Archives: Florida Insurers

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How Florida Insurers Make Millions on The Side

Paige St. John wrote a Pulitzer winning series on the corruption of Florida’s insurance industry and propaganda by the insurance company trade associations nearly nine years ago. I was thinking about this and one particular article, How Florida Insurers Make Millions On The Side, when the Security First CEO blamed the furious and upset policyholders … Continue Reading

Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for the Prevailing Insured

It has been almost eight months since Hurricane Michael devastated the eastern side of the Florida Panhandle. Not surprisingly, many residents and business owners are exhausted. Exhausted in the deepest sense—exhausted from waiting, exhausted from hoping, exhausted from failed promises made by their insurer, which benefited from premiums faithfully paid, only to find out that … Continue Reading

Insurance Regulation and the Attack on Admitted Insurance Carriers in Florida

Insurance regulation is important. Unlike other commercial products, insurance is a product that serves the public trust. Without regulation, history has proven that insurers cannot control themselves. They go broke just when we need them the most and their claims practices, if unchecked, can be atrocious. States with a strong admitted marketplace should be encouraged. … Continue Reading

Cancellation of Property Insurance Policies in Florida after Hurricane Michael

After Hurricane Michael, on October 15, 2018, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an Emergency Order No. 234790-18-EO, that affected insurers writing insurance in the following counties affected by Hurricane Michael: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington Counties.… Continue Reading

Hurricane Irma Claims Data Update

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently released updated data from Hurricane Irma.1 A quick review of the data paints an interesting picture. While we all know that Irma did substantial damage in Florida, the sheer size of the numbers is still daunting. Almost one million claims have been reported (997,237) totaling over $10,000,000,000.00 in … Continue Reading

Great News for Florida Policyholders!

I usually don’t cut and paste press releases in their entirety and offer them to our blog readers.  However, I have to make an exception this time.  My good friend, Sha’Ron James, was recently appointed as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate.  I worked with Sha’Ron in multiple capacities.  We worked together in private practice for a … Continue Reading

Despite Ninth Year Without a Major Storm, Floridians Have Not Seen Rate Reductions

Hurricane season just ended in Florida without any significant storm landing on our shores. As noted in Slow hurricane season could spell relief for Citizens Property Insurance policyholders,11 the 9-year break from storms should have stabilized the property insurance market and led to reduced premiums for policyholders. Unfortunately, the reality is a bit different. The … Continue Reading

Does People’s Trust Recognize It Can’t Handle a Hurricane?

Just before the start of the 2014 Hurricane Season, People’s Trust Insurance Company, an unorthodox company, is now pulling insurance away from thousands. Last year, the company was awarded the 2013 Governor’s Innovators in Business Award for being a company that has set a standard for entrepreneurship and creativity. But this year, People’s has turned … Continue Reading

Florida Senate Passes Bill to Give Floridians an Option to Obtain Flood Insurance from Private Insurers

On March 26, 2014 the Florida Senate unanimously passed a bill (Senate Bill 542) to encourage a private flood insurance market. The bill is at a time where there are concerns over the National Flood Insurance Program ("NFIP") changes that will be increasing premiums for policyholders in flood prone areas. The bill has been discussed … Continue Reading

Universal Property Insurance Will pay the $1.26 Million Dollar Fine

In May, Universal Property & Casualty was fined 1.26 million dollars after an extended market review found new and repeated statutory insurance violations. Although Universal initially challenged the fine, a consent order was signed last week and Universal says it will pay, and has reportedly agreed to change its business practices. Nearly 300 denied claims … Continue Reading

Consumer Advocate Meetings Continue with the Mission to Help Floridans with Insurance Problems

Robin Westcott, Florida’s Consumer Advocate, led another meeting of the Homeowners’ Policy & Claims Bill of Rights Working Group – this time in Clearwater, Florida. Westcott’s office will proffer a draft for a statutory Bill of Rights for Homeowners and provide a detailed report outlining the concerns and suggestions of the Group.… Continue Reading

What a Coincidence? Universal Property & Casualty Engages in Post-Loss Underwriting and Makes 30 Million in Profits

The Florida Senate recognizes the bad acts of Florida’s Universal Property Insurance Corporation (UPIC). Just yesterday, the Senate passed an amendment to HB635 that added language prohibiting insurance companies from some types of “post-loss underwriting.” House approval is needed before the legislation can be sent to the Governor for his signature.… Continue Reading

Unless They Pay Policy Limits, Florida Law Does Not Allow Insurance Companies To Nonrenew Your Policy Because You Suffered A Sinkhole Loss, But This Does Not Stop Carriers From Trying

Florida’s sinkhole problem is well documented; however, a common problem related to sinkhole claims is not discussed enough. Many carriers improperly nonrenew insurance policies after an insured reports a sinkhole claim. Just today, for example, Olympus Insurance Company nonrenewed a client’s policy, despite confirming a sinkhole loss just one month ago. My client’s neighbor reported … Continue Reading

Citizens Clearinghouse—A Method to Make Citizens an Insurer of Last Resort

Florida law should reflect public policy that Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is the insurer of last resort. Currently, Citizens is merely the insurance agent’s insurer of last resort. I propose legislation be enacted that makes a clearinghouse for admitted insurers to take policies before they get into Citizens and before Citizens renews any policy.… Continue Reading

Florida’s Private Insurers Are Looking for a Bailout

Over the course of the last several months, insurance lobbyists have worked closely with state-run Citizens Property Insurance on a deal that would effectively subsidize the profits of a handful of large private carriers. If you’ve been paying close attention to the local and state section of your newspaper, you may have seen the story … Continue Reading

Insurance Company Complaint Rankings for 2010 Have Been Released

People’s Trust Ranks Number 1 for complaints…again. In Florida, the Office of Insurance Regulation is required by Florida Statute §624.313 to publish statistics and ratios on the complaints consumers submit against insurance companies. The OIR’s primary responsibility is regulation, compliance, and enforcement of statutes relating to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry … Continue Reading

Florida Court Draws a Hard Line on Attorney’s Fees from FIGA

The Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA) is Florida’s public entity for resolving claims for certain insolvent insurers. FIGA is controlled mostly by statute, and attorney’s fees are no exception. Generally, under Florida Statute § 627.428, attorney’s fees are available for an insured who succeeds on legal action against his or her insurance company. However, Florida … Continue Reading

Florida Statute §627.701 Requires Insurance Carriers to Warn Policyholders of Higher Hurricane Deductible

A deductible is an important element of every insurance policy. It is the amount the policyholder agrees to pay before insurance coverage kicks in, or the portion of the risk the policyholder agrees to self insure. It is no secret that insurance carriers prefer to issue policies with higher deductibles for certain perils, including hurricane … Continue Reading