Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

A significant number of homeowners could be overpaying for their home insurance because they bought a policy from their mortgage provider, instead of searching for the best deal.

Almost a third of homeowners have taken out an insurance policy through their mortgage provider at the time of their house purchase, according to research by Compare the Market.

When asked about their reason for this, 29 per cent of homeowners said it seemed the ‘easiest option’ at the time.

Although some did shop around for a better deal, nearly a fifth said they were penalised or charged a fee for buying a policy that was not from the mortgage lender.

Roughly one in ten felt pressured into taking an insurance policy to secure the mortgage, and 14 per cent felt forced by the lender to take out insurance with a specific provider.

However, 15 per cent of homeowners admitted to simply accepting the policy offered to them without shopping around for alternative options.

‘Although cross-selling rarely means you’ll end up with the best deal, many home buyers still take out insurance with their mortgage provider even though cheaper deals can be found elsewhere,’ said Chris King, head of home insurance at Compare The Market.

‘Some consider it the path of least resistance, but others feel pressured into doing so.

‘Buying a house is considered one of life’s most stressful and expensive events – and many homeowners are likely to choose the quickest and easiest route.’  

Are mortgage lenders really penalising borrowers over home insurance?

Mortgage lenders often offer insurance policies. However, a borrower should never feel obligated to agree to it, and there should not be any pressure on them to do so.

‘In branch, lenders might have targets around selling internal insurance policies, and this may be why people sometimes feel pressured,’ said Chris Sykes, mortgage consultant at Private Finance.

However, I’ve never heard anyone be penalised or charged any additional fees for not taking on insurance via the bank they are mortgaged through.

‘If people were being penalised then this would be something we as brokers would surely need to take into consideration when making a mortgage recommendation.’

Lenders including TSB and Nationwide have said that they do not place any pressure on borrowers to buy home insurance, nor impose any financial penalty for arranging insurance elsewhere.

‘Virtually all mortgage providers in the UK also offer a home insurance product.

‘This has historically been because it has been a condition of your mortgage agreement to have a buildings insurance policy in place,’ said Darren Black, head of general insurance at Nationwide Building Society.

‘Our home insurance is available through our mortgage consultants, however there is absolutely no expectation of purchase – in fact many of our mortgage members do hold their insurance with other providers. 

‘There is also no financial impact on the mortgage if the borrower gets their insurance elsewhere, and we don’t offer an incentive to take home Insurance with us as part of a mortgage application.’ 

How much could be saved by shopping around?

Those surveyed were paying an average of £418 for buildings and contents cover with their current provider.

It was also found that, on average, homeowners last decided to switch providers more than three and a half years ago, whilst over one in ten said they had never switched their home insurance provider. 

According to Compare the Market, the average annual cost of a buildings and contents insurance policy is £147 meaning there are considerable savings to be had by shopping around. 

King said: ‘Those who go with their mortgage provider’s recommendation and then renew with the same provider year after year, they could be paying far more than they need to.’

‘As our data shows, shopping around online could save a household more than a hundred pounds.

‘When many households are feeling the squeeze, this could be a good time to work out where you can cut costs by switching household bills.’

Buildings insurance covers the building itself should the home suffer damage, for example by fire or flood.

For leaseholders, this insurance is often covered within the service charge by the management agency, although it is always worth checking with your solicitor what areas of the building you are responsible for insuring.

Contents insurance helps cover the cost and damage of personal possessions and items such as TVs, laptops and furniture.

The Compare the Market research surveyed 2,000 homeowners.  

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Buying a new home can be one of the most exciting milestones in your life, but it could also be costly to protect without homeowners insurance. Anything can happen in life, and home insurance could help provide the sense of relief you need to know that certain damages and losses are covered should disaster strike. However, you might not always know when to file a claim.

What events can be claimed on your homeowners insurance?

There are several circumstances in which a homeowner may need to file a claim. Generally, consulting your policy and speaking with your insurer to know which perils are covered is a good first step to take.

So what does homeowners insurance cover? Below are some of the most common sources of loss you may encounter.

