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Differentiating Renter and Homeowner Insurance

Will you be renting a home or apartment in 2020? The landlord may require purchasing renters insurance. Having a solid foundation of what this insurance is all about can save you from major losses if a disaster happens to strike. Damage to the property is protected by homeowners insurance. A standard policy would protect the…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

Insurance Claims and HOAs

If your property is part of a homeowner’s or condo owners association, you may find that its insurance coverage is highly complex. The fine print that exists in an insurance policy may result in delays or denials in financial recovery should a claim be submitted by the HOA, simply because it’s simpler and less expensive…Continued

Citizens Policyholders May See Lower Rates

When Florida passed assignment of benefits (AOB) reform back in July, it came as great news to insurance companies. The head of Citizens Property Insurance Corp has states he’s noticed a difference. In the meantime, most Citizens policyholders may see premium relief from the new law as the post-AOB overhaul rate of the insurer is…Continued

When Insurance Adjusters Pay a Visit

With so many adjusters attempting to reduce what the insurance company has to pay out, it’s understandable if the homeowner feels nervous when it’s time for one to pay a visit. While not all adjusters are bad, they have a job to do and it’s often though not always against the best interests of the…Continued

Flood Insurance Rates Staying Put for Now

Some good news has emerged for Floridians with flood insurance or those will be obtaining flood insurance soon. A potential overhaul of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) intended to change the way NFIP charges policyholders to adapt to climate change has been delayed for a year after some input from Congress. The original plans…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

Maximize Your Insurance Claim

At its essence, a homeowner’s insurance policy is designed to protect you from the unexpected. However, insurers are still looking to make money. Hence, when it’s time to file a claim, they may attempt to give you what’s called a “lowball” offer, with the hopes the offer is accepted and property repairs can proceed with…Continued

Does Your Business Have Insurance?

Are you the owner of a small or mid-size business? It’s important to have the proper coverage for any incidents that may occur at the business. The unexpected is always possible, and it’s better to be protected against anything that may happen. A business owner’s policy protects small to mid-size businesses while protecting any major…Continued

Save Money on Insurance with a Security System

Modern security systems feature robust technology designed to keep your home, family, and belongings safe. Many homeowners’ insurance policies also give discounts if you have a security and/or alarm system installed in your home. However, make sure you talk to your insurer or agent as there may be restrictions on what they consider to be…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

Halloween and Your Insurance Policy

October is here which means this month we’ll be celebrating Halloween. The day remains popular as children and adults alike dress up in costume. However, Halloween is also notorious for the havoc it can cause. The use of rotten eggs or “egging”, for example, is a common tradition that may cause damage to a home.…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

Miami Makes Changes to Flood Maps

When’s the last time you checked whether your home is located in a flood zone? Flood maps in Miami were recently tweaked, which means Miami’s changes and amendments to flood maps and related ordinances will bring about major changes. The properties on the revised maps are now situated in special flood hazard areas. This means…Continued

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

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

Should You Replace or Repair the Roof?

The roof is a major part of your home’s infrastructure, and it factors heavily in how the home will survive a major storm or how hot it may become during the warmer seasons. This only reinforces how important it is to carefully consider whether it should simply be repaired or if it needs to be…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

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

Preparing for a Hurricane: Your Pets

Mother Nature has remained mostly dormant when it comes to sending hurricanes towards South Florida, and hopefully, it will stay that way. Besides having your emergency preparedness kit ready in the event a major storm hits, it’s also important to think about the four-legged members of the family. When it comes to priority, pets, unfortunately,…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

Tips for When the Storm Hits

We’ve talked a lot about the steps to take prior to the arrival of a hurricane, but what should you do if it does hit? Do you know how to protect yourself and your family during and after the major storm has passed? Let’s examine a few tips. During a hurricane, you want to make…Continued

Protect Your Home from Storms of Any Size

It’s August and so far, South Florida has managed to dodge any major storms like a hurricane. However, smaller storms have been occurring on an almost daily basis, which means homes are still susceptible to damage albeit at a smaller degree. As a homeowner, would you know how to proceed if something were to happen?…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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your Homeowners Insurance May Not Cover Restorations

Homeowners insurance is there to help you in the event of major damage to your home, whether it’s a tree falling on the home, storm damage, or a faulty appliance setting fire to your property. For those that may be considering major restoration work on their home, homeowners insurance may not provide the support. Coverage…Continued

Set Your DVR for the Hurricane Preparedness Special

If there is one thing many homeowners have a tendency of doing when a storm is approaching, it’s waiting until the last minute to prepare. A pair of individuals is aiming to change that by using broadcast television to reach homeowners and encourage early storm prep. The TV special called “Get Ready, Florida!” will air…Continued

When Is the Last Time You Checked Your Policy Coverage?

  The subtropical depression Alberto that affected Florida this past Memorial Day weekend only serves to reinforce how important it is to take the time and ensure that your insurance policy reflects your needs and that it provides sufficient coverage for you and your family. . As the value of a property fluctuates, it’s important…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

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

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 Do After a Major Storm

South Florida was thankfully spared the wrath of Hurricane Michael. The Florida Panhandle, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky. While we were spared over here, it’s worth remembering the steps homeowners should and should not take in the event a major storm does wreak havoc like Irma did last year. Keep your damaged items.…Continued

The Aftermath of Hurricane Michael

A little over a month has passed since Hurricane Michael rampaged through the Florida Panhandle as a powerful Category 4 storm. A month since causing its extensive damage, Florida is still dealing with a rise in losses as recovery efforts continue. Hurricane Michael is the most powerful storm of its kind to ever hit the…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

Dealing with Proof of Loss

In most cases, an insurance company will require homeowners to submit a form called Proof of Loss should their home sustain damages. This document is typically one page and it requests certain information from the policyholder such as the time and date the loss occurred, what kind of loss the policyholder is claiming, and the…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

Storm Damage and Your Home

The aftermath of Hurricane Michael and its rampage through the Florida Panhandle reinforces just how damaging a major storm can be and how important it is to take preventative measures. Thankfully, a storm like last year’s Hurricane Irma did not pass through South Florida, yet homeowners should be aware of items that deserve their attention,…Continued

Hurricane Michael and Its Wind Damage

As Hurricane Michael recovery efforts continue, the amount of damage that it has caused is reminding many of another storm that once ripped through South Florida and caused a massive amount of carnage. That storm was Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which practically destroyed the city of Homestead, Florida. For years, Hurricane Andrew stood as the…Continued

Hurricane Michael Victims Face Damage Repair Delays

Panama City has remained one of Florida’s most popular vacation spots but after Hurricane Michael, it’s turned into something of an insurance fiasco. Hundreds of Panama City vacationers are seeking answers as they wait for their vacation or temporary homes to receive much-needed repairs. In one example, a longtime Panama City renter returned to her…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

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

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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

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

Will Your Policy Cover Your Pet?

