On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Policyholder Question – Should I be concerned about a contractor asking me to sign an Assignment of Benefits clause?

Policyholder Question – Should I be concerned about a contractor asking me to sign an Assignment of Benefits clause?

The following is an insurance claim question we answered for a policyholder through the United Policyholders Ask an Expert Forum
Q. I live in the path of Irma in Florida and suffered damage to my property. Since the storm and never before, there has been tons of articles in the news, social media and TV commercials playing here in Florida warning consumers about signing Assignment of Benefits agreements with contractors because you'll get ripped off and make a mistake. I have a contractor that I've used before and known for years that says it's been an accepted practice for decades for emergency services. Are the insurance companies just trying to save money? Please explain detail because it seems like a big coordinated PR push from numerous insurance companies saying basically the exact same thing. Thank you for your help!!

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Floods, Water Losses and Money

Floods, Water Losses and Money

There were a number of articles over the course of the last few weeks that focused my attention back to the water peril.  Spring storms in the middle section of the country with the severe floods that always seem to follow; global warming issues being reported almost daily with the threat of rising sea levels; and then this recent article, Flood recovery meeting set in White Sulphur Springs  from The Herald-Dispatch in West Virginia, that announced meetings with various officials to try and provide updates to the folks in southern West Virginia who were affected by last year’s floods in the mountain state. 

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The Wall Street Journal Claims Legal Abuse by Florida’s Trial Bar Related to Insurance Claim Water Losses Contributes to Increased Property Insurance Rates

The Wall Street Journal Claims Legal Abuse by Florida’s Trial Bar Related to Insurance Claim Water Losses Contributes to Increased Property Insurance Rates

In case you missed it, The Wall Street Journal published March 15, 2017 had an article in the editorial section titled “Florida’s Trial Bar Hurricane.” I think most folks who are regular readers of WSJ would agree that the publication is no friend of plaintiff lawyers, so at least we know they are prejudiced to some extent and thus know where they are coming from. But in this case, I see no prejudice but instead good reporting. They make some excellent points, which seemingly are backed up by facts and figures even if they are from the carrier’s side. In my opinion this editorial piece is a good analysis of Florida’s current AOB problem, which is currently being debated in the 2017 Florida Legislative session.

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Recap - Windstorm Insurance Network Conference 2017

Recap - Windstorm Insurance Network Conference 2017

After each Wind Conference I am always amazed at the attendance level, value and depth of knowledge brought by the professionals drawn to this annual event. This year was no exception. There is an old saying that 90% of success is just showing up. That old saying certainty applies to the 18th Annual Windstorm Insurance Network Conference.

The last attendance number I heard was that over 1,065 professionals from all over the United States traveled to Orlando, Florida to learn, network, and yes, do a little partying after hours. Make no mistake about it; the folks who taught and those who attended the various workshops are the movers and shakers in the property insurance claims industry. These are folks who for the most part control the claim process and ultimately the money that will be paid out to policyholders when a covered Wind Cat wind loss occurs.

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AOB SOB

AOB SOB

“Well, I’ll be damned!”

These were the first words that came out of my mouth when I read an article reporting on a speech that Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater gave at a recent insurance conference attended by Florida property insurance executives. Then another “I’ll be damned” came out when I read an internet posting of efforts being made by the Florida’s new Insurance Commissioner to crack down on Assignment of Benefits a.k.a. AOB abuse and new legislation being prepared for this year’s legislative session which convenes in March.
 
But first some background on what prompted my shock and awe.  

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Adjuster Education - Winning, that’s what it’s all about. Right?

Adjuster Education - Winning, that’s what it’s all about. Right?
An article in the 2015 autumn edition of the Marshall University Magazine (my alma mater) resonated with me in the context of insurance losses. In theory there should not be any winners or losers when it comes to paying for an insured policyholder’s claim. The insurance company is supposed to indemnify their insured or make them whole, as in putting them back in the place they were before the loss.Read More

Adjuster Education – Reinsurance and Assessment Explained

Adjuster Education – Reinsurance and Assessment Explained
When involved with complex insurance claims (believe me, nowadays with all these new forms and restrictions, they are all complex and controversial), the policy language and the facts of the loss all must be taken into account to apply them to the coverage in order to get the correct payment to the policyholder.  But this may only be the beginning of what you need to know. Other issues face the adjuster which may be outside of your typical daily sphere of experience and knowledge.Read More

Florida Property Insurance - Good News or Bad News - You Decide

Florida Property Insurance - Good News or Bad News - You Decide

I read with a great deal of interest comments that were made by the big chiefs at a hearing held by the Office of Insurance Regulation in Tallahassee concerning the rate request Citizens Insurance Company was asking for in the South Florida market. In my view the back-and-forth discussion that took place on August 25 is newsworthy as are some of the back-story items not covered or published. Here is a link from the Insurance Journal that reported on the August 25th hearing. 

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Florida Property Insurance Legislative Wrap 2015 - We made it through another year unscathed or did we?

Florida Property Insurance Legislative Wrap 2015 - We made it through another year unscathed or did we?

It may be no surprise that not a lot of bills were filed in this year’s legislative session to correct any real or imagined property insurance crises and those that were, died in various committees.   After all, we are fast approaching a decade of no major hurricane strikes that some are saying is a record going back over hundred years! The sitting duck we were supposed to be is looking more like a stuffed bird hung on the wall. Yes, I know it only takes one, but let’s hope the good times continue to roll. There is too much at stake to see Florida or any of our coastal neighbors hit with the big one in this year’s 2015 Atlantic hurricane season just as we are in full recovery mode from the great recession.

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Florida Assignment of Benefits Controversy Continues - A Public Adjuster's Perspective

Florida Assignment of Benefits Controversy Continues - A Public Adjuster's Perspective

For those of us who are insiders in the Florida claim adjusting business, the AOB issue has been the hot topic with a whole host of folks calling for its demise. I had previously written about this insurance claim scheme and the response to my blog was amazing. Seems no one likes the assignment of benefit except for some of the folks in the restoration business and of course a hand full of lawyers who have discovered a new opportunity to collect attorney fees. 

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