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Numerous Homeowners Dropped Flood Insurance

Hurricane Dorian has come and gone, yet some recent news reveals something potentially alarming. According to an analysis, over thirty percent of homeowners in the storm’s path had chosen to cancel their flood insurance policy. Had the storm continued on its original path, this may have resulted in tens of thousands of people along the…Continued

Storm Damage? Here’s What to Do

Hurricane Dorian managed to steer mostly clear of South Florida, sparing it from some potentially catastrophic damage. However, hurricane season isn’t officially over until the end of November. In the event a hurricane does pay a visit to South Florida, would you know what steps to take to file an insurance claim?   One of…Continued

Keep Your Roof in Good Shape

With Florida’s subtropical climate, it is always susceptible to the possibility of tropical cyclones. With hurricane season in full swing, homeowners should be extra careful about making sure their roofs are being properly maintained. No matter if your roof is brand new or if it’s older, there are steps you can take to keep it…Continued

Watching the Movements of Tropical Storm Dorian

After dodging storms for most of the summer, all eyes are now on Tropical Storm Dorian, which may affect Florida this weekend. Though it may change its course or weaken by the time it gets closer, now is the time to carefully examine your Hurricane 2019 plan. If you live in an inland flood zone,…Continued

Think of Family Needs for Your Hurricane Preparation

Have you put together your hurricane preparedness kit yet? We previously mentioned the importance of having things like cash on hand in the event you need money and are unable to use an ATM due to a lack of electricity. Your family is just as important. Let’s say you live with an elderly individual. Depending…Continued

Watch out for Contractor Scams After a Major Storm

Mother Nature has been in a foul mood the last couple of days here in South Florida, unleashing some heavy thunderstorms that may cause damage to your home. Whether it’s a thunderstorm or a hurricane that just wreaked havoc, storms tend to bring out some individuals looking to potentially deceive homeowners desperate to make repairs.…Continued

Lesser-Known Tips for Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane Barry spared Florida, but there are still months remaining before hurricane season is over. With the unpredictability of Mother Nature, it’s important to be prepared in more ways than having canned goods, plenty of water, candles, and batteries. Have cash. With the rise of NFC and chips on debit cards, many people have chosen…Continued

Will Your Insurance Policy Properly Protect Your Home?

With Barry officially being named a tropical storm, it’s worth keeping in mind the damage a storm can cost. While lives are the priority, it’s also important to take into account your property. Do you know what a standard policy does and doesn’t cover? A standard homeowners policy will protect four primary things: your dwelling…Continued

Preparing Children for a Hurricane

Hurricane season is in full swing and while no storm is on the horizon for Florida, it’s still important that you know what to do in the event a hurricane does makes its way to South Florida. If you have children that have yet to experience a hurricane or the process involved in the preparation,…Continued

New Florida Insurance Bills Will Soon Go into Effect

The month of July begins next week and there are several laws that will be going into effect, many of them related to insurance. Perhaps the most notable of these is HB 7065 which will focus on overhauling assignment of benefits (AOB). Among the provisions expected in HB 7065, it will limit one-way attorney’s fees…Continued

Protect Your Home This Summer

The summer season begins this Friday, which means many of us will be probably venturing off to another part of the country or the world to make the most of the season. Instead of constantly worrying about your home, some simple tips can give you some degree of peace of mind and help keep the…Continued

Have You Checked Your Policy Coverage?

  Hurricane season is here and although forecasters appear to be suggesting a slightly below average season, history has shown that just one storm regardless of the category can result in millions of dollars in damage. Now is the time to start making preparations while Mother Nature remains calm. One easy way to start preparing…Continued

With Insurance Reform, Will Rates Soon Decrease?