With Tropical Storm Gordon edging close to Florida, it is important to remember that a major storm can still make landfall, even if less than a month remains until the end of the summer season. For new homeowners that are evaluating purchasing a brand new homeowners insurance policy, it is also important to know that…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

Is Your Insurance Policy Ready for a Major Storm?

After a storm, many homeowners with coverage find out the hard way that the amount of coverage is inadequate to cover the extent of damage. On the other hand, they may also learn that the damage is not enough to reach the deductible. Homeowners often fail to look over their policy to see what is…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

Is Your Home Sufficiently Insured?

According to an analytics firm, about three of every five homes in the country do not have sufficient insurance coverage, in some cases as much as twenty percent less than the home’s value. Are you among these people? Would you have about $50,000 readily available to rebuild your home if it had a replacement hovering…Continued

Homeowners Left Stranded with Storm Damage

Several homeowners in Southwest Florida are finding themselves with unfinished home repairs after a company collected more than $500,000 for the purpose of fixing damage caused by Hurricane Irma. The company was believed to be affiliated with a licensed operator. One homeowner handed over his full first insurance draw to the repair company only to…Continued

Florida Homeowners Allege Insurance Contact Breach

  An article published earlier this month on the website Florida Record discusses a pair of homeowners pursuing legal action against their insurance for allegedly breaching an insurance contract by failing to cover water damages. The home located in Clearwater had an existing homeowner’s insurance policy when it sustained water damage, which was considered a…Continued

Are You Ready for a Possible 2018 Hurricane?

Weather forecasters are predicting this hurricane season will be more active than usual. While we’re all hoping the season comes and goes without a major storm, it’s still important to plan ahead and be realistic about what could happen and what to do in the event a storm does hit. Know what steps to take…Continued

Hurricane Season is Here. Time to Reevaluate Your Hurricane Insurance

This year, experts say that the hurricane season will be above-average in strength. Now that hurricane season is upon us, it’s time to start thinking about your hurricane insurance. The insurance you have might not be good enough for a major hurricane. You should know that just because you have homeowner’s insurance, that doesn’t mean…Continued

Save Money on Your Homeowners Insurance

Homeowners insurance is expensive but taking the steps to improve your home may help with protecting your home as well as potentially lowering your insurance premium through discounts. Consider the following two improvements and consult with your insurance provider to see if they are willing to reward you with discounts. A security system. A home…Continued

The First Hurricane of 2018 Has Arrived

In case you missed the news, Beryl has officially earned the dubious honor of being named the first hurricane of 2018. While it isn’t expected to pose a major threat to South Florida and will likely weaken, it reinforces the need to be prepared in the event another storm like last year’s Hurricane Irma emerges.…Continued

Citizens Postpones Its Proposed Rate Hikes

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. policyholders concerned about planned rate hike will have to wait a little longer after the insurer decided to hold off on determining its 2019 rates until December. If all goes according to plan, Citizens will implement an increase of 7.9 percent for all of its homeowner insurance policies across the state…Continued

Summer means two things – construction and hurricanes

It’s summertime, so we can expect two things: lots of construction, and lots of storms. Last year, Hurricane Irma rampaged through Miami and caused billions in damage. The construction from Irma is taking place almost everywhere. And with hurricane season on us again, we have to keep an eye out for more damaging hurricanes that…Continued

New Hurricane Coverage Will Pay for More than Usual

Sometimes, hurricane insurance doesn’t cover everything you need. If something exceeds your deductible, or you don’t have flood insurance, then you may end up paying a lot. But a new insurance product has appeared that will cover what traditional hurricane policies don’t. This new insurance product is called StormPeace, and it’s sold by a company…Continued

Florida Homeowner Continues to Deal with Sinkhole Claim

A Florida homeowner who was dealing with a sinkhole claim put his faith in his insurance company only to end up feeling as if the insurance company took advantage of him, according to a News Channel 8 article published last week. The claim was filed back in 2011 after the homeowner noticed his home was…Continued

Hurricanes Move Slower Now, and That’s Bad.

Now that we’re in the outset of hurricane season, it is definitely worth noting a worrisome development in how storms travel. The pace at which they typically move is slowing to about ten percent, which creates more powerful and possibly deadly storms. Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over Texas last year, may not be an anomaly…Continued

Most Florida Homeowners Aren’t Ready for a Storm

Now that June is here, hurricane season is officially “in session”. If yesterday’s nasty storms in South Florida were any indication, it’s that Mother Nature is not a force to be taken lightly. Thunder and lightning are one thing but coupled with strong winds, they can do some serious damage. Even with that in mind,…Continued

When Is the Last Time You Checked Your Policy Coverage?

