Please call Lee at 954-351-1960 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial & Life & Health Insurance and Group financial products as well.

 

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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Please call Lee at 954-351-1960 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Flood, Private Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial policies as well as Life, Disability and all group products.

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.

Please enjoy the full article below;

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

The ads were out before the storm hit so be careful. Please remember to call me at The Acentria office at 954-351-1960. We also provide free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Business & Commercial and Life, group and Health Insurance  products.

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.”

Please enjoy the full article below;

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

Please call Lee at Acentria Insurance at 954-351-1960 for free quotes and information on Home Insurance, Flood, Private Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial and Life, Financial and group benefits  as well.

Florida’s efforts in establishing a private flood insurance market have been hailed as a model by many other states looking to buff up their flood insurance offerings, as well as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to follow as lawmakers hammer out its upcoming reauthorization.

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But some insurance companies are still standing on the sidelines of Florida’s flood market pool, saying it’s not a risk they are ready to write.

At a recent flood insurance conference put on by the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR) in St. Petersburg, a panel of executives from four Florida-based companies and one national broker discussed their reasons for writing — or for not writing — flood insurance.

“I have not seen a predictable flood model, and I have not seen predictable pricing in reinsurance coverage for that risk. If I don’t understand a peril — I can’t quantify it, know what my exposure is — I am just simply not going to write it,” said Bruce Lucas, CEO and chairman of Florida homeowners insurer Heritage Insurance. “I’ve got some fundamental principles I follow in the business world and I have to fully understand what I’m getting into to do it.”

Locke Burt, chairman and president of Security First Insurance, another Florida-based homeowners insurer that doesn’t write flood coverage, said lack of demand from customers and regulatory hurdles make it difficult to do anything in the flood insurance space.

“There is a reluctance to innovate in Florida. Most of the companies who have filed a product have simply copied the NFIP program,” he said.

Florida’s high risk of storm surge, he said, is another challenge with flood because it is incredibly difficult for the private market to model and accurately price. He said storm surge is an example of why there will always be a role for a federal flood market

Please read the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2017/07/27/459034.htm

Please call us at our new contact phone number 954-735-5500 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood,  Business & Commercial, & life & Financial products as well. My new e-mail is lee.gorodetsky@acentria.com and my new title is the VP of personal lines marketing.

The 2017 hurricane season begins June 1, yet the Atlantic Ocean already has produced Tropical Storm Arlene, which was only the second named storm on record to have formed in April. Citizens urges you to prepare for this year’s hurricane season and provides the following information to assist you and your staff in preparing.

 

14-17 named storms are expected and 7-9 could become hurricanes as well as 3 major Hurricanes. 2-3 could possibly have a US landfall so please be prepared!!

Storm Watch/Warning Issuance Changes
Due to advances in forecasting, beginning in 2017, the National Weather Service (NWS) may issue advisories, watches and warnings for weather disturbances that are not yet a tropical cyclone but pose a threat of bringing tropical storm or hurricane conditions to land areas within 48 hours. Previously, NWS was not permitted to issue watches and/or warnings until after a tropical cyclone officially had formed.

Customer Outreach Citizens has the following brochures for your Citizens policyholders:

Please call  Gateway/ Acentria Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Business & Commercial & Life, Group benefits and Heath Insurance products.

For South Florida homeowners, 2017 already figured to be a year of steep property insurance rate increases.

For customers of two insurance companies, state regulators have made those increases even steeper than the companies sought.

Why? State regulators say high costs stemming from excessive claims in the tricounty region requires the companies to charge customers more money than they would prefer.

The state “has an obligation to approve rates that are [financially] sound — which may be more or less than what a company requests,” said Sha’Ron James, the state’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, who did not participate in the rate decisions.

Two companies — Deerfield Beach-based People’s Trust Insurance and Tampa-based Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty — this week received approval for larger rate increases than they requested.

People’s Trust, with 54,267 home- and condo-owner policies in the tricounty region and 129,365 statewide as of Dec. 31, sought a 14.5-percent statewide average rate hike and instead got a 16-percent hike.

Homeowners Choice, with 53,040 home- and condo-owner policies in the tricounty area and 130,041 statewide at the end of the year, sought a 3.3-percent statewide average increase and instead got an 8-percent hike.

Please read & enjoy the full article below;

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-insurance-rate-hikes-20170509-story.html

Please call   Gateway/ Acentria Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Business & Commercial & Life & Disability as well as group Benefits. I am the Home Insurance Guru now the VP of personal Lines marketing at Acentria Insurance.

