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Nearly 17,000 flood insurance claims connected with Hurricane Irma have been filed, and more are expected in the coming weeks.

The Sun-Sentinel reports that of 16,786 flood claims filed through Thursday, 3,969 were filed in Monroe County.

FEMA data shows that Miami-Dade residents have filed 1,870 claims, 829 have been filed in Broward County and 199 have come from Palm Beach County.

Other counties with large numbers of flood insurance claims are Duval, with 1,514, Lee, with1,426 and Collier with 1,364.

Fewer than 200 claims have been filed in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Charlotte counties – an example of how the Tampa Bay region was spared the severe impact feared by forecasters.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/09/27/465727.htm

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With two Florida landfalls in the same day, Hurricane Irma‘s destructive wind and flood damage could cost up to $65 billion for both insured and uninsured losses, according to a recent estimate by CoreLogic.

Residential property flood loss is estimated at up to $38 billion, CoreLogic reported, noting that includes storm surge, inland and flash flooding in five states – Florida, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina

80 percent of the flood damage is uninsured, the company said.

Reported insured flood loss for commercial properties could top out at $8 billion.

AIR Worldwide estimated insured losses for the U.S. States resulting from Irma will range between $25 billion – $35 billion.

The catastrophe modeling firm noted the hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles from the eye and tropical storm–force winds extended more than 400 miles, covering the entire state and driving storm surge into both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

Downed trees, signs and utility poles and flooded or debris-strewn streets could be seen in the southern regions of the state, AIR Worldwide reported.

Karen Clark & Company estimated losses in the U.S and Caribbean at $25 billion. Of the $18 billion insured loss in the U.S., the majority is in Florida, followed by Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, KCC reported.

As of Thursday, Sept. 21, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation reported more than 397,000 residential property claims and just over 17,000 commercial property claims had been filed. Including all types of losses, total estimated insured losses thus far had passed the $3 billion mark. OIR has been updating claims data daily.

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/09/22/465115.htm

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As Florida residents return home after being evacuated by Hurricane Irma, the pressure is on the insurance industry to keep a bad situation regarding assignment of benefits abuse in the state from getting worse.

Florida regulators, carriers, industry trade groups and lawmakers are all echoing the same advice to policyholders: now’s the time to contact your agent or insurer and file claims.

“CFO Jimmy Patronis and Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier encourage Floridians to be prompt in notifying their insurance companies and cautious of repair deals that sound too good to be true,” the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation alerted consumers in a statement released Tuesday.

While Florida was spared the worst-case scenario by Hurricane Irma in terms of the storm’s strength, the state still suffered significant damage from wind and coastal flooding. Agents and carriers are just starting to deploy resources to affected areas, and stakeholders say timing will be of the essence as “bad actors” will be on the prowl for homeowners willing to assign to them the right to obtain insurance benefits to deal with damage to their homes.

“All consumers need to be on alert as they recover from Irma for fraudulent schemes and assignment of benefit scams so they don’t unknowingly sign away their rights,” said Chris Gardner, chairman of Citizens board of governors. “If unsure, agents are prepared to advise you and guide you through the claims process.”

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/09/13/464047.htm

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Some coastal residents always put off emergency preparations until storm clouds loom on the horizon. The National Hurricane Center is going to try giving those people a deadline this year, issuing experimental advisories showing when tropical-storm force winds may hit particular communities to help them understand when it’s too late to put up storm shutters or evacuate.

The forecasters’ advisories will be fueled by more data than ever, thanks to new weather satellites and an expanded network of underwater gliders.

New Advisory

To help people understand when storm preparations should be completed, the hurricane center will experiment with advisories showing the times when sustained tropical-storm force winds are estimated to hit land. If a tropical disturbance nears shore, forecasters also could post advisories or warnings before it develops into a tropical depression or named storm.

Florida’s emergency management director, Bryan Koon, said the new advisories could help validate evacuation orders for people who complain about “hype” around approaching storms.

“We can say, `Listen, this is when things are going to get bad in your area,”’ Koon said. “We can also use that to say, `A few hours ahead of that, stores are going to close, roads are going to get jam-packed with people, we might have to shut down power substations.”

Storm surge watches and warnings will be issued this year when U.S. coastlines are at risk for life-threatening flooding.

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/06/07/453709.htm

 

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Ohio-based Demotech — which rates 397 companies nationwide, 57 of which are in Florida —said Monday that it has suspended ratings guidelines it uses in Florida due to what it is calling an uncertain operating environment in the state.

The ratings firm says no Florida insurers it rates are in danger of failing but there are about 10 to 15 that could see downgrades in March.

Demotech said it will eventually revise its general guidance but, in the meantime, it is advising carriers individually to ensure they are adequately capitalized to handle the now uncertain operating environment

The uncertain operating climate that concerns Demotech refers to Florida’s escalating assignment of benefits crisis that has caused the number of litigated water loss claims to skyrocket over the past few years, particularly for the state-run insurer Citizens. The problem has begun affecting Florida’s private market insurers as well, with many pulling out of areas of the state where the abuse is the most rampant and filing for rate increases.

In addition, two court cases decided at the end of 2016 that Demotech said reversed “industry claims procedures that remain intact in other operating environments” will create unanticipated challenges for insurers that Demotech said it now needs to take into consideration to properly rate companies operating in Florida

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/02/07/441177.htm

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In September, Hurricane Hermine broke Florida’s hurricane drought that had lasted since 2005. The category 1 storm hit the Florida Panhandle, bringing significant storm surge to the Tampa Bay area before slowly traveling up the Eastern Seaboard.

The storm weakened to a tropical storm as it moved inland in Florida, with winds topping 70 miles per hour, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center, but it was still enough to cause widespread damage and power outages. Toppled trees in Tallahassee left some residents without power for a week

Then in October, Hurricane Matthew hit. The storm was classified as a category 3 with winds of 120 miles per hour.

“When Matthew was nearing Florida, there was a large amount of uncertainty of whether there would be more wind and storm surge or less so because the storm was paralleling so close to the coast,” said Tom Sabbatelli, RMS Hurricane Risk Expert based in the UK

 

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/12/14/435122.htm

 

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Almost 1 million customers were still without power in the U.S. Southeast Monday after Hurricane Matthew brought devastating wind gusts and flooding to North Carolina, leaving at least 10 dead in the state.

Duke Energy Corp., owner of North Carolina’s largest utilities, estimated power may not be restored to some customers before Sunday. More than 153,000 were blacked out in Florida as of about 2 p.m. New York time Monday, with about 675,000 without power from Georgia to southeastern Virginia, according to data compiled by Bloomberg from utility websites.

The National Weather Service on Monday issued flood warnings for parts of central and eastern North Carolina after as much as 15 inches (38 centimeters) of rain in some spots. The storm made landfall Saturday in South Carolina and has now dissipated in the Atlantic.

“Flooding, downed trees and power lines have resulted in major power outages to our region, and we have discovered more than 800 broken poles and miles of downed lines – and still counting,” Duke Energy storm director Bobby Simpson said in a Sunday statement. Flooded roads blocked some repairs, the company said.

Matthew appears to have spared Florida’s citrus belt, with “negligible” harm to oranges and about 10 percent of the grapefruit crop blown from trees, Florida Citrus Mutual spokesman Andrew Meadows said Monday by phone. Flooding will delay the cotton harvest in North Carolina and South Carolina and may reduce its quality, Kyle Tapley, a meteorologist for MDA Weather Services, said by phone Monday from Gaithersburg, Maryland.

 

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/10/10/428931.htm