COVERAGE TYPEDETAILSSTANDARD POLICYREQUIRES AN ADDITIONAL POLICY OR ENDORSEMENT
Theft & vandalismStandard home insurance includes protections in case your home or belongings are vandalized or stolen.
FireMany causes of house fires are generally covered, as specified in your policy.
Hail & windThe standard policy usually provides reasonable protections against hail and windstorms, but you may need additional coverage if you live in a high-risk area.
ExplosionIf there is an explosion in or around your home, the average policy covers any damages resulting from the initial blast.
Falling objectsThings like falling satellites, asteroids, meteors and space debris are all typically covered under the standard homeowners insurance policy.
FloodingFlooding is handled differently than water damage and often requires separate coverage.
HurricaneIf you live in a hurricane-prone area, you may need additional hurricane insurance to cover the risk of flooding and other damages not typically covered under the standard home insurance policy.
MoldMold is typically only covered if it is caused by a covered peril under your policy, so you may need to consider additional coverage if you live in an area or property that is prone to mold.

*This table should only be used as a guide as all policies are different and may or may not cover different perils.

Protections can vary depending on which provider and policy you choose. For example, coverage for water damage may be tricky and is often defined with certain limitations.

If you incur water damage from a broken pipe, you have to look at the policy documents to see if water damage is excluded or is limited, said Nicole Shacket, a litigation attorney at Insurance Litigation Group in Florida. Many policies limit water damage coverage to $10,000 per occurrence, but $20,000 per policy period if theres more than one claim in that policy period.

First-time homebuyers may also approach their policy differently given their specific needs.

To be safe, always review your policy in full and discuss any questions you may have with an agent before purchasing.

When to start the claims process

As soon as a loss occurs, you should consider contacting your insurance company. As there are claims processes to follow, usually the sooner you can initiate a claim, the earlier you may be able to resolve the issue.

Contact your insurer

Experts generally recommend not to waste time before filing a claim, as it could impact how smoothly the process goes. David Adler, president and owner of Adler Insurance Group an Allstate insurance agency in the Denver metro area added that taking time to verify your policys listed perils with your insurer could also be an important step.

Ask them if this specific loss is covered under your policy, Adler said. Get an understanding of your policy limits too and what your deductible costs will be. If your deductible costs more than the loss, it’s likely not worth filing a claim for.

Many of your potential questions about specific losses and what to file under your homeowners insurance can be answered by speaking directly with your provider.

Fill out claims form

After filing your claim, your insurance provider can usually send emergency mitigation. To do so, your insurance company may want to know several specific details on your claims form in order to send the right help. This generally includes:

  • Personal information
  • Policy number
  • Location of the loss
  • Date of the incident
  • Cause for the loss
  • Estimated loss amount

Most insurance experts also recommend submitting photographic and video evidence to support your claim whenever possible, as it could go a long way in providing proof for your claim.

Have your claim inspected

After your claim is submitted, the insurance company will usually send a claims adjuster to assess the situation and file an official report for claim approval. Espenschied of Insurance Brokers Group offered a friendly word of expert advice to homeowners at this stage.

If there was any damage done, make sure that the adjuster inspects the property with you present before writing up an estimate for damages, Espenscheid said. Once they leave, their only source of information is going to be whatever paperwork they have from you. If anything was missed during their inspection, it could cause problems later on down the line when trying to get reimbursed for those items missing from their report.

Help prevent further damage

While you are waiting for the situation to be resolved, you still have to manage your home in the meantime. Experts suggest that you try to minimize the damage wherever possible.

John Butkus, director of property claims for Country Financial, shared a few tips for homeowners to mitigate further damage. These include keeping the home tidy, boarding up shattered windows and covering holes with tarp. Butkus also recommended saving any receipts from basic repairs made, including the items purchased to complete them.

Shacket of Insurance Litigation Group recommended that homeowners keep copies of any signed documents. If you sign an agreement, work authorization or any type of document with a contractor, take a picture of the whole document with your phone, she said. Know what you signed, when you signed, with who and for what.