After years of gridlock, Florida insurance reform has arrived, saving the insurance industry potentially millions of dollars. Considering all of the money being saved, policyholders can expect to see steep premium discounts, correct? Not necessarily. Last week, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed several property insurance reforms aimed at reducing the amount of lawsuits filed by…Continued

Florida Homeowners Show Greater Storm Concern

With four major storms during the past three years (one of those being a highly dangerous category five), a AAA survey shows that just over ninety percent of Floridians are considerably concerned about the 2019 hurricane season. Despite the uptick in concerned Florida homeowners versus last year, the increased fears may not be spurring homeowners…Continued

A Home Evaluation May Save You on Insurance

The official start of hurricane season is imminent and now is the perfect time to start making sure your home is prepared in the event a major storm decides to pass through South Florida. The following improvements may help with protecting your home and they can potentially reduce the cost of your homeowner’s insurance. We’ll…Continued

State Farm Announces Changes to Its Insurance Rates

The positive momentum generated from AOB reform may be extending to the insurance industry. State Farm is making headlines after announcing it has reduced homeowners insurance rates by just over fourteen percent for Florida homeowners. The news comes as a refreshing change of pace where it had become common for homeowners to see their rates…Continued

Mother Nature and Your Property Insurance Claim

When most people think of a meteorologist, they think of the people frequently seen on newscasts. These are the people that can tell you what kind of weather to expect and when this weather will occur. And then there are forensic meteorologists, which do everything a regular meteorologist does but they also have the experience…Continued

Insurance Reform Bill May Lead to Rate Reductions

In our previous blog, we mentioned the monumental Florida insurance reform bill which is expected to address the ongoing issue of assignment of benefits (AOB). The bill was recently passed by the Florida Senate and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has already expressed that he intends to support and sign the bill, further clearing the way…Continued

The Insurance Reform Bill Has Been Passed

  After several years of efforts that ultimately went nowhere, Florida legislators have finally given the green light to a bill aimed at reforming property insurance and tackling the longtime issue of assignment of benefits (AOB). AOB has been cited on more than one occasion as a major reason for the massive spike in insurance…Continued

Homeowners Told They Cannot Collect Damages

A pair of homeowners lost their jury award when the jury found that the homeowners made misrepresentations regarding an insurance claim, resulting in the insurance policy being voided. Back in 2009, the homeowners were dealing with issues regarding their kitchen drain. A plumber came to the home and took care of the drain line but…Continued

Contractor Arrested for Alleged Assignment of Benefits Fraud

In another example of assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse, the owner of a Florida restoration contracting company was placed under arrest after allegedly stealing thousands of dollars from consumers that had signed over their AOB benefits to him. The owner and his staff are being accused of allegedly forging customer signatures on construction documents and…Continued

AOB Reform Bill Inches Closer to Becoming Law

  The Florida insurance industry is keeping a close eye on a bill (SB 122) aimed at reigning in the contentious assignment of benefits (AOB) issue. The bill recently made its way through the final Florida Senate committee and will soon be evaluated by the full Senate, potentially as soon as next week. SB 122…Continued

Florida Legislature Evaluates Insurance Related Bill

  Today is the day. The Florida House will likely give the OK to a bill that would overhaul the insurance practice commonly known “assignment of benefits” (AOB). Known as HB 7095, the House began evaluating the bill yesterday, positioning it for a potential vote. AOB has remained a hotly debated and much-discussed topic during…Continued

Florida Court Bars Homeowner’s Hurricane Insurance Claim

    Last month, a Florida court ruled that a homeowner whose property was damaged by Hurricane Irma would not be able to file suit against the insurance company where the mortgagee was the name listed under the policy as the insured and the homeowner was listed as the borrower. The homeowner sued his insurance…Continued

Hurricane Season Is Quickly Approaching

Hurricane season begins in less than two months which reinforces the importance of knowing what to do in the event a major storm strikes South Florida. As opposed to explaining what steps homeowners should take, let’s explore some that should not be taken. Don’t wait. When a major storm damages multiple homes, you can expect…Continued

Assignment of Benefits Bills Draw Criticism

    A pair of unrelated bills that would affect assignment of benefits (AOB) processes for when property owners have to file a claim with their insurance company is receiving opposition from a Florida association. The group believes that SB 122 and HB 7065 do not adequately meet the needs of homeowners or contractors. Both…Continued

