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Florida Focus---Big "AA" meeting scheduled forTallahassee

Well, "AA"  can stand for different things or for the lack of different things..  Florida's insurance crisis revolves around the lack of Availability and Affordability in the insurance market.  Availability and Affordability---that's also "AA".
 
On January 16th, lawmakers, lobbyists, lawyers, agents, consumers and media will inundate Tallahassee, presenting and studying proposals and concepts to rectify the situation.  As for now, the situation seems to be worsening.  For instance, in the last month Citizens has announced their plans to jack up premiums 25% on vacation homes, second homes or otherwise non-homesteaded properties.  In Florida with its 1,300-plus miles of built up coastline, that's a bunch of policies and premiums.
 
Its not just policyholders searching for "AA".  Insurance carriers, too, can't find affordable reinsurance and are demanding rate increases in order to purchase what is available. 
 
What does all this mean for claims people?  Will carriers tend to go with more "in house" adjustments?  Will fee schedules be squeezed?
 
What do you think?
 
We will keep our ears open.
 
 
 
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Horace

January 23rd: Well, both the Legislature and the Gov were all smiles yesterday when the insurance session was disbanded. For policyholders, there is promised rate relief. The amount of reduction is 5% to 40% depending on who you talk to and the location of your property. This reduction is being accomplished primarily by the State providing more and cheaper reinsurance.

Citizens, the state operated insurer, will now be allowed to compete with private carriers relative to price, and also Citizens will be able to convert their, windstorm only, policies into multi-peril policies. Citizens, it appears, will be getting much bigger before it ever shrinks.

What about CLAIMS? I have not yet seen the actual 167 page bill. However, there is a provision requirng that insurance companies will have only 90 days to either pay or deny claims. Hmmmm! How is that going to be enforced? In an Andrew, four in '04, or a surprise storm like Wilma, many losses are not even inspected within 90 days. And what does "paid" mean? There are many partial payments.

Carefully checking the coverage will be vital. Hurricane deductibles will be allowed to go up to 10% (such as $20.000 on a $200,000 dwelling). Policyholders, if they have no mortgage, can delete and avoid windstorm coverage altogether. Insureds can also opt to delete and avoid unscheduled personal property.

More soon.

Horace

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