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While Congress works on various reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the time is ripe for the private insurance market to step up and play a greater role in providing Americans needed flood coverage.

Last month in Salt Lake City, the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL), a group of state lawmakers from around the nation, began taking a closer look at Florida’s model flood insurance regulation to see if it can be used successfully to encourage a vibrant private market in all 50 states

Those of us from Florida know the success it’s had here: The number of private companies offering flood insurance has more than doubled in the past two years (from 10 companies in 2016 to 25 companies as of the end of July, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation).

Companies are also offering better pricing. Consumers are saving significant money through these private market alternatives.

The concept behind the Florida legislation is the old adage, “if you build it, they will come.”

Earlier this summer, a team of us worked with Florida Rep. David Santiago (R-Deltona) and Senator Jeff Brandes (R-Pinellas County) in crafting simple and permissive language to create and nurture a flexible and transparent private flood insurance regulatory framework in every state in the country. The result is a draft flood insurance narrative that was presented at the NCOIL meeting as a proposed Part V to NCOIL’s national model flood disaster relief bill. It’s based on Florida’s private flood insurance law, first enacted in 2015.

Florida’s flood insurance laws are simple and flexible, with the goal to provide consumer choices and alternatives to the debt-ridden, outdated, and increasingly expensive NFIP.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/08/01/496595.htm

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Please call Lee from Acentria Insurance at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial & Life, Heath and group products

 

Why can’t they even do this! what a mess for no reason.

There is not a lot time left to avoid a lapse in the federal government’s flood insurance program.

The Senate is expected to follow the House, which voted last week to temporarily reauthorize the program.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has said he will force a vote before the Tuesday, July 31 expiration date.

But the window is closing and any senator could create a delay in a vote that would mean a lapse in funding for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The House bill reauthorized the program for four months, until Nov. 30, 2018. The measure did not include any reforms to the program.

Despite years of debate and proposals to reform the program, reforms have stalled. Instead, Congress has passed six short-term extensions of the program. Lawmakers also let the program lapse in 2017 and 2018.

During any lapse in authorization, NFIP policies would remain and the NFIP would cover claims if a storm were to strike. But insurance agents could not sell new policies or renew expiring policies.

There are 5 million NFIP policies in force.

Please enjoy the full article below

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/07/30/496388.htm

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Please call Lee at Acentria Insurance for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial & Life, Health & all types of group benefits for all size companies.

With Florida about to enter peak hurricane season, a state insurance association representing more than a dozen insurers in Florida is hitting back against a recent report from ratings agency Weiss Ratings that identified 10 Florida-based insurers as “weak.”

The insurer trade group, the Florida Property & Casualty Association (FPCA), is disputing the “weak” assessments by Weiss and defending the marketplace in general, saying it does not believe Weiss is a legitimate ratings agency

“Florida homeowners should beware of a recent press release by Weiss Ratings that contains misleading information about the financial stability of our state’s homeowner’s insurance companies. This is simply not the truth,” the Florida Property & Casualty Association (FPCA) said in a statement.

State insurance officials did not respond to individual ratings assertions by Weiss but did downplay the effect of open Hurricane Irma claims that Weiss cites as a concern.

Weiss Ratings has defended its assessments of the 10 insurers as weak, claiming other rating agencies give some insurers high ratings they don’t deserve.

In the June 14 press release that upset FPCA, Weiss highlighted what it called the 10 strongest and weakest providers of homeowners insurance doing business in Florida.

The ratings agency, which analyzes and rates 2,300 property and casualty insurers in the United States, said it uses annual and quarterly financial statements filed with state insurance commissioners to complete an analysis of hundreds of factors that are synthesized into a series of indexes that are then used to arrive at a company’s letter grade rating.

Based on this criteria, Weiss’s statement identified 10 carriers with more than $2.5 million in annual homeowners premiums in the state to which it gave a grade of D+ or lower, as of Dec. 31, 2017:

Florida Homeowner Insurers Weiss
Safety Rating
Homeowner Premiums
$ Millions
Anchor P&C Insurance Co. D 53.7
Edison Insurance Co. D+ 68.2
Florida Specialty Insurance Co D 75.8
Olympus Insurance Co. D+ 121.5
People’s Trust Insurance Co. D+ 212.2
Prepared Insurance Co. D 51.5
Tower Hill Preferred Insurance Co. D 104.2
Tower Hill Prime Insurance Co. D 220.1
Universal P&C Insurance Co. D 846.1
White Pine Insurance Co. D+ 6.8

Weiss warned consumers to remain vigilant of these 10 insurers with “weaker finances,” which combined have more than $1.7 billion in homeowners premium in Florida.

FPCA, which represents 15 Florida insurers, including Edison Insurance and People’s Trust, disputed the Weiss ratings, saying in its release that Florida home insurers must pass a rigorous catastrophe reinsurance stress test by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR), as well as vertical and horizontal reinsurance reviews by what it calls “credible rating agencies.”

FPCA alleges that Weiss Ratings opinions are “not recognized by the insurance industry because they fail to consider the rigorous reinsurance programs purchased by insurance carriers on an annual basis,” FPCA said.

“Our leadership of and members of the FPCA do not believe Weiss is a legitimate ratings agency. To the best of our knowledge, their ratings aren’t recognized by the secondary mortgage market and they don’t speak with the insurance companies they claim to rate. A.M. Best, S&P, Moody’s and Demotech all do,” said FPCA Chairman Roger Desjadon.