Schedule an appointment with an insurance adjuster

Within a few days, your insurance company will usually be in touch to schedule an appointment with its insurance adjuster. Adler advised having your contractor present for the adjusters inspection, as they might assist in voicing your concerns and give your claim the best chance of approval. In some instances, you may even want to hire a public adjuster.

Espenschied encourages his clients to make a list of any damaged items and dont be afraid to ask for a second opinion from an outside, independent appraiser.

Complete repairs

After an appointment with an insurance adjuster, you may need to wait for the claim payout checks from your insurance company so you can complete your repairs. Your payout may be issued via multiple partial payments, allowing you to work in stages as you make temporary repairs, replace your belongings and complete the more permanent repairs.

In the meantime, things may get costly if you incur other expenses, like moving out of your home. Fortunately, most homeowners policies include additional living expenses resulting from a covered loss, like for eating out or staying in a hotel. According to Butkus, some providers may even issue checks to policyholders on the spot.

Tips for filing a home insurance claim

There are a few things you can do to simplify the process of filing a home insurance claim, such as making all of the supporting evidence that you need for your home insurance claim.

  • Keep an ongoing home inventory: If you know what you own, it will be easier to replace if it is damaged. Keep an inventory of your belongings, including a brief description, when it was purchased and its value.
  • Keep evidence: Anything that you can provide to prove damage may be helpful to your insurance provider when filing a home insurance claim.
  • Store extra copies: Store your documented inventory away from the home where it is protected and will not be damaged in a loss. You could also track your belongings and store photo evidence through mobile apps.
  • Keep current photos: Many homeowners do not think to take photos until an actual incident occurs, but it could pay to be proactive.

Questions to ask before filing a claim

Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine whether filing a home insurance claim is the right decision. Adler shared some considerations that homeowners may want to make before beginning the process. These include assessing how many times you have filed a claim on your home and considering whether negligence was at play. Filing too many claims within a period of time could cause your insurer to increase your premiums or even nonrenew your policy. You may also want to consider if a loss resulted from poor maintenance upkeep, as it could impact your eligibility for a payout.

Other important questions to ask are whether or not the damage is significant and if your deductible outweighs repair costs. In the event of a smaller loss where you might pay more out of pocket than it would actually cost to restore the damage, it may not be worth filing a claim. But to be certain, you may consider speaking with your agent.

Terms to know when filing a home insurance claim

When filing a home insurance claim, there are some common terms and phrases that you may see frequently.

Homeowners insurance termDefinition
Actual cash value (ACV)Actual cash value is an items worth after depreciation.
Replacement cost value (RCV)Replacement cost value reimburses costs to repair or replace your home at current market value, excluding deductions for depreciation.
Insurance to valueInsurance to value refers to maintaining coverage amounts that match the value of your home as it changes.
Additional living expenses (ALE)Additional living expenses provide homeowners with financial reimbursement should their property become uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
AdjusterAn insurance adjuster is another term for the insurance claims agent for your home insurance company.
EndorsementAn endorsement is an addition, modification or update that is made to an original home insurance policy.
Market valueThe market value is the total price of your property based on the amount you paid for ownership and may be different than the value in which your home is insured.

What to do when your insurance claim is denied

Just because you file an insurance claim does not mean that it will be approved. Your insurance company will usually notify you of its decision on your insurance claim with a mailed letter of explanation.

You may not always be able to dispute a denied insurance claim, especially if the loss was not a named peril. If you feel the damage should be covered, you could file a formal appeal within a specified timeframe or consult a public adjuster for advice on next steps. However, there is no guarantee that the claim will be approved.

Frequently asked questions

Does filing a home insurance claim increase your premium?

Filing a home insurance claim may affect the cost of homeowner insurance, depending on the severity of the incident. Insurance providers may look to see how many other claims you have on your record when setting future premiums.

How long does an insurance claim stay on your record?

Insurance claims generally stay on your record for an average of three years. Some more severe claims may stay on your record for longer and some insurance carriers may look back at a longer claims history.

