Tag Archives: Citizen’s Property

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is Shielded by Sovereign Immunity from Bad Faith Claims

In a blow to policyholders, Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeals found that Citizens is not subject to bad faith lawsuits. The Court concluded: In summary, we hold that Citizens is immune from first-party bad faith claims pursuant to section 627.351(6)(r)1. Likewise, we hold that Citizens is not subject to bad faith liability under section … Continue Reading

Citizens May Eliminate Appraisal

Suppose you were not such a good person and tried to pay less than you owed on several debts. There was a process to resolve those debts, and you repeatedly lost and eventually had to pay the debts. What would you do? Well, if you are Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and its Board of Governors, … Continue Reading

Sinkhole Coverage and Losses are Extraordinarily Complex

A former insurance defense attorney called me yesterday, asking if I would represent him and his wife in their sinkhole insurance dispute. While he oversaw many sinkhole matters from the insurance company’s position, I guess he knows that a lawyer who represents himself has a fool for a client. His call to me is part … Continue Reading

The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is…

Every now and then, I come across something in the media that is simply wrong and feel compelled to do something about it. I recently came across an editorial in the Bradenton Herald, linked below, which is simply fear mongering. Accordingly, I responded with my opinion for all to contemplate on this very important issue in … Continue Reading

Why Should Citizens Do Wrong And Get Away With It?

The Florida Legislature passed a law in 1982 that provides for a Policyholder Remedy when an insurer fails to act in good faith and causes damage to the policyholder.  As a result, insurers could be held accountable to their policyholders under a "good faith" duty and standard of conduct similar to the "good faith" duties … Continue Reading

If The Big One Hits, Who Gets Stuck Holding The Bag?

Alex Sink may have been very wise to have paid Warren Buffet so much money for an option to have ready access to money if a major hurricane hit Florida.  (She paid Berkshire Hathaway $224 million for the option of borrowing $4 billion this hurricane season).  A recent St. Petersburg Times article highlighted the problems … Continue Reading

100,000 Policies Move Out of Citizens

Kevin McCatry, of the Office of Insurance Regulation, announced that six fairly obscure insurance companies have taken the insurance for 100,000 risks which were previously underwritten by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.  The good news for consumers is that their new insurance carriers are insuring them for the same or better coverage and for the same … Continue Reading

New Insurance Companies Founded in Florida

 Capitalism and economic venture are alive and well in the Florida insurance market.  The Florida Underwriter reported this month that over 1.7 million policies have been written by new insurance companies since the 2004 hurricane season.  As Allstate, State Farm and Nationwide retreat from the Florida property insurance market, these new insurance companies are accepting … Continue Reading

Florida Reducing Hurricane Exposure

A year after the Florida Legislature and Governor Crist were duped by the insurance industry, legislation aimed at lowering the financial catastrophe of a major hurricane has been introduced to correct last year’s mistake.  See HB 983.  Last fall, I spoke with Alex Sink regarding her concern that the collapsing bond markets could make it … Continue Reading

Insurance Industry Claims And Rate Practices Come Under Public Scrutiny

 Tuesday was a rather interesting day.  Our firm helped win a $4.6 million dollar judgment for a panhandle Condominium Association last year. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation did not pay, as usual, but appealed.  I argued the case [Citizens Property Ins. Corp. vs. East Pass Towers II Condominium, No. 1D07-2727 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. oral argument … Continue Reading

How do we escape Florida’s financial insurance catastrophe?

Following the passage of recent insurance legislation, I wrote an op-ed piece for the St. Petersburg Times noting that Floridians are now a Hurricane Katrina away from financial disaster. Recently, the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald have run stories finding that our elected politicians have also come to the same conclusion. … Continue Reading

Team effort needed to fix Citizens Insurance

According to Chip Merlin, of the the Merlin Law Group, changing Citizens claims handling issues requires a team effort between the state-run agency and the Legislature. Lawmakers have historically failed to make Citizens Property Insurance accountable to policyholders – even after a major catastrophe when consumers need it most.   Improvements will require the retention of … Continue Reading

Fla. Task Force on Citizens’ Claims Handling to Meet in Pensacola

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is convening the third meeting of the legislatively-created task force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution. The meeting will be held June 13, from 2 p.m. – 8 p.m. at Hagler Auditorium, Building 2, Room 252 on the campus of Pensacola Junior College, 1000 College Blvd. in … Continue Reading

Citizens ask for time limit on claim disputes

Facing criticism for thousands of 2004 and 2005 hurricane claims still open, Citizens Property Insurance seeks to rein in the lawyers and freelance adjusters it alleges are whipping up disputes in order to pocket large fees. Chip Merlin, of the Merlin Law Group, warned against limiting the rights of homeowners to contend with what he … Continue Reading

Claims practices–what really concerns insurance companies

Insurance is a business based on trust. If the public does not trust that you will pay claims promptly and for what is owed, your business will flounder.  Fair value assessments and prompt payments aren’t just expected by policyholders – they are required by every State insurance code. How this is going to happen is rarely open for public debate. … Continue Reading

What can Citizen’s do to improve claims handling?

In an ongoing effort to improve Citizens’ policyholder and applicant services, Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced appointees to the legislatively-created Task Force on Citizens Property Insurance Claims Handling and Resolution.  The first meeting took place Monday, May 21st at the Citizens Claims Center in Jacksonville.… Continue Reading