There May Be a Right to Repair Clause in Your Policy

When you purchased your homeowner’s insurance policy, how closely did you examine the fine print? You may be oblivious to the presence of a “right to repair” clause which, unbeknownst to many homeowners, allows companies a large degree of control over your home. Take for example a Palm Beach homeowner who was dealing with a…Continued

Policyholder Protections May Be Stripped Away

A news story was recently televised on WFLA News Channel 8 presenting some potentially alarming developments regarding insurance. Florida legislators may be paying closer attention to lawyers representing insurance companies, citing House Bill 751 and Senate Bill 1464. These bills appear to include language that would make it harder for policyholders to take action against…Continued

Do You Have Coverage for Flood Damage?

When Hurricane Michael caused significant damage to the Florida Panhandle last year, many homeowners received the unwelcome surprise that their insurance policy did not cover flood damage. To address this, a bill was introduced mandating that all new homeowners insurance policies must make it clear if they do not provide flood damage. The bill went…Continued

Insurance Reform Bills Inch Closer to Reality

A pair of insurance reform bills aimed at changing Florida’s assignment of benefits (AOB) law have successfully made their way through subcommittee reviews of the Senate and House on their way to the chamber floors. Should the bills make it through the various hurdles, it will be the first time in more than five years…Continued

Numerous Homeowners Are Forgoing Insurance

New homeowners that have a mortgage on their home must also have a homeowners insurance policy in place to protect their investment. For many homeowners that have paid off their mortgage, however, they are choosing not to continue with their insurance coverage, according to an NBC 6 Miami news story published last month. This can…Continued

Hurricane Irma Losses May Still Affect Insurance Rates

More than two months into 2019 and the ramifications of Hurricane Irma are still being felt. The Sun-Sentinel is reporting that homeowners across South Florida may be in for insurance rate increases due to “creeping” loss increases as a result of the 2017 storm. According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, estimated insured losses…Continued

Inspections Your Home May Require

Purchasing a new homeowners insurance policy can turn into a Herculean effort. For many households, an inspection may be required, though these may vary among insurance companies. Additionally, there are various inspectors to choose from, further complicating the process. Depending on which insurance company you ultimately go with, the following are a few examples of…Continued

Insurance Company Limits Coverage, Raises Premiums

Last year, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. made headlines when it implemented a change that would cap coverage of non-weather-related water damage at $10,000 for policyholders who decide not to use the insurance company’s managed repair contractor network. This network consists of handpicked contractors that Citizens hopes will stem the common practice of contractors coercing policyholders…Continued

Contractors May Be Taking Advantage of Homeowners

Several groups including Florida lawmakers and the state’s Chamber of Commerce allege that a loophole in state law may be causing insurance bills to skyrocket, and it has a lot to do with the assignment of benefits (AOB). According to these groups which also include consumer watchdogs, homeowners often fail to fully comprehend what they’re…Continued

Ease Insurance Claims Headaches with a Home Inventory

      Hopefully, there will never come a time when a major disaster strikes your home. Yet as we all know, life and Mother Nature are unpredictable and disaster can strike at any moment. Besides having enough homeowners insurance coverage for your home, it’s also important to have a home inventory. If you haven’t…Continued

Citizens Policyholders May See September Increases

In case you missed the news, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. made headlines late last month when it announced its intentions to raise residential insurance rates by just over eight percent beginning in September. While its Board of Governors were not pleased with having to bump up rates, the blame for the rate hikes was placed…Continued

Small Tornado Reinforces Coverage Importance

Living in South Florida, the last thing you would expect is to be dealing with a tornado, and yet that’s exactly what happened. Depending on where you live in South Florida, you may have received an emergency warning on your phone earlier this week. A severe thunderstorm resulted in the possibility of a tornado and…Continued