  The subtropical depression Alberto that affected Florida this past Memorial Day weekend only serves to reinforce how important it is to take the time and ensure that your insurance policy reflects your needs and that it provides sufficient coverage for you and your family. . As the value of a property fluctuates, it’s important…Continued

Florida’s Hurricane Fund Is Ready for the Season

          With the imminent arrival of hurricane season in just a few days, Florida homeowners may have some concerns about how ready the state is to handle the aftermath should another storm like last year’s Hurricane Irma make landfall. The Florida Hurricane Fund is a resource intended to assist private insurance…Continued

Florida Homeowners Make Repairs Without Contacting Insurer

A recent Florida court ruling reinforces the importance of filing an insurance claim, knowing your rights, as well as what is and isn’t covered in your policy when your home suffers damage. The case involved homeowners who repaired damage in their home caused by water before filing a claim with their insurance company. The court…Continued

Most Florida Homeowners Are Unprepared

The importance of hurricane preparedness has been stressed time and time again yet a recent study suggests more than half of Florida’s homeowners have yet to take the recommended steps to protect their homes against the potentially catastrophic impact of a storm. The survey asked Florida residents how they go about preparing their homes should…Continued

Hurricane Irma Insurance Lawsuits Surge

A Sun Sentinel article published last week discusses the sharp rise in lawsuits against property insurance companies during the first quarter of the year when compared to the numbers from 2017. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the largest number of these lawsuits were filed by home and property owners in Florida. More than 10,500 lawsuits were served to…Continued

Hurricane Season is Less Than a Month Away

Next month will signal the arrival of hurricane season and if last year was any indication, it will likely be another unpredictable storm season for South Florida, with the looming possibility of one actually hitting us (i.e.: Hurricane Irma). If you haven’t yet considered flood insurance, your time may be running out. As we’ve mentioned…Continued

Always File a Damage Claim with Your Insurance

With hurricane season just around the corner, now is the time to start doing your homework so you’re ready in the event a hurricane does indeed pass through Florida like Hurricane Irma did last year. In a perfect world, hurricanes would not exist but if Florida is indeed affected by a hurricane and your home…Continued

Fort Myers Drone Company Takes Insurance by Storm

After Hurricane Irma slammed Southwest Florida last fall, numerous residents and businesses were affected. As was common in the aftermath of a storm, damages needed to be assessed but it is very difficult to do so with all sorts of debris everywhere, as well as the factors of time and safety. Enter the use of…Continued

Several Florida Insurers Maintain Their “A” Rating

According to an Insurance Journal article, a well-known insurance rating agency recently announced that it will not downgrade any of the financial stability ratings (FSRs) of more than eleven Florida homeowners insurance companies due to the losses incurred because of major storms and last year’s assignment of benefits litigation. Despite this, there are still plenty…Continued

Citizens Takes Another Look at Hurricane Irma Claims

Are you a Citizens Property Insurance Corp. policyholder who filed a claim related to Hurricane Irma? If so, you may be interested in knowing that the last resort insurer recently decided to reopen more than thirty percent of its claims, according to a recent Insurance Journal article. The reason behind Citizens reopening its formerly closed…Continued

Hurricane Irma Claims Surpass $8 Billion

For those of you that are keeping tabs regarding Hurricane Irma and the damage it caused, a recent Herald Tribune article says claims have now reached close to $9 billion. Over 900,000 property homeowners have filed Irma claims due to losses caused by the storm, which made its way through Florida last year. While the…Continued

Citizens Approves Its Policy Changes

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is once again generating headlines after approving several changes to its policy language aimed at tackling the expensive costs associated with non-weather water loss claims and the legal cases that have caused premiums to skyrocket. These changes will also cover issues that have emerged since the insurer implemented its Managed Repair…Continued

Be Prepared for an Earlier Hurricane Season

While the 2018 Atlantic hurricane season does not officially begin until June 1st, forecasters expect there to be slightly above-normal activity, particularly increased formation of storms in the Gulf of Mexico. What is a cause for concern is not so much the number of named storms making landfall in the southeast United States, but the…Continued

Higher Flood Insurance Rates Are Now in Effect

If you were hoping for a decrease in the cost of flood insurance, there is some disappointing news to report: As of the first of the month, premiums became more expensive, rising eight percent. The somewhat good news is most homeowners can expect to see their insurance increase by only five percent or less, according…Continued

Now Is the Time to Consider Flood Insurance

With hurricane season looming, now is the time for Floridians to purchase flood insurance before storms begin to wreak havoc. In most cases, a homeowner will be required to wait a minimum of about thirty days before the flood insurance policy will go into effect. Homeowners should remember that the majority of insurance policies do…Continued

Citizens Adds Coverage Reductions for Repairs Outside Its Control

In its ongoing efforts to fight against claims abuse and costly lawsuits, last-resort insurer Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has adjusted its plan to control home repairs by making additional coverage reductions for customers that choose not to make use of its Managed Repair Contractor Network. Should customers decline, its coverage for non-weather-related water damage involving…Continued

Avoid Insurance Coverage Surprises by Understanding Its Terms

With the rising costs of homeowner’s insurance premiums, you may decide to seek out a more reasonably priced quote with a different provider. Your home ends up suffering extensive damage so you decide to file a claim only to be told some potentially upsetting news: the money you’ll be receiving reflects your home’s depreciated value…Continued

Last Resort Insurer Gets Hit with a Massive Verdict

A recent Tampa Bay Times article discusses a case involving Florida’s last resort insurer Citizens Property Insurance. Back in 2007, residents of a Palm Harbor-based condominium began noticing signs of a potential sinkhole, such as cracking walls, doors not closing properly, and depressions inside of the units. Although claims were filed on many of the…Continued

Legislative Session Ends with No Insurance Reform on the Horizon

Those hoping the Florida Legislature would do something about rising insurance costs and the assignment of benefits (AOB) situation may be disappointed to find out that they’ll need to wait until 2019. According to a recent Sun Sentinel article, the legislative session came to an end this past weekend, leaving the much-debated topic of insurance…Continued

Does Your Have Proper Lightning Coverage and Protection?