Protections can vary depending on which provider and policy you choose. For example, coverage for water damage may be tricky and is often defined with certain limitations.

If you incur water damage from a broken pipe, you have to look at the policy documents to see if water damage is excluded or is limited, said Nicole Shacket, a litigation attorney at Insurance Litigation Group in Florida. Many policies limit water damage coverage to $10,000 per occurrence, but $20,000 per policy period if theres more than one claim in that policy period.

First-time homebuyers may also approach their policy differently given their specific needs.

To be safe, always review your policy in full and discuss any questions you may have with an agent before purchasing.

When to start the claims process

As soon as a loss occurs, you should consider contacting your insurance company. As there are claims processes to follow, usually the sooner you can initiate a claim, the earlier you may be able to resolve the issue.

Contact your insurer

Experts generally recommend not to waste time before filing a claim, as it could impact how smoothly the process goes. David Adler, president and owner of Adler Insurance Group an Allstate insurance agency in the Denver metro area added that taking time to verify your policys listed perils with your insurer could also be an important step.

Ask them if this specific loss is covered under your policy, Adler said. Get an understanding of your policy limits too and what your deductible costs will be. If your deductible costs more than the loss, it’s likely not worth filing a claim for.

Many of your potential questions about specific losses and what to file under your homeowners insurance can be answered by speaking directly with your provider.

Fill out claims form

After filing your claim, your insurance provider can usually send emergency mitigation. To do so, your insurance company may want to know several specific details on your claims form in order to send the right help. This generally includes:

  • Personal information
  • Policy number
  • Location of the loss
  • Date of the incident
  • Cause for the loss
  • Estimated loss amount

Most insurance experts also recommend submitting photographic and video evidence to support your claim whenever possible, as it could go a long way in providing proof for your claim.

Have your claim inspected

After your claim is submitted, the insurance company will usually send a claims adjuster to assess the situation and file an official report for claim approval. Espenschied of Insurance Brokers Group offered a friendly word of expert advice to homeowners at this stage.

If there was any damage done, make sure that the adjuster inspects the property with you present before writing up an estimate for damages, Espenscheid said. Once they leave, their only source of information is going to be whatever paperwork they have from you. If anything was missed during their inspection, it could cause problems later on down the line when trying to get reimbursed for those items missing from their report.

Help prevent further damage

While you are waiting for the situation to be resolved, you still have to manage your home in the meantime. Experts suggest that you try to minimize the damage wherever possible.

John Butkus, director of property claims for Country Financial, shared a few tips for homeowners to mitigate further damage. These include keeping the home tidy, boarding up shattered windows and covering holes with tarp. Butkus also recommended saving any receipts from basic repairs made, including the items purchased to complete them

Complete repairs

After an appointment with an insurance adjuster, you may need to wait for the claim payout checks from your insurance company so you can complete your repairs. Your payout may be issued via multiple partial payments, allowing you to work in stages as you make temporary repairs, replace your belongings and complete the more permanent repairs.

In the meantime, things may get costly if you incur other expenses, like moving out of your home. Fortunately, most homeowners policies include additional living expenses resulting from a covered loss, like for eating out or staying in a hotel. According to Butkus, some providers may even issue checks to policyholders on the spot.

Tips for filing a home insurance claim

There are a few things you can do to simplify the process of filing a home insurance claim, such as making all of the supporting evidence that you need for your home insurance claim.

  • Keep an ongoing home inventory: If you know what you own, it will be easier to replace if it is damaged. Keep an inventory of your belongings, including a brief description, when it was purchased and its value.
  • Keep evidence: Anything that you can provide to prove damage may be helpful to your insurance provider when filing a home insurance claim.
  • Store extra copies: Store your documented inventory away from the home where it is protected and will not be damaged in a loss. You could also track your belongings and store photo evidence through mobile apps.
  • Keep current photos: Many homeowners do not think to take photos until an actual incident occurs, but it could pay to be proactive.

