willis Re, pointing to “continued supply of capital” in the sector.

The reinsurance sector has turned the corner after five years of falling prices, however, after a record year of $140 billion in insurance losses, JLT Re said.

Property reinsurance prices rose 20-40 percent in catastrophe-hit areas in the Caribbean and 5-10 percent in loss areas in the United States and Latin America, Willis Re, a unit of Willis Towers Watson, said.

Please enjoy the full article below and watch out Fort Lauderdale & all of S. Florida for some huge rate hikes in Home Insurance.


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

The House of Representatives on Tuesday voted 237-189 to pass the 21st Century Flood Reform Act (H.R. 2874) – a package of seven bills that reauthorizes the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) until 2022 and introduces various reforms.

The fate of the NFIP now rests with the Senate, which may adopt the House bill or a version of it, advance its own bill, or do nothing

There are a lot of good reforms in this bill for both taxpayers and ratepayers,” said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-Tex.). “It is an absolutely revolutionary reform that we can break open the government monopoly and bring in market competition, innovation, more affordable rates for so many.”

Democrats said the measure would raise costs on low and middle income homeowners through higher premiums and surcharges and mean fewer people would buy flood insurance. They also warned it could trigger foreclosures in some high-risk, low-income areas.

Some of the reforms in the House bill seek to encourage more private flood insurers to enter the market; reduce costs from repetitive loss properties, improve flood mapping; cap annual premium increases and surcharges; continue the current practice of grandfathering certain properties from risk-based rates; and require the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which administers the flood program, to share historic flood loss data with private insurers. Another provision would permit WYO insurance companies to also sell their own private policies, a practice now prohibited.

Other provisions would reduce the reimbursements to the private insurers involved in the WYO program; limit the premium on any residential property to $10,000 a year regardless of the property value; allow businesses to opt out of the flood insurance requirement after one year; and permit localities to create their own flood maps,

Hensarling stressed the need to mitigate the costs of repetitive loss properties. “We have to realize if we’re going to make this program sustainable we cannot have one percent of the properties causing 25 percent of the losses. Ultimately, if all we do is rebuild the same properties in the same fashion in the same location, that is neither wise nor compassionate,” said the congressman, who has announce he will not run for re-election.

The final House measure does not go quite as far in some ways as the original seven measures passed by Hensarling’s committee. To assure passage, Hensarling withdrew or amended several provisions including one that would have blocked NFIP from selling policies to homes valued at $1 million or more.

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Community: PALM BEACH COUNTY* Project Name: Palm Beach County FL MapMod08

Projected Preliminary Date: 05/31/2013
Actual Preliminary Date: 05/31/2013
Appeal Period Start Date:
Appeal Period End Date:
Projected Effective Date: 03/21/2017
Actual Effective Date:
Actual LFD Date:
Project Status: Active


Preliminary Date – The date when new preliminary DFIRMs were presented to community officials.
Appeal Start – Start date for the official 90-Day Appeal Period.
Appeal End – End date for the official 90-Day Appeal Period.
LFD Date – The date where community officials are notified that a new or updated DFIRM will take effect in six months.
Effective Date – The date when a new Digital Flood Insurance Map (DFIRM) become effective.
DFIRM – Digital Flood Insurance Rate Map
LFD – Letter of Final Determination
Project Status Active – Mapping project in status
On-Hold – Mapping project experiencing delays
Completed – Mapping project finished; updated map in effect
Note – Projected Dates are only estimates as final dates have not been determined.
If your property is newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone, you might be eligible for a cost-saving rating option called the Newly Mapped procedure.


Call your community’s Floodplain Manager for more information on maps changing in your area. You can also reach the FEMA Map Information eXchange at 1-877-FEMA MAP (1-877-336-2627).


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