Each of the top 10 companies Weiss assigned low ratings to have Financial Stability Ratings (FSR) of ‘A’ or better by Ohio-based financial analysis firm Demotech, except one – White Pine Insurance Co., which is rated B+ by A.M. Best only. In addition to its ‘A’ rating from Demotech, Tower Hill Prime Insurance Co. also carries an A- rating from Best with a negative ratings implication, as of Sept. 2017. Best does not rate the other eight companies.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/07/24/495836.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 & all group products.

“I think the number one thing the insurance industry can do is link AOB (assignment of benefits) to the impact that it’s having on the individual consumer and the huge impact it’s having on the premiums that the consumer’s paying,” Barry Gilway, president, CEO and executive director of Citizens Property Insurance Corp. told attendees in a recent Insurance Journal webinar on Florida AOB abuse

Education, education, education, Gilway said, will be critical to slowing the Florida AOB epidemic that is leading to higher insurance rates, reduced coverage and a potential insurance market crisis in the state.

Gilway was one of a panel of four experts participating in the “Florida AOB Crisis: Where Does the Industry Go from Here?” webinar conducted by Insurance Journal on June 26.

Logan McFaddin, regional representative for the Property Casualty Insurers Association (PCI), Paul Huszar, CEO of remediation contracting company VetCor, and Patrick Wraight, director of the Insurance Journal Academy of Insurance, joined Gilway in discussing the AOB situation in Florida and ways to rein in what they all agreed is runaway abuse.

The AOB problem in Florida stems from unlicensed water remediation and roofing contractors who have homeowners sign over their insurance policy rights in exchange for needed repairs to their homes. The contractors, typically working with an attorney, file inflated or fake claims, and then pursue lawsuits against insurers when those claims are disputed or denied. Because of Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute, insurers are left footing the bill for the inflated claims and the attorney fees if the insurer is found to have underpaid the claim by any amount.

Carriers across the state have seen an increase in litigation because of these inflated claims. According to the Florida Department of Financial Services, there were 405 AOB lawsuits across all 67 Florida counties in 2006, and by 2016 that number had risen to 28,200.

But Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort, has borne the brunt of the abuse. It reported in its 2019 rate hearing in June that it would spend $70 million this year defending AOB-related litigation – equal to 17 percent of its total premium.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2018/07/19/495520.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 & group benefits as well.

“You can run the models all day,” said panelist Steven Kelner, managing director and head of U.S./Canada Analytics at Guy Carpenter & Company LLC. “But when you go down to Houston and look at neighborhoods, there were huge neighborhoods where the whole neighborhood was deemed not flood exposed. And the whole neighborhood but a house or two was flooded, because the maps weren’t accurate; because the data wasn’t up-to-date.”

With this in mind, the industry will need to rethink its approach to cat modeling as it continues learning from recent natural disasters including hurricanes and wildfires, panelists agreed.

“There’s a lot of complexity in getting a cat model to run accurately,” Kelner said. “For example, I can turn [GPS] mapping software on, and it will tell me how long it will take to get from Trenton to Philadelphia at 5 p.m. But the mapping software doesn’t realize that at 5:45 p.m., there’s always a backup. So we need to still have common sense in our day-to-day.”

Panelist John Langione, chief risk officer at QBE North America, agreed, adding that “models are great, but they’re part of the process.”

The challenge for the insurance industry comes in recognizing the importance of using modeling software for pricing, while not becoming overly reliant on the models themselves and looking instead to historical elements to understand exposure and risk, said panelist Bruce Jones, executive vice president and chief risk officer at The Travelers Companies Inc.

“You have this sort of tug-of-war between actual experience and models and trying to make sure that as you’re thinking about it both from a pricing perspective and from a capital perspective, you do have a total view of what’s going on,” he said

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/07/16/495213.htm

Please call Lee at 954-270-7966 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Car Insurance, Flood, Private Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial & Life, Health & group Benefits as well.

 
We all complain that we don’t have enough time.
 
In a way that’s true. There will always be more to do than can be done.
 
Yet, there’s also something that smacks of excuse-making there.
 
I have tight deadlines, so I didn’t sign up for that class.
 
I have so many projects that I can’t take any time off right now.
 
You and I both know that’s not the truth. Truth is, we make time for what we perceive as important right now.
 
Right now, it’s more important to finish that project than to take an hour away for that class.
 
Right now, it’s more important to attend that meeting than to take time off for that little league game.
 
Right now, it’s more important to play that game on your phone than to read that new book.
 
I get it. It’s about what’s important right now.
 
Why not change what’s important right now? I mean, you do get to choose some of these things, don’t you?
 
Keep Learning!

Patrick Wraight, CIC, CRM, CISR, AU, AINS
Director, Insurance Journal’s Academy of Insurance
800.897.9965 x130 | pwraight@ijacademy.com

 

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 & group products as well.

 

Scientists at Colorado State University’s Tropical Meteorology Project have decreased their forecast and now believe that 2018 hurricane season will have below-average activity.

According to the forecasters, the tropical and subtropical Atlantic is currently much colder than normal, and the odds of a weak El Niño developing in the next several months have increased.

With the decrease in the forecast, the probability for major hurricanes making landfall along the United States coastline and in the Caribbean has decreased as well, report Philip J. Klotzbach and Michael M. Bell.

The Colorado team now estimates that the rest of 2018 will see additional 4 hurricanes (median is 6.5), 10 named storms (median is 12.0), 41.50 named storm days (median is 60.1), 15 hurricane days (median is 21.3), 1 major (Category 3-4-5) hurricane (median is 2.0) and 2 major hurricane days (median is 3.9).

The forecast cites a 22 percent probability of a direct hit to the eastern United States; the average is 31 percent.

Please enjoy the full article below;

 

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2018/07/05/494264.htm