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Insurer Stresses the Importance of Avoiding Fraud

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is looking to mitigate the risk of insurance abuse and scams by urging policyholders to “Call Citizens First”. The news arrives shortly after the category two storm Hurricane Sally caused damage along Florida’s Gulf Coast. Per Citizens, policyholders can call the insurer and speak to a representative every day of the…Continued

Storm Damage? Here Is What You May Need to Do

Florida has dodged any major storms and will hopefully continue to do so for the rest of the year. However, should one decide to visit South Florida, would you know the steps to take if you need to file a claim with your insurance provider? You may wish to start by determining if flooding, wind,…Continued

Another Type of Home Insurance You May Need

When selling your home, homeowners insurance may be something that the buyer has to think about more so than the seller. However, you may be surprised to learn that a certain type of insurance could be required depending on the circumstances. For example, if the home you’re selling is currently unoccupied, it’s possible your insurer…Continued

Items in Your Home Worth Insuring

If you’ve recently purchased or intend to purchase a home, you’ve likely heard about the importance of also buying a homeowners’ insurance policy. With South Florida’s propensity for storms and floods, it serves as a way to protect your home and belongings. A type of insurance you may not be quite as familiar with is…Continued

Understanding Hurricane Categories

Hurricane season began last month and will continue through November. The season peak is usually from the middle of August to the end of October, per the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Hurricanes are tropical cyclones with sustained winds of 74 miles per hour or more, making it a category one, according to the Saffir-Simpson…Continued

Should Hurricane Season Begin Earlier?

Hurricane season lasts from the beginning of June until the end of November. However, a congresswoman in Florida believes the season may need to be extended. According to a recent Insurance Journal post, the congresswoman contacted the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration with a request that hurricane season be moved up to the middle of…Continued

Florida Makes Hurricane Plans in the Age of COVID-19

As Florida makes some small strides in selectively re-opening, the looming arrival of hurricane season remains. State officials are now brainstorming on what should be done should COVID-19 linger into the start of the storm season. As of this writing, over 35,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed. When a hurricane is heading for the…Continued

Have You Made Your Flood Preparedness Plan?

On Friday, there will be exactly one month before the start of the 2020 hurricane season. This means a greater chance of storms that can wreak major havoc and cause damage such as flooding. With that in mind, it’s imperative that you implement a flood preparedness plan if you haven’t already done so. Remember that…Continued

Florida Is Now a Federal Disaster Area

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Florida has become one of the latest states to be declared a federal disaster area by the President of the United States. The move comes shortly after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis put in a request to have Florida declared as such. With the declaration, Florida is now eligible…Continued

Last Resort Insurer Seeks Rate Slowdown Solutions

Last resort insurer Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is contributing funds towards a study aimed at figuring out a way to slow down the private market insurance rates that continue to rise. The study is being conducted by Florida State University and the funds provided by Citizens will go to the Florida Catastrophic Storm Risk Management…Continued

Does Your Insurance Company Have the Right to Repair?

Did you pay close to attention to the fine print on your homeowners’ insurance policy before purchasing it? If you didn’t, you may have overlooked the “right to repair” clause which may allow insurance companies a level of control over your home. Last year, a homeowner in Palm Beach homeowner had a dishwasher leak. Two…Continued

FEMA Is Revising Its South Florida Flood Maps

If you’re among the many Florida homeowners that are not required to have flood insurance, your home’s status may soon change. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is re-evaluating its South Florida flood risk zones. These maps have remained in effect in 2017 and they dictate whether you have the option of purchasing flood insurance…Continued

It’s Time for Your Home Check-Up

We’re approaching the end of the first month of 2020, have you done your annual check-up yet? Similar to how doctors recommend you visit them each year to make sure the body is running in good shape, your home and your insurance policy deserve some attention. For starters, if you haven’t already done so, now…Continued

Evaluating the Flood History of a Home

You’ve decided to buy a Florida home in 2020 and one of the first things you’ll be doing is making sure the home you’re interested in undergoes inspection. This is a smart move as it can potentially reveal issues that may make you think twice about purchasing. For example, maybe the home has a history…Continued

Smart Technology Is a Win-Win for Homeowners and Insurers

Privacy concerns aside, smart home technology goes a long way in making homes safer. Cameras and smoke detectors are more connected to ever, potentially preventing a situation from becoming worse or disastrous. Insurance companies have noticed what smart home technology. Thanks to modern cameras and cutting-edge sensors, this technology can help with reducing the odds…Continued

Liability Coverage Is Essential

Homeowners insurance is usually designed to help restore or replace your home and property if some insured risks, such as fire or robbery, harm them. If a guest is injured in your house, and you unintentionally harm the property of another party, most homeowner policies also provide liability coverage. The homeowners’ insurance personal liability section…Continued

Your Dream Home May Be a Flood Risk

When purchasing a home, you want to have full disclosure about any issues it may have. That’s one of the reasons why it’s highly suggested to have a home inspection done. But what do you do in a situation where you find out the home is a major flood risk after you purchased it? An…Continued

South Florida Property Owners File Hurricane Dorian Claims

Numerous South Floridians filed insurance claims due to damage from Hurricane Dorian, even though the storm never made landfall in Florida. According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, close to 4,000 insurance claims were submitted, with over 900 of those coming from Palm Beach, Broward, and Miami-Dade County. Most of these claims appear to…Continued

Does Your Policy Cover Pets ?