Questions to ask before filing a claim

Sometimes, it may be difficult to determine whether filing a home insurance claim is the right decision. Adler shared some considerations that homeowners may want to make before beginning the process. These include assessing how many times you have filed a claim on your home and considering whether negligence was at play. Filing too many claims within a period of time could cause your insurer to increase your premiums or even nonrenew your policy. You may also want to consider if a loss resulted from poor maintenance upkeep, as it could impact your eligibility for a payout.

Other important questions to ask are whether or not the damage is significant and if your deductible outweighs repair costs. In the event of a smaller loss where you might pay more out of pocket than it would actually cost to restore the damage, it may not be worth filing a claim. But to be certain, you may consider speaking with your agent.

Terms to know when filing a home insurance claim

When filing a home insurance claim, there are some common terms and phrases that you may see frequently.

Homeowners insurance termDefinition
Actual cash value (ACV)Actual cash value is an items worth after depreciation.
Replacement cost value (RCV)Replacement cost value reimburses costs to repair or replace your home at current market value, excluding deductions for depreciation.
Insurance to valueInsurance to value refers to maintaining coverage amounts that match the value of your home as it changes.
Additional living expenses (ALE)Additional living expenses provide homeowners with financial reimbursement should their property become uninhabitable due to a covered loss.
AdjusterAn insurance adjuster is another term for the insurance claims agent for your home insurance company.
EndorsementAn endorsement is an addition, modification or update that is made to an original home insurance policy.
Market valueThe market value is the total price of your property based on the amount you paid for ownership and may be different than the value in which your home is insured.

What to do when your insurance claim is denied

Just because you file an insurance claim does not mean that it will be approved. Your insurance company will usually notify you of its decision on your insurance claim with a mailed letter of explanation.

You may not always be able to dispute a denied insurance claim, especially if the loss was not a named peril. If you feel the damage should be covered, you could file a formal appeal within a specified timeframe or consult a public adjuster for advice on next steps. However, there is no guarantee that the claim will be approved.

Frequently asked questions

Does filing a home insurance claim increase your premium?

Filing a home insurance claim may affect the cost of homeowner insurance, depending on the severity of the incident. Insurance providers may look to see how many other claims you have on your record when setting future premiums.

How long does an insurance claim stay on your record?

Insurance claims generally stay on your record for an average of three years. Some more severe claims may stay on your record for longer and some insurance carriers may look back at a longer claims history.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Hundreds of thousands of Americans will pay significantly more to insure their homes in coastal areas and flood zones under new rules released on Thursday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the first major update to its pricing system in half a century.

The agency said that, over the coming year, it will phase in a price-setting method that marks an epochal shift in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was set up in 1968 to cover property in flood-prone areas.

New premiums will be based on a property’s value, risk of flooding and other factors, rather than simply on a property’s elevation in a flood zone. They will take effect on Oct. 1, 2021, for new policies and April 1, 2022, for the rest, FEMA said.

The NFIP currently provides $1.3 trillion in coverage through more than 5 million policies in the U.S., but has been losing money for years and is currently $20.5 billion in debt.

The new rules will mean hefty increases for expensive properties in wealthy coastal enclaves, said Jeremy Porter, head of research and development at First Street Foundation, a Brooklyn-New York based nonprofit that studies flood risk.

Current flood zone-based pricing was “basically a subsidy to people,” Porter said. Under FEMA’s new system, “pricing is based on your insurance risk.”

FEMA said it expects 4%, or more than 200,000 policies, will see significant premium increases, while about 1.15 million will see decreases, noting the change makes prices “more equitable.”

In a study released in February of flood-prone properties rather than policies, First Street determined that more than 4 million would face increases and the average premium in flood zones would be $7,895 a year.

The numbers in First Street’s study are higher than FEMA’s because only about 30% of flood-prone properties carry NFIP coverage, Porter noted.