Though it doesn’t receive the same amount of attention as a hurricane, lightning can still do a significant amount of damage to a home. With South Florida’s unpredictable weather patterns, lightning storms can strike at virtually any time. As the strikes become more common, there is obviously a greater risk of property damage. Hence, it…Continued

Understanding Assignment of Benefits

We’ve talked a lot about assignment of benefits (AOB), and today we’re telling you more about what it is. AOB is a legal tool where a third party can be paid for the services performed for a homeowner with who is insured. When the homeowner signs an AOB contract, they give up the right to…Continued

Heritage Seeks Insurance Rate Hikes

Heritage Property & Casualty is one of the largest insurance companies in the state of Florida. If you’re a homeowner with a Heritage policy or someone who intends to purchase one through the insurer, you may be in for a surprise. According to a recent Sun Sentinel article, the insurer intends to increase rates for…Continued

Homeowners Still Dealing with Hurricane Irma Insurance Woes

Water damage and mold, leaky roofs, these are just a few examples of the issues homeowners are still dealing with nearly three months into 2018 as they wait for their Hurricane Irma insurance claims to be processed. According to an article featured on the website WINK News, homeowners are grappling with a situation where their…Continued

Florida Aims to Get Rid of Insurance Policy Surprises

One of the worst things that can happen to a homeowner after their home has suffered storm damage is realizing their insurance policy does not cover a certain amount of damage. A recent article published in Florida Politics discusses something that’s being done to address this situation. It’s often stressed the importance of actually reading…Continued

Revamped Flood Map May Require Insurance

Is your home in a zone that doesn’t require flood insurance? If so, you may wish to pay attention. According to FourStatesHomepage.com, the city of Miami is in the middle of revamping its flood hazard maps, and it’s asking for your help in doing it. Joining forces with FEMA, Miami has already released a preliminary…Continued

File Your Claim as Soon as You Can

One thing homeowners are often reminded of when their home suffers damage is the importance of notifying the insurance company as soon as possible. In fact, the rule of thumb is to file your claim within a minimum 90-day period. Should you decide to wait longer, you may encounter difficulty in proving the damage and…Continued

Hurricane Irma’s Damage Continues to Rise

Continuing with our regular updates on the impact of Hurricane Irma, the latest information released by Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation shows that over 900,000 home and property owners have filed claims due to storm losses, resulting in nearly $8 billion worth of damage. According to a Herald-Tribune article, one situation that some property owners…Continued

Insurance Claim Reform Bill Draws Criticism

A Sun Sentinel article published yesterday reveals new developments in the Florida Senate bill aimed at tackling the assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse. The bill managed to make its way through a second committee earlier this week despite opposition from insurance lobbyists who believe the reforms will not deter attorneys and contractors from causing rates…Continued

When Hurricane Damage Claims Are Denied

A recent article in the Palm Beach Post reinforces the importance of having an attorney on your side when it comes to your insurance claim. A homeowner’s roof was damaged during Hurricane Irma, including shingles missing from various parts of the roof. The homeowner filed a claim with his insurance company, an adjuster was sent…Continued

Set Your DVR for the Hurricane Preparedness Special

If there is one thing many homeowners have a tendency of doing when a storm is approaching, it’s waiting until the last minute to prepare. A pair of individuals is aiming to change that by using broadcast television to reach homeowners and encourage early storm prep. The TV special called “Get Ready, Florida!” will air…Continued

Your Homeowners Insurance May Not Cover Restorations

Homeowners insurance is there to help you in the event of major damage to your home, whether it’s a tree falling on the home, storm damage, or a faulty appliance setting fire to your property. For those that may be considering major restoration work on their home, homeowners insurance may not provide the support. Coverage…Continued

Claims Abuse Reform Bill Moves Along

The debate involving Florida’s assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse continues to progress. Earlier this week, Florida’s Senate Banking and Insurance Committee turned down a proposal that favored insurers, instead giving the green light to a bill supported by plaintiff attorneys and contractors involved with water damage restoration. Despite the potential win for attorneys, committee members…Continued

Assignment of Benefits Abuse Grows Worse

As the Florida Legislature goes through the process of potentially reforming insurance, some recent news from Florida’s regulatory agency suggests that in the meantime, assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse continues to worsen. According to an article published on South Florida Business Journal, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) issued a report earlier this week…Continued

Changes May Be Coming to Assignment of Benefits

This year may be the one that finally brings changes to the assignment of benefits (AOB) fiasco. According to a recent article published on FloridaWatchdog.org, the Florida House has expedited the adoption of a bill (HB 7015) that would result in various restrictions placed upon AOB agreements between contractors and property owners. The bill would…Continued

Insurance Settlement Checks Come with Stipulations

Insurance companies are taking an unusual approach to reducing or eliminating the odds of future claims costs, according to a recent Sun Sentinel news article. At least three settlement checks received by homeowners have included stipulations that accepting the check releases the insurance company from future obligations involving the claim. The strategy has already generated…Continued

Irma’s Estimated Damages Climb Once Again

Late last year we mentioned how the losses due to Hurricane Irma had risen to billions of dollars worth of damage. According to a recent article published on The Gainesville Sun, those losses have now increased to an estimated $7.2 billion. Over 860,000 claims have been filed since the storm passed through Florida back in…Continued

Does Your Home Have Adequate Coverage?

With only a few days remaining until 2018, it’s worth taking the time to make sure that you have an insurance policy that properly accommodates your needs and provides enough coverage for you and your family. As storm seasons become increasingly active, having sufficient is essential. According to a CBS News article, over fifty percent…Continued

Should a Roof Be Repaired or Replaced?

When a major storm occurs, the roof of a home is typically the part that receives the most damage, making it quite common on insurance claims. Whether it’s a few shingles flying off or massive roof structure damage, it’s imperative to get the roof repaired as quickly as possible. Insurance companies often find themselves in…Continued

Citizens Expects a 2018 Uptick

According to a recent Insurance Journal article, last resort insurer Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is expecting the number of policyholders to increase next year. This is after taking steps to get rid of some of its policies a couple of years ago. The state-run insurer anticipates more than 50,000 policyholders will defect from private insurance…Continued

The Latest on Irma-Related Insurance Claims

What’s the latest on Hurricane Irma’s aftermath based on a recent CBS Miami article? According to Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, estimated insurance losses are now at more than $6 billion, with over 850,000 claims. More than 700,000 of those claims involve residential properties. Although Floridians have plenty of time to file their claims, the…Continued

Survey Shows Floridians Lack Hurricane and Insurance Knowledge

According to a press release published in Business Wire, the former Director of FEMA recently released an important message in a new survey aimed at Floridians. A greater activity during storm season is now considered the “new normal”, and Floridians should take the proper steps to ensure their insurance is up to date. The survey…Continued

