Please call Lee Gorodetsky at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial, Life, Health, and all types of group and benefit programs.

An unlicensed contractor operating in the Florida Panhandle has been arrested by the Florida Disaster Fraud Action Strike Force (DFAST) for allegedly conducting roofing repairs following Hurricane Michael, according to a statement from Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis.

Ashley Porterfield, owner of Porterfield Building, was arrested Nov. 20 on charges of unlicensed contracting, a third-degree felony during a state of emergency. DFAST reportedly observed employees of Porterfield Building repairing a damaged roof while deployed to the Panhandle following Hurricane Michael.

Investigators made contact to verify the company had the proper licensure and workers’ compensation insurance coverage required by Florida law. It was discovered that Porterfield was not licensed to conduct business in the state.

“The Panhandle is recovering after Hurricane Michael, but unlicensed contractors could deal another blow to Florida families,” Patronis said. “Unlicensed activity puts Floridians in danger and takes business away from reputable contractors that follow the law. Before allowing anyone to make repairs, verify they have the required licenses and insurance. While hurricane season ends tomorrow, we will keep working to protect residents and business owners as they rebuild.”

Porterfield was and booked into the Bay County Jail and if convicted, could face up to 5 years in prison

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/12/06/511147.htm

Advertisements

Please call Lee Gorodetsky at 954-270-7966  for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood , Private Flood, Car,  Business & Commercial, Life, Health & Group enrollment business of all types.

A new study released by the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) finds that Florida’s assignment of benefits (AOB) crisis has cost consumers billions of dollars in unnecessary litigation and inflated claim costs as the abuse continues to spread statewide.

“In Florida, abuse of AOBs has fueled an insurance crisis,” the report says of the misuse of the policyholder protection known as AOB. “The state’s legal environment has encouraged vendors and their attorneys to solicit unwarranted AOBs from tens of thousands of Floridians, conduct unnecessary or unnecessarily expensive work, then file tens of thousands of lawsuits against insurance companies that deny or dispute the claims.”

The I.I.I. report says the AOB “mini-industry has cost consumers billions of dollars as they are forced to pay higher premiums to cover needless repairs and excessive legal fees.”

An AOB is a document signed by either an auto or homeowners policyholder which allows a third party, such as an auto repair shop or a roofer, to seek direct payment from an insurer on a policyholder’s behalf. In Florida, a policyholder is permitted to sign an AOB document without notifying their insurer or seeking the insurer’s consent. The abuse has stemmed from the third parties with a signed AOB working with plaintiff’s attorney to sue an insurer when the insurer disputes an inflated bill from the third party.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/12/12/511654.htm

Please call Lee Gorodetsky at 954-270-7966 for Free Insurance information & consulting on Insurance. Home Insurance, Car, Flood, Private Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial & Life, Health, Annuity and all group health Benefits as well.

It has been just over a month since Hurricane Michael slammed the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 hurricane with wind speeds reaching just shy of Category 5 status.

The devastation from the storm that killed at least 35 people in Florida is still impacting residents and insured losses continue to climb as recovery efforts are in full effect and will be for some time.

“Michael saw our worst fears realized, of rapid intensification just before landfall on a part of a coastline that has never experienced a Category 4 hurricane,” University of Miami hurricane researcher Brian McNoldy said after the storm hit, as reported by The Associated Press.

The massive storm made landfall in Mexico Beach, Fla., on Oct. 10 with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph, according to catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide. The minimum central pressure at landfall — a key measure of hurricane strength — was 919 mb, the third lowest on record for a U.S. hurricane, AIR said.

Michael is the most powerful hurricane to have come ashore in the Florida Panhandle since the first records were kept in 1851, said Dr. Peter Sousounis, vice president and director of meteorology, AIR Worldwide.

“Fueled by unseasonably high 84-degree sea surface temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico and unhindered by any prior landfall, Hurricane Michael rapidly intensified shortly before making landfall at close to Category 5 intensity,” Sousounis said.

Mexico Beach was “virtually obliterated” AIR said, as it was in the right eyewall of Michael where storm surge is typically the highest. In addition, the high wind speeds leveled buildings in the area, as well as took down power lines and countless trees.

Please enjoy the full article with Pictures below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/11/20/509157.htm

Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial, Life Health, and all types of group coverage as well.