 

VIII. Private Flood Insurance Bill (HB 813)

 

HB 813 mandates that the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Prevention Methodology revise hurricane loss prevention models every four years. Current law requires that an agent notify the insured that if they choose to leave the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and later return, they will pay the full-risk rate, not the NFIP-subsidized rate. Additionally, the agent must obtain a signed disclosure from the insured acknowledging such; current law requires the agent provide written notice to be signed by the applicant upon receiving the application to obtain private flood coverage. The new language allows the agent more flexibility by requiring the agent provide the signed notice at any point before the agent actually places flood coverage with a private insurer. However, the agent may avoid obtaining the acknowledgment if the NFIP allows insureds, at some point in the future, to return to the program at any time and still obtain the subsidized rate.

 

 The bill extends the sunset for insurers not having to get private flood rates approved from October 1, 2019 to October 1, 2025. The bill also extends from 2017 to 2019 an exemption from the diligent effort search requirement for surplus lines insurers. Also, if fewer than three admitted insurers are writing flood on July 1, 2019 when the diligent search exception expires, the agent may only obtain a number of declinations that meet the number of admitted insurers providing coverage. For example, if only one flood insurer is writing private coverage, only one declination will be required.

LEGISLATION THAT FAILED THIS SESSION:

III. Assignment of Benefits (HB 1421)

 

There were a number of variations of legislation and amendments to rectify the AOB abuse epidemic throughout Florida. Unfortunately, no good AOB measure was able to succeed. However, we were successful in fighting off measures by the trial bar that would have enhanced the already prevalent AOB abuse.

 

There were two main vehicles addressing AOB. HB 1421 by Representative Grant, and SB 1218 by Senator Farmer. The House bill was the preferred vehicle for insurers, whereas the Senate bill was a trial-bar friendly initiative. The House bill would have required disclosures be provided to the insureds before entering into an AOB. It also would have moved to a “loser pays” attorney fee system. The House legislation provided the insured with an opportunity to rescind the assignment within 7 days of entering into the contract with the vendor. Further, the bill increased consumer protections and required vendors to provide written estimates of the work to be completed and required the assignee to notify the insurer of the assignment within 3 days of it being executed.

 

The Senate bill was amended a number of times and ultimately was not heard in its final committee. Generally, the Senate measure neglected to change the current attorney fee law for vendors, essentially endorsing the notion that vendors under AOB assignments are eligible to receive unlimited attorney fees. The Senate bill was extremely unfriendly to insurers and did not contain any attorney fee language. It required insurers to eliminate the costs of attorney gees on cases in which they lose a claim case in litigation from being part of the base rate and would have, essentially, ended the ability to utilize a managed repair program or ability to invoke the right to repair on a particular claim.   ( Welcome to Higher Home Insurance premiums)

IV. Workers Compensation

 

HB 7085 addresses the recent decisions declaring some components of Florida’s Workers Compensation law unconstitutional. The bill would permit direct payments of attorneys by or on behalf of claimants and increases the total combined temporary wage replacement benefits (TTD/TPD) from 104 weeks to 260 weeks. It also allows a Judge of Compensation Claims (JCC) to award an hourly fee that departs from the statutory percentage based attorney fee limitation of $1500 under certain situations. Among several other components, HB 7085 also permits insurers to uniformly reduce premiums by no more than 5% if they file an informational-only notice within 30 days. Insurance industry representatives believe that the ability of a judge to award additional attorneys’ fees above the standard fee of $1,500 makes this bill less than ideal, and likely means that litigation will continue to expand causing rates to increase.

 

SB 1582 requires insurance carriers to authorize or decline requests for 

authorization from health care providers within a three-day period and provides that a request is deemed to be authorized if the carrier fails to respond. Like the House bill, the Senate bill increases the temporary partial disability benefits from 104 weeks to 260 weeks, in compliance with the Florida Supreme Court’s decision in Westphal v. City of St. Petersburg. SB 1582 eliminates the statutory fee schedule of $1,500 for setting claimant attorney’s fees but allows the judge to consider certain factors and permit deviation from the attorney fee schedule. 

 

 

The two bills remained different between chambers through the end of session. The House sought to curb attorney’s fees and was more industry friendly than the Senate bill, which was seen as friendlier to the trial bar.