Please call us for help at 1-888-244-7400 on any claim matter to help yours get process faster and better. We can also quote for free Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Business & Commercial & Life & financial as well.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is urging its policyholders to call Citizens first to report losses following Hurricane Matthew in order to protect themselves from assignment of benefit (AOB) scams, according to a statement from the company.

“Citizens is ready to assist our policyholders as they begin their recovery from Hurricane Matthew and get their lives back in order,” said Barry Gilway, Citizens president, CEO and executive director. “Our claims representatives are ready to help. All you have to do is call.”

In its warning to its customers, Citizens said, “Unfortunately, unscrupulous contractors and repair companies thrive in the frenzied days following any storm. Policyholders must be wary of unlicensed contractors or deals that sound too good to be true.”

The company said to protect themselves, policyholders who have experienced a loss from the storm should call Citizens first to ensure they stay in control of their claim. Further, Citizens advises policyholders not to sign anything, including an assignment of benefit, before consulting with Citizens or their insurance agent.

“Here’s why. You may be signing away your rights and be left with unfinished repairs or forced to pay a contractor for repairs not covered by your policy. The policy may also place a limit on emergency repairs until Citizens is notified to inspect damage before permanent repairs are made,” the company said

Please read the full article below!

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/10/10/428833.htm

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Citizens Board of Governors has approved recommended rates for 2017 that equal an average rate increase of nearly 7 percent statewide. The company said the increase is a necessary response to rising non-weather water losses and assignment of benefit (AOB) abuse that is now affecting all regions of the state.

By unanimous vote, board members recommended the 6.8 percent statewide increases for personal lines policyholders, reversing a recent trend of lower rates for all but South Florida customers. Citizens said in a statement that the increase reflects the negative effects the company is experiencing from water losses, AOB abuse and increased litigation that has begun to spread across the state. Citizens’ rate package now goes to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) for approval.

 

Please read the full story below, but most carriers besides Citizens will do increases even larger than this. Beware to shop your rates at L & S Insurance S. Florida!!!

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/06/23/418122.htm

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The frequency and severity of water loss claims in Florida have increased every year since 2010, according to data call results from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). During the same period, there has been a 10 percent increase in severity for claims with an assignment of benefits, (AOB).

The data call was ordered by OIR last October in response to what some in Florida are calling a troubling trend with AOB claims for water losses. OIR then analyzed the data in an effort to shed light on if the AOB provision is being misused in the state.

OIR examined 259,742 water claims – damage that resulted from water pipes bursting, leaks from appliances, etc. – from the top 25 insurers in the state. The reporting insurers, which make up 80.5 percent of the Florida homeowners market, submitted detailed claims information for homeowners (HO3) and dwelling fire (DF) policies in force as of June 30, 2015. The claims were to have closed between Jan. 1, 2010 and Sept. 30, 2015.

Insurers were also asked to include summary information by county for closed claims during that same period for all other perils (AOP), excluding hurricane and sinkhole, as well as open claims as of Oct. 1, 2015 for both AOP and water/roof claims.

The report said that, based on the analyzed data, the frequency of water loss claims has increased by 46 percent since 2010, equaling an average annual increase in frequency of 8.3 percent each year. The severity of water claims has increased 28 percent since 2010, representing an annual increase of 5.4 percent.

OIR’s report states that the combined impact of changes in frequency and severity result in an average increase in water losses of 14.2 percent each year.

State-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has claimed that the increase in losses has been especially significant in Southeast Florida, but that it is starting to be felt in other regions as well. OIR’s data backed up this claim, saying Southeast Florida experienced a 43 percent increase in water claim frequency and a 39 percent increase in claim severity.

Statewide, claims frequency and severity was not as high but the frequency still increased by double-digits for all regions. Severity increased by double-digits in all regions as well, except for North Central Florida and Northeast Florida, which only saw single-digit increases.

“If there were no other perils covered under the policy and no changes in expenses from year to year, an insurer may need to increase its rates by 10 percent or more each year (depending on the insurer’s expenses) just to break even due to the increase in water losses,” OIR said.

Please enjoy the full article below.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/03/02/400663.htm

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The Florida Cabinet has selected David Altmaier to be the state’s new insurance commissioner.

Altmaier, 34, is currently a deputy commissioner within the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. He will replace Kevin McCarty, who is stepping down after 13 years on the job

Altmaier was one of three candidates, all OIR employees, interviewed at a special Cabinet meeting today.

He was selected after members of the Cabinet could not agree at previous meetings or at today’s on other candidates including Rep. Bill Hager; Jeffrey Bragg, a former federal insurance official; or Belinda Miller, who is OIR chief of staff.

Florida law requires that the governor and CFO must agree on the choice of an insurance commissioner, who can then be hired with the support of at least one other Cabinet member.

Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam joined Gov. Rick Scott and CFO Jeff Atwater in supporting Altmaier.

 

Please enjoy the full article below!

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/04/29/407083.htm

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For the second time in a month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater could not reach an agreement over who will become the next insurance commissioner for the state.

At the April 26 Florida Cabinet Meeting, Cabinet Members Scott, Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam interviewed a total of four candidates from the 71 applicants who applied to the position. The spot will soon be vacated by current Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, who announced his plan to resign earlier this year.

McCarty said back in January that he would resign effective May 2. The Cabinet then opened up an online application with the goal of appointing a successor at its March 29 meeting, before the start of hurricane season. However, at the March meeting, Scott refused to second Atwater’s nomination of Hager. The Cabinet needs to reach a unanimous decision on the choice with Atwater and Scott’s votes carrying the most weight.

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/04/27/406601.htm

 

News of who will replace Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has yet to be announced, but whoever takes over will have his or her work cut out for them when McCarty leaves office after 12 years on May 2.

“These are some pretty huge shoes to fill and it’s going to be tough,” said Jay Neal, president and CEO of the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR). “We need someone who is experienced in that role or we will see problems.”

No candidates have been confirmed as potential replacements, as of yet, but a few names have been floated so far. Two Florida movers rumored to be in the running include Florida State Rep. Bill Hager, a former Iowa Insurance Commissioner, former president and CEO of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and current vice chair of the state Insurance and Banking subcommittee; and Tom Grady, former interim president of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

Hager has been vocal for flood insurance reform in the state, an issue that has also been a major focus for McCarty over the last six months. Hager told Insurance Journal last fall that lawmakers were “turning up the heat” on the National Flood Insurance Program’s ratemaking practices.

Grady is currently awaiting confirmation by the State Senate to the Florida Board of Education after he was appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Oct. He was accused of allowing “excessive” travel expenses during his short-lived position with Citizens.

There is also the possibility that a candidate Scott considered last year, Louisiana Deputy Commissioner of Consumer Advocacy Ron Henderson, could be in the running again.

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

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/01/08/394524.htm

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty announced today that he is resigning effective May 2, 2016 after 12 years in the post to pursue other job opportunities, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).

McCarty has served as the only appointed insurance commissioner for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation since the office was created in 2003.

McCarty’s tenure has been a tumultuous yet productive one. Originally appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, McCarty presided over the state’s sometimes volatile homeowners and auto insurance markets, a number of devastating hurricanes, and several financial and insurance-related crises.

Last year, he survived an ouster bid by current Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Gov. Rick Scott’s Communications Direct, Jackie Schutz, issued the following statement to Insurance Journal on the news:

“We appreciate his service to the state and we wish him the best of luck in his next endeavor.”

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/2016/01/05/393831.htm