The changes mark the first update to FEMA’s pricing methods in 50 years, and are based on updated technology and FEMA’s evolving knowledge of flood risk, the agency said. (Reporting by Alwyn Scott; Editing by Aurora Ellis)

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

PROPERTY 1.     RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE/CONTINGENCY RISK MULTIPLIER SB 76/HB 305 SB 76 by Senator Boyd was up on the Senate floor this week. The bill was heard on second reading and several amendments were filed on the bill. After all the amendments either failed or were withdrawn, the bill was placed on third reading. The bill revises the statutes that govern property insurance policies including attorney fees, roof coverage provisions, notice periods for bringing claims, alternative dispute resolution, lawsuits involving property insurance policies, consolidation of legal actions, and assignment agreements. Additionally, the bill establishes a third-degree felony for knowingly aiding or abetting an unlicensed person who transacts or engages in insurance activities without a license.  The bill eliminates the attorney fee multiplier unless it is a rare and exceptional case.  The bill amends the roof coverage provisions through the use of a roof surface reimbursement schedule to limit coverage in a personal lines residential property insurance policy. The roof surface reimbursement schedule must provide for full replacement coverage for any roof surfaces type less than 10 years old. For roofs 10 years old or older the reimbursement schedule is as follows:·      70 percent for a metal roof type;·      40 percent for a concrete tile and clay tile roof type;·      40 percent for a wood shake and wood shingle roof type;·      25 percent for all other roof types.

Additionally, the bill allows an insurer to offer a state value sublimit on roof coverage. The bill also amends current law to require that a claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim under a property insurance policy must be provided to the insurer within 2 years of the date of loss. Other provisions in the bill include:·      Allowing an insurer to require mediation as a 1st party claimant or a 3rd party assignee.·      Creating a “Texas” style 1st party attorney fee reform.·      Requiring the consolidation of multiple residential actions involving the same property.·      Modifying the AOB law to conform with the new “Texas” attorney fee model.·      Requesting the Florida Supreme Court to require plaintiff and defense lawyers to disclose their attorneys fees. The House version of this bill, HB 305 by Representative Rommel, passed its first of three committees, the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee last week. The bill makes several changes including the following: ·      Residential Property Insurance Claims for Roof Damage – The bill establishes that a contractor or unlicensed person acting on behalf of the contractor may not solicit or incentivize the filing of a roof damage insurance claim by a residential property owner or interpret policy provisions. It also establishes that a public adjuster, a public adjuster apprentice, or unlicensed persons acting on their behalf may not incentivize the filing of a roof damage insurance claim by a residential property insurance owner.

·      Clarifies that OIR has the authority to examine MGAs, including affiliates of insurers, as it examines insurers, even if the MGA represents a single domestic insurer. It requires that each insurer paying an affiliate produce information about fees paid to the affiliate upon request by OIR. It also requires that all MGAs execute contracts with the insurers they do business with even if they are affiliates of the insurers.·      Establishes that each insurer or insurer group doing business in Florida shall file specific data regarding litigation of personal and commercial residential property insurance claims on a quarterly basis.·      The bill makes several changes to the operations of, and requirements for, Citizens, the state-run property insurer: 

  • Revising the eligibility for residential property owners to obtain coverage from Citizens so that they are not eligible for Citizens’ coverage if they can obtain coverage from private insurers that is less than 20 percent greater than the premium for comparable coverage from Citizens 
  • Establishing that if Citizens does not buy reinsurance to cover its projected 100-year probable maximum loss, it must still include the cost of such reinsurance in its rate calculations.
  • Establishing that no employees of Citizens may receive salaries in excess of 150 percent of the salary received by the head of OIR, with certain exceptions.

·      The bill changes the notice of claim deadlines in the Insurance Code so that notice of any property insurance claim must be provided to a property insurer within two years of the date of loss.·      The bill creates new statutory requirements for residential or commercial property suits that are not brought by an assignee, including a ten-day presuit notice and demand, after a determination of coverage, before bringing suit against an insurer. An insurer served with this notice must respond in writing within ten days by either making a settlement offer or requiring participation in an appraisal or alternative dispute resolution proceeding as provided for in the policy.

