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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.

Please enjoy the full article below;

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

 

Please read the full story below;

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

The state of Florida is marking a big milestone with the official end of the 2015 hurricane season – 10 years without a major hurricane making landfall in the state.

The Miami Herald reports that the hurricane-free streak is a new record for the state.

Experts say Floridians shouldn’t count on the streak continuing. Michael Brennan of the National Hurricane Center has been exceptionally lucky and that residents should always be prepared for the possibility of a storm hitting the state.

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Please enjoy the full article below.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/12/01/390411.htm

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s top executive warned the company’s Board of Governors Wednesday that water loss claims will continue to hamper efforts to reduce rates for many Florida policyholders.

“In claims the critical issue that has surfaced in the past two years is ‘water damage’ claims and this issue is severely impacting the loss picture in South Florida and the rates paid by tri-county constituents,” said President, CEO and Executive Director Barry Gilway.

Since January, 141,680 Citizens customers have found coverage from private companies in the state, the company said in a statement, which has allowed Citizens to shrink to under 586,000 policies from a peak of nearly 1.5 million in 2012.

Still, water loss remains a challenge for Citizens, with 50 percent of all reported new reported claims in 2013 being water damage related. It is especially a problem in Miami-Dade County where water loss claims now account for more than half of every premium dollar collected. If water claims there mirrored trends in other parts of the state, Citizens said, more than nine out of 10 Miami-Dade policyholders would see rate reductions for 2016. Instead, the Office of Insurance Regulation last month approved rates that call for an average 8.1 percent increase for Miami-Dade customers.

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/10/01/383481.htm

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has approved a slate of 2016 property insurance rates for Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

In an order signed September 8 by Florida Commissioner Kevin McCarty, FLOIR set the rates for Citizens multi-peril and coastal homeowners that reflect an overall statewide rate decrease of 1.8 percent increase for homeowners’ multiperil policyholders across the state

According to a statement from FLOIR, the office modified some of Citizens’ recommended rates to address key issues cited as causes for increasing homeowners’ insurance costs for policyholders in South Florida and on the coast. These included Citizens’ purchase this year of more private reinsurance (insurance for insurance companies) and pre-event financing (a short-term loan to recover claims costs payable by the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund).

Citizens presented its rate proposal at a public hearing on August 25 in front of Florida insurance regulators and addressed questions FLOIR had on its rate requests. Citizens highlighted the surge in water loss trends in three South Florida counties as the main reason for rate increases. The combination of these factors drove up overall rates despite reductions to most policyholders living farther from the coast. The Office’s subsequent findings are described in more detail within the order shown below.

According to a statement from Citizens, the FLOIR-approved rates reflect a decrease for 60 percent of Citizens customers but an average overall 1.8 percent increase for homeowners’ multiperil policyholders across the state as of Feb. 1, 2016 for new and renewal business. This probably means increases here in S. Florida from 5-10% or more in some cases.

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/09/09/381094.htm