Need Insurance? The Federal Shutdown May Complicate Things

The government shutdown is leading to a host of problems. For one, numerous government employees are going without pay. Countless other federal services have also been put on something of an indefinite hiatus until the shutdown is resolved. In regards to insurance, this may also affect people that are seeking flood insurance. Before we elaborate,…Continued

A New Bill Takes Aim at AOB Reform

It’s 2019 and efforts to tackle Florida’s assignment of benefits (AOB) issue continue. In a recent move, a new Senate Bill 122 has been proposed with the goal of overhauling the one-way attorney fee provision in the state’s current AOB law. With this bill, attorney fees would only be awarded to the policyholders that win…Continued

What Happens with an Insurance Settlement?

What happens if you run into a scenario where your insurance company is taking longer than it should issue your payment after a settlement? In one example, a case involving last resort insurer Citizens Property Insurance Company shed some light on this. In the case, a homeowner filed suit against Citizens after the insurer allegedly…Continued

Why Are Insurance Rates Always Rising?

As a homeowner, there are aspects of having insurance that may remain mystifying. This may include understanding the policy terms and perhaps most notably, figuring out why it is that your policy becomes costlier each year. These increases often happen even if you’ve never once had to make an insurance claim. Why is that? The…Continued

Roofing Company Defrauds Homeowners out of Thousands

Last month, the owner of a Florida-based roofing company was arrested after several homeowners were allegedly defrauded out of more than $45,000, according to an Insurance Journal article. Additionally, the roofing company was alleged to have worked without workers compensation insurance. It is alleged that the roofing company owner defrauded about six homeowners after requiring…Continued

Florida Law Makes It Easier to Understand Flood Coverage

Happy New Year! With the arrival of 2019, a host of new Florida laws have gone into effect this week. For our purposes, we’re concerned about homeowners insurance and sure enough, a new law makes a highly important stipulation worth being aware of. HB 1011 is now law and it makes a crucial note when…Continued

The Differences Between Homeowners and Renters Insurance

Are you among the millions of households that are currently renting a Miami home or apartment? If you’re planning to rent in 2019, you may find that the home you’re staying in will require you to have renters insurance. Having a degree of understanding of what this insurance is all about can save you from…Continued

Florida Insurer Hikes Its Rates

Some bad news for Citizens Insurance policyholders as we approach the beginning of 2019. Earlier this month, the last resort insurer decided to raise its residential insurance rates by just over eight percent. Policyholders can find some degree of relief in knowing that the rate hikes will not kick in until the fall season in…Continued

Florida Insurers Drop Thousands of Policies

According to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, well over $10 billion in claims have been processed by insurance companies after Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Michael made landfall this year and last. Perhaps as a result of this and the massive amount of water damage claims, an ABC Action News article reports that thousands of homeowners…Continued

Protect Your Data from a Hurricane

In the event of a natural disaster it’s important to take care of yourself and all your personal data. Your own life is priority over anything else, then you should worry about all your data and anything you want to protect. Having all your information, photographs, and other documents ready will make your transition into…Continued

What to Expect with an Insurance Adjuster

In a perfect world, a meeting from an insurance adjuster is one that most homeowners would look forward to. But with so many adjusters attempting to reduce what the insurance company has to pay out, it’s understandable if the homeowner feels nervous. While not all adjusters are bad, they have a job to do and…Continued

Will Hurricane Michael Raise Rates?

With billions of dollars in insurance claims being reported and even more coming in due to Hurricane Michael, are Florida homeowners facing rate hikes? According to a WTVT FOX 13 article, the jury is out on whether this will happen. Even though there are fewer than two months remaining before we welcome 2019, there are…Continued

Florida Puts a Halt on Hikes

As the Florida Panhandle continues to recover from the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Michael, the state insurance regulator recently issued an emergency order aimed at providing “additional protections” to policyholders. These additional protections include barring insurance companies from raising rates for the ninety days in order to better support the ongoing recovery efforts. Besides…Continued