Examining Your Insurance for 2018

With less than a month left until we say goodbye to 2017, you may soon be up for renewing your homeowner’s insurance. While most homeowners concentrate on how much their premium may have changed, it’s also important to take into account a few other factors. Before renewing, take a close look at your insurance provider.…Continued

Florida Woman Facing Insurance Fraud Charges

According to an Insurance Journal article, a Miami-based homeowner was recently arrested after being charged with grand theft and insurance fraud. The homeowner allegedly tried to file a damage claim against a new insurance policy despite having received over $50,000 in payout from a former insurance company regarding the same damages. The homeowner originally filed…Continued

Hurricane Irma’s Lasting Impact

Hurricane season is over, but it didn’t come and go without leaving its mark. Thanks to Hurricane Irma, Florida and its insurance industry ended up dealing with a tremendous headache. It’s estimated that losses due to the storm have been at least $25 billion or more. According to a recent Insurance Journal article, the Florida…Continued

Insurer Files Suit Against Its Policyholders

An insurance company based in Deerfield Beach, Florida is generating headlines after suing many of its policyholders in Miami-Dade and Broward County for allegedly failing to follow the requirements outlined in their policy, according to a recent Sun Sentinel article. After examining the several lawsuits, the Sun Sentinel noticed the majority of them are accusing…Continued

Do You Know What Your Policy Covers?

If you’ve read our previous blogs, you may already be aware of something many homeowners tend to forget: the majority of standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover floods. If recent storms are any indication, it is imperative that homeowners remain aware of this as it could prove costly. As homeowners seek to cut down…Continued

Getting the Most from Your Insurance Claim

If your home suffered storm damage, hopefully, you’ve already taken the steps to file your claim in order to fix it. While we hope your experience of dealing with your insurer is a smooth and stress-free process., dealing with them can be a tremendous headache if you haven’t prepared properly. We’ve handled numerous insurance disputes,…Continued

Florida Storm Claims Soar into the Billions

Regulation (OIR) recently reported estimated insured losses related to Hurricane Irma have skyrocketed by more than $5 billion, according to an Insurance Business America article. Despite the surge, the OIR also reported that the number of filings and estimates have slowed down. Interestingly, the majority of the claim filings are coming from Miami-Dade County followed…Continued

Florida Contractor Faces Jail Time

According to an article published on the Asbury Park Press (APP) website, a Naples-based contractor is facing up to seven years after he was caught allegedly stealing more than $300,000 from several victims. One of these victims happened to be a member of the county prosecutor’s office. This is not the first time the contractor…Continued

Alleged Unlicensed Contractor Busted by Disaster Fraud Team

Just weeks after Florida launched a disaster fraud team, an unlicensed contractor has already been arrested for allegedly conducting shoddy roof repairs and operating without insurance. The roof work was performed following the effects of Hurricane Irma. Fraud detectives found that the man was purportedly presenting himself as an insured and licensed contractor. However, he…Continued

Florida Homeowner May Not Receive Maximum Benefits

It’s been over a month since Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc in Florida, but homeowners are still in the middle of dealing with the fallout. This includes numerous homeowners having to deal with insurance companies that may not wish to give the homeowner the money owed to them to take care of repairs. The latest example…Continued

Reduce the Odds of Having Your Claim Denied

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has taken care of several claims and paid out close to $100 million, but many of them have been closed without payment. As to why that is, payable claims have a tendency of taking a longer amount of time to resolve versus claims where officials determined there wasn’t qualifying…Continued

Florida Insurance Company Facing Charges

A Florida-based insurance agency is facing potential charges after allegedly submitting fake insurance applications and stealing over $200,000 in insurance premiums. An investigation spearheaded by the Department of Financial Services, Bureau of Insurance Fraud revealed a detailed scam where the agency’s owner/agent used a finance company to pay yearly premiums related to applications that were…Continued

Beware of Insurance Scams

Hurricane season doesn’t officially end until November 30th. This means consumer insurance scams won’t be ending anytime soon either. After Hurricane Irma’s damage, these scams have significantly ramped up. Since Hurricane Irma, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has received over 700,000 insurance claims, resulting in billions of dollars worth of damage. To combat fraud,…Continued

Florida Insurance Claims Continue to Rise

Insurance claims related to Hurricane Irma continue to rise in Florida. FEMA has approved over 140,000 applications and provided more than $120 million to take care of damages to homes and businesses without insurance or the necessary coverage. Despite those numbers, they fail to represent the massive number of hurricane-related claims throughout the state. According…Continued

Florida Couple Successfully Takes on Insurance Company

Today we’re highlighting another example of insurance companies allegedly failing to properly assist their policyholders with damage due to Hurricane Irma. In this case, it involves a Jacksonville-based couple who decided to stay home during the storm. As Hurricane Irma progressed, water from a nearby river eventually began making its way into the house, resulting…Continued

Florida Assembles Storm Fraud Team

Florida’s Department of Financial Services’ Division of Investigative and Forensic Services is putting together a team of investigators looking to crack down on post-storm fraud. A trio of teams are planning to operate in areas throughout the state significantly affected by Hurricane Irma, including Miami-Dade County. The teams will be working directly with prosecutors to…Continued

Insurance Claims and Misleading Information

Over 15,000 flood insurance claims related to Hurricane Irma have been filed, and there are more on the way, according to a recent Sun Sentinel report and data provided by FEMA. In fact, over 1,800 claims have been filed in Miami-Dade County alone. Speaking of insurance claims, recent news reports suggest insurance companies are allegedly…Continued

Florida Puts the Halt on Hikes

As Florida continues to assist homeowners in the recovery from the effects of Hurricane Irma, the state’s insurance commissioner recently issued a temporary emergency order. This order is intended to prevent insurance companies from proceeding with any policy cancellations as well as temporarily suspending any imminent rate increases. The temporary suspensions for rate increases will…Continued

Florida Homeowners Have Some More Room to Breathe

If you’re among the Florida homeowners who have suffered damage because of the effects of Hurricane Irma, there is some good news to report. The Florida Insurance Commissioner recently issued an emergency order allowing homeowners a greater amount of time to file their insurance claims. While this news may come as a relief to those…Continued

Getting Started with Your Storm Damage Insurance Claim

Did your home suffer damage due to the effects of Hurricane Irma? Assuming you haven’t done so already, there are certain steps you should take if you’re dealing with storm-related damage to your home. Have all of your applicable insurance policies on hand. Besides your homeowners’ policy, you may also want to have your vehicle…Continued

Lawmaker Suggests Rate Reductions for Citizens Policyholders

Citizens Property Insurance is once again in the headlines, and this time it’s catching the attention of lawmakers. According to an article published in The Ledger, one lawmaker believes policyholders should be allowed rate reductions as the last resort insurer devises a plan to tackle the ongoing issue of water damage repair claims. The lawmaker…Continued

Does Your Insurance Cover Floods?