4.     CITIZENS PROPERTY INSURANCE SB 1574SB 1574 by Senator Brandes passed its first of three committees, the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, on March 16th and will be up next in Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Environment, and General Government. The bill makes several changes to the statutes governing Citizens including:·      Requiring reasonable agent commission for policies placed in Citizens not to exceed the average of commissions paid in the preceding year by the 20 admitted insurers writing the greatest market share of property insurance in Florida. Given the recent Citizens Property Insurance Board discussion regarding the concept of removing all agent commissions to advance depopulation goals, Senator Brandes developed this language in response.·      Providing that eligible surplus lines insurers may participate in depopulation, take-out, or keep-out programs; and·      Authorizing information from underwriting files and confidential claims files to be released by Citizens to entities considering writing or underwriting risks insured by Citizens.·      Revising the method for determining the amounts of potential surcharges to be levied against policyholders; It has been a long-held belief by agent groups that commission levels should not be inserted into the statute in any context for various reasons, including the fact that what goes up can also go down. These groups are lobbying Citizens to not take any action to reduce agent commissions. There is no House companion for this bill.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Hundreds of thousands of Americans will pay significantly more to insure their homes in coastal areas and flood zones under new rules released on Thursday by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the first major update to its pricing system in half a century.

The agency said that, over the coming year, it will phase in a price-setting method that marks an epochal shift in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was set up in 1968 to cover property in flood-prone areas.

New premiums will be based on a property’s value, risk of flooding and other factors, rather than simply on a property’s elevation in a flood zone. They will take effect on Oct. 1, 2021, for new policies and April 1, 2022, for the rest, FEMA said.

Federal Flood Insurance Premiums Far From Keeping Up With Expected Losses

The NFIP currently provides $1.3 trillion in coverage through more than 5 million policies in the U.S., but has been losing money for years and is currently $20.5 billion in debt.

The new rules will mean hefty increases for expensive properties in wealthy coastal enclaves, said Jeremy Porter, head of research and development at First Street Foundation, a Brooklyn-New York based nonprofit that studies flood risk.

Current flood zone-based pricing was “basically a subsidy to people,” Porter said. Under FEMA’s new system, “pricing is based on your insurance risk.”

FEMA said it expects 4%, or more than 200,000 policies, will see significant premium increases, while about 1.15 million will see decreases, noting the change makes prices “more equitable.”

In a study released in February of flood-prone properties rather than policies, First Street determined that more than 4 million would face increases and the average premium in flood zones would be $7,895 a year.

The numbers in First Street’s study are higher than FEMA’s because only about 30% of flood-prone properties carry NFIP coverage, Porter noted.

The changes mark the first update to FEMA’s pricing methods in 50 years, and are based on updated technology and FEMA’s evolving knowledge of flood risk, the agency said.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

OLDWICK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Mar 23, 2021–

AM Best will host a complimentary webinar, sponsored by LexisNexis ® Risk Solutions, on Wednesday, April 21, 2021, at 2 p.m. (EDT). Roof losses are close to half of all home insurance loss claims and are growing. The home insurance industry has struggled for years to adopt a better approach to managing this critical area of exposure. In fact, according to the most recent LexisNexis Risk Solutions Home Trends Report, hail losses increased by 20% in a single year. Traditional methods of managing roof risk based on age and on-site inspections are no longer good enough. Therefore, the industry is mobilizing around new technologies and data aimed at addressing this critical problem.

Register now: www.ambest.com/webinars/home21

Join this discussion to learn:

  • The latest information from a nationally recognized expert about hail trends and ways hail can damage the roof;
  • Insights gleaned from imagery analytics and ways to leverage this data to assess roof condition in general and for hail specifically; and
  • How contextual weather and claims data complements aerial imagery analytics in predicting roof condition.

Panelists include:

  • Erin Oswalt, director, home solutions, LexisNexis Risk Solutions;
  • Peter Drogan, FCAS, senior vice president and chief actuary, Amica Mutual Insurance Company;
  • Dr. Tanya Brown-Giammanco, managing director of research, Insurance Institute of Business and Home Safety (IBHS); and
  • Neil Pearson, chief strategy officer, Arturo AI.