High Republican turnout in Florida held back the predicted “blue wave” as FAIA-supported candidates scored major victories in Tuesday’s election. After spending nearly $900,000 on political campaigns in the 2018 election cycle, FAIA scored a 91.5 success rate, going four for four in Cabinet races, 13 of 14 in Senate races, and 37 of 41 in House races. The election of presumed Governor-Elect Ron DeSantis gives a huge boost to the insurance community’s hopes of combating assignment of benefits fraud.

Narrow margins mean recounts

But, this is Florida, and nearly three days after Election Day, election results are still not certified for the Governor’s race (in a machine recount), the U.S. Senate race, and the Agriculture Commissioner’s race (both in a by-hand recount). Follow Kyle Ulrich’s blog for updates.

Please call Lee at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial policies & Life, Health and all types of group & Financial products.

Total estimated insured losses from Hurricane Michael have reached more than $2.1 billion, according to the most recent data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

The current number of claims from Hurricane Michael, a Category 4 storm that hit the Florida Panhandle before continuing a path of destruction through several other Southeast states, had reached 110,183 with 26.1 percent of that total number of claims closed as of Oct. 30, 2018. OIR compiled aggregate information from claims data filed by insurers covering all claims based on filings received.

The lines of business included in the total number of claims are residential property, commercial property, private flood, business interruption and miscellaneous other lines.

Residential property losses account for the majority of the total claims at 78,045 – 57,088 of that number is homeowners claims. Only 20.7 percent of residential property claims were closed as of Oct. 30.

The percentage of commercial property claims closed was lower at 10.3 percent of the 4,471 claims received. Only 460 business interruption claims had been filed so far, with 9.1 percent of those closed to date.

Just 64 flood claims had been filed as of Oct. 30, with 37.5 percent of those claims already closed.

The Florida Department of Financial Services said in a statement Wednesday that Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state insurer of last resort, had 3,231 claims as of Oct. 29.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/11/01/506263.htm

Please call Lee at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial policies & Life, Health and all types of group & Financial products.

Three contractors conducting business in Leon, Gadsden, and Gulf counties have been removed from the Panhandle by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team for unlicensed activity following Hurricane Michael, according to a statement from Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis.

The contractors are banned from soliciting or conducting any work in Florida pending a full investigation

The fraud teams, formed last year after Hurricane Irma to stay ahead of post-storm fraud, are investigating reports of potential fraud in Bay, Gulf, Washington, and Leon counties. The Strike Team was activated before Hurricane Michael made landfall and had boots on the ground immediately following the storm.

Initials sweeps have been made in Liberty, Gadsden, Gulf, and Leon counties. First sweeps in Bay, Jackson and Washing counties are ongoing. Secondary sweeps in the impacted areas will begin this week.

“Anyone who tries to take advantage of Florida families and businesses during this vulnerable time will be caught,” Patronis said. “I can’t stress this enough: do not hire anyone without asking for their professional license information and if they have workers’ comp insurance.”

Unlicensed activity can put homeowners and contractors at risk and opens the door to fraud. Consumers should always verify that contractors have the appropriate licenses, including workers’ compensation coverage, before they hire a company to assist in repairs after a storm, DFS said.

To report any suspicious activity call CFO Patronis’ help line at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO

Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial policies and Life, health and all types of group policies as well for individuals or businesses large and small.

More than a week after Hurricane Michael slammed into the Florida Panhandle, authorities are reporting three more deaths from the Category 4 storm as residents returning to their homes try to piece together their lives from the rubble left by strong winds and storm surge.

Michael slammed into Florida’s Panhandle with 155 mph (250 kph) winds on Oct. 10, retained hurricane-force winds as far inland as southern Georgia, and also affected the Carolinas and Virginia. Six deaths were reported in Virginia, mostly from flash flooding. North Carolina had three deaths, and Georgia had one.

 

Florida’s death toll stood at 17 on Thursday, said Emergency Management Division spokesman Alberto Moscoso. The official number included an additional death from Liberty County, and others confirmed as storm-related by district medical examiners, including 12 from the hardest hit Bay County.

Additionally, three more deaths have been confirmed as storm-related to bring Bay County’s total to 15 deaths, according to Whit Majors, chief investigator for the district medical examiner’s office. Majors said those deaths were reported to state emergency management officials. It wasn’t immediately clear why they were not yet added to the statewide tally.

Across the region, stunned residents continued picking up the pieces on Thursday, as many remained without electricity.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/10/19/505137.htm