As Texas begins to recover from the effects of Hurricane Harvey, it’s estimated the damage caused by the natural disaster could be in the billions. Despite being a powerful hurricane, the majority of the damage appears to be flood related versus wind-related. What’s worse, there is a possibility the majority of insurance policies may not…Continued

What Your Insurance Policy May Not Cover

When is the last time you sat down to thoroughly examine your homeowner’s insurance policy coverage? The average homeowner tends to be unaware of what the policy covers and what it doesn’t, and they sometimes end up finding it out the hard way. While your coverage may vary, there are a couple of items that…Continued

Taking Care of an Insurance Claim After a Major Storm

As Texas continues to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, we mustn’t forget that South Florida is still in the middle of hurricane season. With that in mind, it’s important to know what to do should a major storm pass through and cause damage to your home. If damage has occurred, immediately call your…Continued

Make Sure to Thoroughly Evaluate a Prospective Insurer

As a state susceptible to the devastating effects of hurricanes, homeowners insurance can be highly expensive. If you’re considering insurance, it’s important to shop around and familiarize yourself with the insurance company before making a final decision. You may wish to start by requesting a mitigation inspection which can help with knowing the condition of…Continued

Florida Insurer Plans to Start Checking Credit

Do you currently hold a policy with the Deerfield Beach-based People’s Trust Insurance Co. or are you considering signing up for one of their policies? If so, you may wish to double-check your credit. Per a recent Sun Sentinel article and plans filed with Florida regulators, the insurer intends to begin checking credit on all…Continued

Florida Insurers May Exponentially Increase Rates

The assignment of benefits (AOB) situation is leading to a possible “epidemic” of insurance claims according to a recent CBS News article. The majority of these claims are originating in Miami-Dade County and that may spell trouble for honest homeowners trying to save money. A $300,000 policy assessment may end up skyrocketing by more than…Continued

Florida Man Files Suit Against Major Insurer

A South Florida man recently filed a lawsuit against Florida Peninsula Insurance Company alleging that the insurer is in breach of contract, according to a recent article published on the Florida Record website.   Back in June, the man/plaintiff filed a complaint in the Broward County Circuit Court alleging that Florida Peninsula breached its duty…Continued

You Citizens Policy May Be Transferred

If you have an insurance policy with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, you may want to pay close attention. A pair of private market insurance companies have received the okay from Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation to “take out” a maximum of 50,000 residential policies currently covered under Citizens. The “take outs” represent one of the…Continued

The Return of Expedited H1-B Visa Applications

There is some good news to report for foreign high-tech workers seeking a visa: federal immigration authorities are once again fast processing some visa requests according to a recent Miami Herald article, H-1B applications to be precise. These applications come with a guaranteed decision within a fifteen day period in exchange for a processing fee…Continued

Student Loans and Bankruptcy

For individuals considering filing for bankruptcy, having student loans can make the process significantly trickier. Failing to pay back federal student loans could result in wage garnishment or the seizing of bank accounts without the typical court proceedings. Thankfully, there are repayment programs available to help manage the debt. Unlike credit card debt, discharging student…Continued

Do You Have Sinkhole Insurance?

Sinkholes may not happen all that often in South Florida, but there is always a risk, especially during rainy seasons. Despite the risk of significant property damage, few homeowners actually have protection from sinkholes. Instead, homeowners choose to go with the insurance they’re often required to have, such as flood insurance. So what’s stopping homeowners…Continued

South Florida’s Immigrant Detainment Situation

  South Florida is once again gaining national attention, this time for allegedly detaining immigrants without having an arrest warrant. The detainment is to comply with the immigration policy instituted by the Trump Administration. A federal lawsuit has since been filed by The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), deeming it unconstitutional. The detainment involves an…Continued

Affordable Tips for Protecting Your Home from a Hurricane

One month into hurricane season, we have thankfully managed to avoid any major hurricane. However, hurricane season doesn’t officially end until November, so being proactive is always a good idea. Hurricane preparation can be expensive, but having to deal with the damages and the insurance headaches can be even costlier. These tips can help you…Continued

Your Debt Collector May Soon Be a Computer

  When negotiating with a debt collector, you’re usually talking to another human being. That may not be the case next time, and you may actually like it that way.   Experian recently announced a self-service platform called eResolve aimed at allowing consumers to resolve their debt obligations without ever having to speak to another…Continued

Citizens Launches Its Managed Repair Program

Earlier this month, last-resort insurer Citizens officially launched its Managed Repair Program, aimed at tackling the costs of claims abuses. New policyholders, as well as those renewing their policy, will find new language in their policies that includes a list of repair contractors approved by Citizens. With the Managed Repair Program, Citizens will have greater…Continued

New Rules for Visa Applicants Go into Effect Tomorrow

Tomorrow, a revised version of Donald Trump’s travel ban will go into effect after receiving strong criticism for the stringent criteria visa applicants must adhere to if they are coming from certain countries where Muslims are the majority. These countries are Yemen, Syria, Libya, Sudan, Iran, and Somalia. New visa applicants from the aforementioned countries…Continued

Healthcare Coverage Leads to Fewer Bankruptcies

While the discussion on changes to health care continues, there is some good news to report. Over the past six years, personal bankruptcy filings have dropped by about fifty percent, and it may be due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). A bankruptcy court won’t ask the reason why someone decides to file for bankruptcy,…Continued

