On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

Hurricane Michael’s Insurance Policyholder Deductible Surprise

Hurricane Michael’s Insurance Policyholder Deductible Surprise

By now folks in Panama City and surrounding areas hit by Hurricane Michael, are finding out how little they are going to get paid for their insurance claim damages. Our office continues to receive calls and emails from policyholders seeking help and answers about their property insurance losses. Predictably, a lot of the frustration from policyholders is about the fact that their claim file was closed without payment due to a subjective opinion by adjusters the insurance companies.

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Citizens continues to put $$ into defense lawyers coffers while losing $12.7 million sinkhole verdict

Citizens continues to put $$ into defense lawyers coffers while losing $12.7 million sinkhole verdict

Citizens Insurance is spending tons of policyholder premiums to pay its lawyer friends to fight these claims it clearly should be covering!! Citizens hit with a $12.7 million verdict, acted in monumental bad faith and as a result 500 people who own property in this community continue to suffer from a claim that has languished since 2007. It makes me wonder who is running this company, management or the attorneys?

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Water Damage Claims and the First 13 Days Court Decision

Water Damage Claims and the First 13 Days Court Decision

Several years ago, we started seeing property insurance policies with new very restrictive language that attempted to exclude water losses based on the subjective opinion of some as to when the water loss occurred and caused damages. It was my opinion that this 14 day limitation would be very bad for folks in Florida, as well as snowbirds who own property and only reside here six or so months a year.

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Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Adjusting Practices Come Under Scrutiny

Hurricane Irma Insurance Claim Adjusting Practices Come Under Scrutiny

Hurricane Irma insurance adjusting practices in the Florida Keys are coming under scrutiny by the Monroe Country State Attorney. This information came to me via a short audio clip from a radio broadcast aired by US 1 Radio News that covers the Florida Keys. In this broadcast, you can hear Monroe County State Attorney, Dennis Swartz sharing his concerns about insurance company adjuster practices in dealing with policyholders who suffered losses from Hurricane Irma.

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Reflections from the 2018 Windstorm Insurance Network Inc. Conference

Reflections from the 2018 Windstorm Insurance Network Inc. Conference

This year’s “WIND” conference in Orlando, Florida marks the 18-year anniversary that folks from all over the U.S. have gathered to network, learn, and in many instances, conduct settlement talks on active cases to resolve issues involving wind losses and other perils covered by property insurance. Without a doubt, this conference was very successful and well attended with a reported headcount of around a thousand professionals from various disciplines. However, I was somewhat surprised the attendance was not greater given what happened during the 2017 hurricane season. 

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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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Troubled Waters - Water Insurance Claims Under Attack

Troubled Waters - Water Insurance Claims Under Attack

Non-weather related water loss insurance claims in Florida are on the rise. So says Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater who heads up the Florida Department of Financial Services. The problem is so great that his Florida Consumer Advocate, Ms. Sha’ Ron James called for a summit and invited all stakeholders to attend. 

Mr. Atwater is not the only one sounding the alarm on water damage claim issues and its companion Assignment of Benefits (AOB). Based on my following the news on this hot topic it seems most insurance carriers in Dade, Broward and Palm Beach county areas are all in agreement that the situation is getting out of control and in fact may be critical, requiring rate increases and further reductions in insurance property policy coverages for water losses.

 
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Managed Repair Tips and Some Personal Observations from My Recent Trip to the Caribbean

Managed Repair Tips and Some Personal Observations from My Recent Trip to the Caribbean
First I want to share some atmospheric observations and conditions that are clearly changing in the Caribbean and may play into the El Niño, La Niña narrative. On my trip last week to the Leeward Island of St Maarten I had the opportunity to visit with old clients, friends and observe changes that have occurred since my last trip in 2015. 

Parts of the Caribbean including the island of St Maarten/St Martin and South America particularly Venezuela have been experiencing severe drought over the last year. The locals I have talked with all contribute this drought to the El Niño weather conditions. But the good news is that the atmosphere seems to be returning to a more normal condition as the rains are returning and at least in the Leeward Islands the vegetation is starting to return to its lush green color one would expect to see on a tropical island. Unfortunately this drought has not been without its cost as many coconut palms and tropical floral have withered and died. This is a result of no measurable rain for a seven-month period.

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