    While many of us view pets are four-legged members of the family, it’s worth remembering that these are animals which, if scared or agitated, can become aggressive and possibly bite someone. With the holiday season just around the corner, you’re probably going to have more people over; make sure you’re protecting yourself from…Continued

Major Storms Reinforce the Need for Protection

The damage caused by Hurricane Andrew back in 1992 forced builders and lawmakers to implement stricter building so homes and buildings throughout South Florida could tolerate Category 5 winds. Following the storms of 2004 and 2005, Florida Power & Light also upgraded its system to withstand winds up to 145 mph after Hurricane Wilma knocked…Continued

Prepare Your Home for the Next Storm

Now that Hurricane Dorian has come and gone, it’s a good time to make preparations in case there is another storm looming in the tropics. Being prepared can make a world of difference when you’re scrambling to take care of any damage caused by a storm. One thing you can start doing right now is…Continued

Hurricane Dorian Is on the Way, Prepare Now

The latest updates on Hurricane Dorian suggest the storm may turn into a category three before it makes landfall in Florida. If you haven’t already done so, time is running out to prepare for the storm as stores in South Florida are quickly running out of supplies like bottled water, and lines become endlessly long.…Continued

Smartphone Tips Following a Storm

As hurricane season continues, chances are you’ll be using your phone as a means of staying connected in the event a storm does indeed wreak havoc and cause power outages. Just like any other electronic device, even your phone will eventually require power to charge its battery. How do you maximize the battery usage to…Continued

Citizens Receives Approval for Rate Hikes

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. policyholders living in Palm Beach and Broward County won’t be seeing any reductions when it comes to their insurance rate. The last resort insurer recently received the OK from Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation to raise rates for the thousands of customers with a multiperil residential policy. These rates will be…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

Citizens Rethinks Its Rate Hikes

South Florida homeowners insured with Citizens Property Insurance are receiving some welcome news after the insurer announced it will be re-evaluating its decision to hike rates as it originally intended. Instead of raising rates by just over eight percent, the last-resort insurer will now be scaling back by raising residential premiums by 4.7 percent. Over…Continued

Prepare Florida Provides Useful Storm Resources

Now that hurricane season is here, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer is looking to assist Floridians with taking the important and necessary steps to prepare their home as well as their finances should a disaster occur. Appropriately dubbed Prepare Florida, the initiative includes a breadth of resources and information for homeowners regarding all things related to…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

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

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

What You Should Know About Pursuing Legal Action Under NFIP Policies

Earlier this month, a Florida federal district court made it clear that insureds pursuing a lawsuit under a standard flood insurance policy (SFIP) that was issued via the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are not entitled to receive attorneys’ fees based on Florida law or interest on their claim, nor are they entitled to a…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

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

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

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

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

Keep Your Home Safe from Fires This Holiday

The holiday season is in full swing and December is here, which means countless homeowners will be putting up decorations to celebrate the holiday season. While all of the lights and decorations certainly look festive, they can also pose a safety risk and may cause thousands of dollars in damages. Use these tips so you…Continued

Hurricane Michael and Roof Contractors

As the Florida Panhandle continues with its recovery efforts following the effects of Hurricane Michael, state officials are reminding homeowners the importance of making sure they hire only contractors that are licensed to take care of any roof repairs or replacement that may be necessary. During such times, it is not uncommon for scammers and…Continued

Hurricane Michael Serves as a Warning to Homeowners

As we mentioned in a previous blog, hurricane season isn’t over until the end of next month, and the fact that Hurricane Michael is now a Category 2 storm on its way to Florida’s Gulf Coast serves as a reminder that hurricanes can still happen. While it’s too late to make any changes to an…Continued

Healthier Insurance Market Means More Policyholder Perks

In news that may come across as surprising, private market insurers are broadening the options available to homeowners in Florida, a strong indicator that the insurance market is in good shape. Nowadays, homeowners have a greater number of perks when it comes to coverage such as optional coverage for high-end items, bundling homeowner and flood…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

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

South Florida Homeowners Allege a Breach of Contract

According to an article published earlier this week on the website Florida Record, a pair of homeowners based in Oakland Park have filed suit against an insurance company, alleging the insurance contract has been breached. Their complaint was filed last month and alleges that the insurer wrongfully refused to pay the covered losses to the…Continued