Attendees can submit questions during registration or by emailing webinars@ambest.com. The event will be streamed in video and audio formats, and playback will be available to registered viewers shortly after the event.

AM Best is a global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry. Headquartered in the United States, the company does business in over 100 countries with regional offices in London, Amsterdam, Dubai, Hong Kong, Singapore and Mexico City. For more information, visit www.ambest.com.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

NORTHBROOK, IL — If you’re looking for life insurance, cross Allstate off your list. The Northbrook-based company announced earlier this week that it is getting out of the life and annuity businesses altogether, pending a $220 million sale to Wilton Re for its Allstate Life Insurance Company of New York division.

The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2021, subject to regulatory approval and other closing conditions, according to a news release from Allstate.

This transaction, along with the previously announced agreement to sell Allstate Life Insurance Company and certain affiliates to entities managed by Blackstone, will complete Allstate’s exit from the life and annuity businesses. The company said Allstate agents and exclusive financial specialists will continue to offer life insurance and retirement options for customers through third-party providers

The transaction has minimal impact on our strategy of increasing market share in personal-property liability and expanding protection solutions for customers,” said Mario Rizzo, chief financial officer at Allstate, in the news release. “Wilton Re is a trusted name with a history of excellent customer service and expert management of life insurance and annuity portfolios, so ALNY customers will be well protected.”

Allstate will contribute $660 million of capital into ALNY, then receive a payment of $220 million from Wilton Re. The transaction, according to the news release, will reduce GAAP reserves and invested assets by $5 billion and $6 billion respectively. The combined divestitures of ALIC and ALNY will result in an estimated GAAP net loss of $4 billion, which will be recorded in the first quarter of 2021, and generate approximately $1.7 billion of deployable capital.

Please call  Lee from  USAsurance Powered by WeInsure & Calle Financial. 954-270-7966 or 833-USAssure at the office. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com . I am Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance, Mortgage protection, Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, & Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to the employer. My email is lee@myUSAssurance.com

Centauri insurance companies (Centauri Specialty Insurance Co. and Centauri National Insurance Co.) have sustained their financial stability rating of “A” (Exceptional) from Demotech, after being strengthened financially through its recent acquisition by Applied Underwriters, the company said in a statement.

The Sarasota-based insurer, with over $200 million in annual premiums from policyholders largely concentrated in Florida and Hawaii, plans to rapidly expanding in the Carolinas and other Southern US markets through a growing network of independent agents and brokers after extensive examinations measuring claims paying ability, financial reserves and overall financial stability.

The acquisition by Applied Underwriters closed in February.

According to Steve Menzies, Chairman of Applied Underwriters, national insurer rating service Demotech’s affirmation of its “A” rating supports the strategic plan undertaken by Applied to expand its presence in the Southern market through this acquisition, through Centauri’s recent acquisition of the renewal rights from Gulfstream, and by its recently announced Florida Casualty Insurance Co. transaction.

“Centauri is on solid footing and is newly enabled to capitalize upon the strength of Applied to expand into new target markets both geographically and in product sectors such as residential property and casualty programs, private flood insurance and new products now on the drawing board,” Menzies said.

Rick Espino, President of Centauri, noted the overall market impact of Applied’s investment and the importance of the rating, saying Applied’s technical resources, from its leadership level to the corporate capacities of its Omaha operational teams will help the company serve its clients with expanded offerings.

“We believe that Applied’s timely, revitalizing investment in Centauri will make a major difference in the future of insuring weather-catastrophe exposed homeowners,” Espino said.

Demotech announced other ratings decisions earlier this month, and noted several Florida-based insurers are being closely watched after negative 2020 year-end results. The Florida market as a whole lost more than $1.5 billion last year.

Centauri Specialty Insurance Co. and Centauri National Insurance Co. were formed in 2006 and are based in Sarasota, Fla. Centauri Insurance is a property and casualty insurance company licensed to serve policyholders in 10 states including Alabama, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas. Centauri provides catastrophe coverage to its policyholders.

Applied Underwriters is a global risk services firm offering business services, insurance and reinsurance solutions.