On Property Insurance Claim Tips Blog

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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Managed Repair and Its Forbearer Option to Repair

Managed Repair and Its Forbearer Option to Repair

The following is a short primer and history lesson for the insured property consumer on these two fool’s errands. For those of us in the property insurance adjusting business, we see the storm clouds gathering given all the recent rhetoric about allowing a policyholder’s insurance company to repair their property following a covered loss.  Given our knowledge and experience, we know the likely outcome of this latest scheme to pump up underwriting profits, but my guess is not many laymen do.  Make no mistake about it, your policy premiums will not drop if these managed repair programs being touted as a savior for you and the insurance industry is approved by the Tallahassee regulators. The irony is that managed repair and its stepchild “option to repair” will most likely be bad for both the insured and the insurer. So given what may be the inevitable, let’s examine both of these repair schemes. 

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The Trouble with Insurance Company Managed Repair Claims Programs

The Trouble with Insurance Company Managed Repair Claims Programs
Insurance companies have started exercising their options to repair under many of their contracts. What this means is that they are bringing in contractors of their choice to fix the damages resulting from a property loss they cover. Let’s be honest.  They have a right to do this, but it often isn’t in the best interest of their customers when they choose to do so. Why?Read More

Managed Repair Insurance Claim Programs – The Real Cost

Managed Repair Insurance Claim Programs – The Real Cost
A great deal of information is being published regarding some insurance companies’ plans to implement so called “Managed Repair” programs. The rationale is that they will reduce costs (and I assume increase profits) by partnering with restoration contractors and some independent adjusting companies who supposedly will oversee the work and provide some sort of due diligence. This will lead to the latest scheme being proposed to a reduction in the cost of insurance premiums. So the most important questions we should be asking are: What’s the real cost to the policyholder and will rate increases continue despite these managed repair programs?Read More

Managed Repair Property Insurance Claims – Our View

Managed Repair Property Insurance Claims – Our View

For as long as I can remember, property policies had language that allowed insurance carriers to exercise their “right to repair” the policyholder’s property. There was always a catch for some of the insurers since there was generally a requirement that they had to give the policyholder 30 days notice after they received a proof of loss. Some policies may have had slightly different language, but for the most part if they missed a deadline date, they were out of luck.

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The Florida Legislature Debates Umpires and Appraisers…This is Not Baseball Spring Training

The Florida Legislature Debates Umpires and Appraisers…This is Not Baseball Spring Training

With the advance of technology and a little advance notice, you can watch your Florida Legislature at work, commercial free via live streaming on your computer or mobile device. Folks, unless you want to testify at a committee meeting you can forget the long drive or airplane flight to Florida’s hither land aka Tallahassee, Florida. All you need is the committee meeting schedule and click the link to watch your favored or disfavored proposed legislation being debated or voted on. Of course this also comes with the ability to hear your elected officials ask questions and comment on the topic being addressed. Believe me, this is at times interesting stuff.

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