Citizens Seeks Major Changes for 2018

Are you among the numerous Florida homeowners insured by last resort option Citizens? If so, you may notice increased rates as well as policy changes in 2018. The state-run insurer’s Board of Governors recently gave the okay on these higher rates and changes to tackle assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse, non-weather water losses, and litigation…Continued

The Influx of Venezuelan Asylum Seekers

As the turmoil in Venezuela continues, the number of Venezuelans seeking asylum has skyrocketed, and most of them are seeking asylum right here in the United States. Last year, over 30,000 people sought asylum, an increase of more than fifty percent when compared to 2015. This surge is particularly interesting considering that Venezuela was once…Continued

Bankruptcy and Your Taxes

Over half a million people file for bankruptcy each year. Though it’s a common thing to do, many people who file do not understand the ramifications, particularly when it comes to their tax refund. Bankruptcy rules surrounding tax returns are highly complex and there are tiny details involved that must be considered. Let’s take a…Continued

Watch out for Flood Damage

Numerous South Florida residents are probably asking themselves, “When will this weather end?” The ongoing downpours have made a mess of the roads and it’s even lead to flooding in some homes and businesses. Now that we’re officially in hurricane season, expect storms to be a frequent occurrence as the summer continues. Flooding can be…Continued

Understanding the EB-5 Visa

The EB-5 visa is for immigrants and is based on employment. It allows foreign nationals to potentially qualify for green cards based on job creation and investment in the United States. The program was launched back in 1990 as a means of stimulating the economy via capital investment and employment creation by foreign investors. With…Continued

Hurricane Season Has Arrived

June marks the beginning of hurricane season, and forecasters are already predicting an above average season of activity. Last year’s hurricane season was one of the most active in years, and one of them (Hurricane Hermine) managed to make landfall in Tallahassee before being followed by Hurricane Matthew a month later. The latter managed to…Continued

Is Bankruptcy the Right Decision? Consider These Signs

Are you considering filing for a Chapter 7 or Chapter 13 bankruptcy? It’s a lofty decision that requires a tremendous amount of forethought. If you’re not sure if it’s the right thing to do, these signs may make it a little easier to decide. You’re only making the minimum payments. If your budget doesn’t allow…Continued

Learn More About the “Startup” Visa Rule

Unless the Trump administration decides otherwise, foreign entrepreneurs will soon have another method of fulfilling the American dream. The International Entrepreneur Rule allows these entrepreneurs a certain amount of time to remain within the United States to build a company they recently launched. The rule was approved towards the end of President Barack Obama’s time…Continued

Homeowners Allege Insurer Did Not Honor Coverage

A Florida couple has filed a lawsuit against their insurance company alleging that the insurer breached its contract, failing to act in good faith and deal fairly. Per the complaint, the couple says they suffered a loss on their insured property stemming from significant roof damage, a loss that was supposedly covered under their policy.…Continued

Bankruptcy Is Not an Easy Way Out

Previously we discussed the reason why most people end up filing for bankruptcy. Now you may be thinking that bankruptcy is an easy way out of your debts. While it does provide a way to begin making better financial decisions, it’s not going to be a simple process. For starters, a bankruptcy will linger on…Continued

Are You Familiar with the F4 Visa?

There is a multitude of reasons why people decide to immigrate, reuniting with family and financial reasons are just two of many examples. However, immigration laws vary based on cases and situations, most of which are regulated by visas. Today we’re taking a closer look at the Family Fourth Preference or “F4” Visa. An F4…Continued

Are Insurance Companies Responsible for Their Current Situation?

Florida’s major insurance companies are currently trying to convince state lawmakers that the market is becoming increasingly unstable because of water damage claims, forcing them to up their rates. However, many insurers also appear to be shorting contractors that have completed work on claims that are legitimate, sometimes paying them up to 75 percent less…Continued

HB 1421 Makes Its Way to the Senate

The bill geared towards addressing insurance claims abuses in Florida has passed another hurdle on its way to becoming a reality, successfully making it through the Florida House. Also known as House Bill (HB) 1421, the bill will now fall into the hands of the Senate. HB 1421 is aimed at tackling assignment of benefits…Continued

The Primary Reason People File for Bankruptcy May Surprise You

When someone files for bankruptcy, the finger is often pointed towards the person’s spending habits. However, the primary reason why so many Americans end up in debt has very little to do with their temptation to spend money. The major culprit in bankruptcy filings? Medical debt. Over a quarter of Americans have difficulty paying their…Continued

What Can Affect Your E2 Visa Eligibility?

There are three requirements necessary to obtain an E2 visa, which is intended for treaty investors. To receive one, the investor must be an E2 treaty country national, must make a considerable investment, and he or she needs to develop a bona fide enterprise. If you’re an investor running a small business, fulfilling that third…Continued

Bankruptcy Tips for Millennials

Filing for bankruptcy in your twenties can be painful and a bit intimidating. With the exorbitant costs of higher education and expensive housing, even millennials may have to consider a new beginning. Taking the right steps can help you towards building a positive financial future as you make better decisions. Hire the right attorney. Your…Continued

Insurance Reform Shows Little Signs of Momentum

As Florida’s spring legislative session approaches its end, a viable resolution to the financial losses faced by the property insurance industry has yet to emerge. A trio of bills aimed at tackling the “assignment of benefits” (AOB) problem have seemingly lost steam, and there are currently no plans for them to be evaluated by a…Continued

Spouses of H-1B Visa Holders May Be in Trouble

Numerous people that are currently working legally in the country based on rules implemented during the Obama administration may find themselves out of work, whether they like it or not. The H-1B visa currently allows skilled workers to temporarily visit the United States. If they have applied for lawful permanent residence, their spouses are allowed…Continued

Inspecting Your Roof for Storm Damage

Have you ever heard the saying “April showers bring May flowers”? April is notorious for bringing heavy rainfall to South Florida, which could wreak havoc on your home. Even if the rain doesn’t affect your home, just the wind can cause damage. Hence, it is imperative that you inspect the condition of your roof after…Continued

Inspecting Your Roof for Storm Damage

Have you ever heard the saying “April showers bring May flowers”? April is notorious for bringing heavy rainfall to South Florida, which could wreak havoc on your home. Even if the rain doesn’t affect your home, just the wind can cause damage. Hence, it is imperative that you inspect the condition of your roof after…Continued

What to Know Before Applying for an Investor Visa

Are you considering an investor visa? You may want to hurry. Congress is currently evaluating the possibility of raising the minimum required to obtain a U.S. immigrant investor visa (EB-5) from its current price of $500,000 to $1.35 million. If you’re interested in such a visa, there are important things to know. For starters, there…Continued

What Will Affect Your Credit Score?