Protecting Your Home and Belongings in the Event of a Storm

Hurricane Michael has already left a trail of massive damage, especially in cities like Mexico Beach. With hurricane season still in full swing, homeowners should remember what to do in the event another storm decides to visit Florida. A “tip” that you may have read on the Internet is to use the dishwasher to safeguard…Continued

Citizens Remains in Good Financial Shape

Last resort insurer Citizens Property Insurance has amassed close to $2 billion in losses due to the effects of Hurricane Irma, and it has handled well over 70,500 claims. Despite the large numbers and Irma losses, its Chief Financial Officer reassures that Citizens’ financial picture is “incredibly strong”. There’s still about two months before we…Continued

Hurricanes 101

From strong winds, to floods and debris all over the place hurricanes are considered one of the most devastating natural disasters. So, how long do hurricanes last and how can you prepare for them? Lets begin with how they form. Hurricanes are cyclones that reach 39 to 73 mph from which they are considered tropical storms and they…Continued

Insurers Score a Win in Assignment of Benefits Ruling

As litigation continues regarding the assignment of benefits (AOB), insurers scored a win after Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal (DCA) ruled earlier this month that an insurer’s anti-assignment provision was not prohibited. Despite the ruling, the decision is expected to eventually escalate to the Florida Supreme Court. The DCA ruled that a homeowner’s insurance…Continued

Do You Know Your Policy?

The Carolinas are currently dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Florence which caused severe flooding in many areas. While those of us here in Florida are doing what we can to help, it’s vital to remember that hurricane season doesn’t end until the 30th of November. Do you know what your insurance policy covers? A…Continued

Florida Continues to Deal with Hurricane Irma Fallout

While the Carolinas deal with the looming threat of Hurricane Florence, Florida is still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma a year after the storm caused billions of dollars worth of damage. Florida courts are still seeing an influx of lawsuits involving homeowners filing suit against their insurance company. In fact, over 2,000 lawsuits…Continued

Florida Case Involves Assignment of Benefits Restrictions

A Florida Appeals Court recently made the news after allowing assignment of benefits (AOB) restrictions regarding homeowners insurance policies. The news comes as hurricane season has ramped up with the arrival of storms like Gordon and Florence. The case involved a pair of homeowners (husband and wife) who signed a contract with a water restoration…Continued

Things to Consider When Purchasing Homeowners Insurance

The more you know about homeowner’s insurance and how it works, the better off you’ll be in the event your home suffers damage. If you’re considering homeowner’s insurance, there are a couple of things you should know so that you have a greater understanding and are better able to deal with your insurance company. For…Continued

Florida Homeowners Allege Insurer Failed to Cover Losses

Earlier this month, a pair of homeowners in Orlando filed suit against an insurance company after alleging breach of contract. According to the complaint, the insurer did not provide coverage for the losses caused by a storm. Last year when Hurricane Irma made its way through Florida, the homeowners suffered damage to their home that…Continued

Home vs Renters Insurance

There are people who rent apartments and others who own a house. One thing is for certain: whether it is renting an apartment or buying a house, each one is considered one’s home. There are plenty of things to consider when renting or buying; however, having your home insured is key in both scenarios.  …Continued

Dealing with Underpaid Insurance Claims

We all know that a storm can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home. Hence, it is vital to have the proper coverage to help you take care of those damages. Despite having coverage, however, there is a possibility your insurance company may try to reimburse you for less than the terms…Continued

Insurance Coverage 101

Making sure you’re always in the know regarding property insurance coverage in Florida can be a difficult process. For those that are largely unaware, it’s worth going over what you should know considering we’re in the middle of hurricane season. One thing that we’ve mentioned several times before that you must be aware of is…Continued

Three Financial Tips for the New Year

Every day, credit counselors and bankruptcy lawyers meet with people that are struggling to make ends meet. Let’s take at some of their tips and advice to help you get a grip on your finances. Take control of your expenses. If you throw away your receipts, start keeping them and make a record of where…Continued