We all know how important it is to maintain a good credit score. Having a good score will allow you to get better rates for a loan, as well as make it easier to own a car, for example. But then there’s the mystery behind what affects your score. In other words, what counts and…Continued

Insurance Bill Aimed at Claims Abuses Clears a Hurdle

The Florida House committee recently gave the okay to a bill intended to reduce insurance rate hikes by tackling claims abuses. Despite proposed revisions, the bill still fails to address a major concern among the insurance industry: restrictions on collections of what’s called “one-way” insurance fees. These fees are collected by attorneys on behalf of…Continued

Don’t Risk Losing Your Green Card

As a legal permanent resident of the United States, the time you decide to spend abroad could cause you to run into trouble if you decide to leave the country for more than six months or only stay for short periods of time. Although you may be doing something as innocent as visiting family, this…Continued

Insurance Bill Aimed at Claims Abuses Clears a Hurdle

The Florida House committee recently gave the okay to a bill intended to reduce insurance rate hikes by tackling claims abuses. Despite proposed revisions, the bill still fails to address a major concern among the insurance industry: restrictions on collections of what’s called “one-way” insurance fees. These fees are collected by attorneys on behalf of…Continued

Who Is Responsible for Florida’s AOB Fiasco?

A recent study shows that the rampant abuse of the assignment of benefits (AOB) crisis can be largely attributed to a small group of law professionals and service providers. These people are the ones mostly responsible for the huge number of lawsuits aimed at insurers. In fact, one lawyer was responsible for allegedly filing more…Continued

Apartment Hunting After Bankruptcy

Recovering from bankruptcy is a challenge, especially if you’re trying to find an apartment to rent. However, it’s not impossible. A little honesty and perseverance go a long way. Here a few tips. Be honest with your landlord. The majority of landlords will run a credit check on you, which will reveal that you filed…Continued

Tips for a Successful Green Card Interview

The green card allows an individual to obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States, but the majority of applicants will be required to attend an interview before receiving it. As you obviously want to present yourself in the best light and obtain the card, doing a little homework can help with the interview process.…Continued

Financial Tips from a Successful Investor

Have you ever watched the ABC network show Shark Tank? The show presents aspiring entrepreneurs as they present their unique business to a group of highly successful investors known as the “sharks”. These investors include names like Kevin O’Leary, who also goes by the name of “Mr. Wonderful”. O’Leary has several tips when it comes…Continued

Insurance Industry Puts the Pressure on Florida Lawmakers

With the legislative session soon to arrive, Florida’s insurance industry will be putting the pressure on lawmakers to pass significant reforms aimed at addressing assignment of benefits (AOB). Consumers face a tough future as rate increases and a possible crisis of coverage availability loom due to ongoing AOB abuse. While the insurance industry seems to…Continued

Lower Grades Put Florida Homeowners at Risk

Florida homeowners could be in for a financially painful year due to circumstances largely out of their control. An insurance rating company based in Oho has issued warnings that because of the many losses from water damage claims and court rulings, Florida property insurers are facing an “uncertain operating environment”. If necessary, it will reduce…Continued

A 5K for a Great Cause

Our very own Dalyla Santos and her husband recently spent their weekend participating in a 5K. Unlike other 5K events, this one was in support of a great cause: the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network was founded in 1999 and remains a global leader in the ongoing fight against pancreatic cancer,…Continued

Negotiating with Your Creditors

If you’re struggling to pay your bills on time, chances are you’ve received calls from creditors and debt collectors. It may cause you stress to talk with them, but you may be surprised to learn that many of them would prefer to work with you rather than not receive any money at all. They may…Continued

Florida Supreme Court Sides with Homeowners

Last month, the Florida Supreme Court decided to rule against the insurer in a dispute involving paying for damage to a home that ultimately required demolishing because of water intrusion and defects in the construction. The home sustained water damage in 2005 and it became worse when Hurricane Wilma passed through Southwest Florida. The insurance…Continued

Don’t Do This When Filing for Bankruptcy

Despite being financially responsible, a certain life situation could cause a difficult financial situation. A visit to the emergency room resulting in expensive medical bills, job loss, divorce, all of these could mean that the best route is to file for bankruptcy. If you’ve weighed your options and determined that bankruptcy is the best way…Continued

Debt Harassment and Communication Consent

Last month, a Florida resident filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida against her bank, alleging that her privacy was invaded and she was harassed. According to her, the bank did not stop calling her. While the woman was a bank customer, she signed a consent form allowing…Continued

Start Your Debt Free Journey Without the Credit Cards

Now that 2017 is here, you have a blank canvas to start making better financial decisions and start building the foundations towards living debt free. One of the first steps you can take to begin this journey is to ditch your credit cards and keep them somewhere where you’re not tempted to use them unless…Continued

Insurance Lawmakers Head Back to the Drawing Board

Next month, a pair of legislative meetings will be held in the state capital in an effort to address an ongoing problem. Insurance and banking panels will be meeting to figure out a solution for the “assignment of benefits” alleged problem. Home insurers have warned that if a resolution is not determined, homeowners will continue…Continued

Be Careful with Scam Phone Calls

Even with today’s modern technology that makes it much easier to identify callers and determine whether or not they are legitimate, phone call scams are still a major issue. Here at our law firm, we’ve received several calls from our clients complaining about a scam phone call coming from the phone number 786-408-7945, which many…Continued

Higher Insurance Premiums Go into Effect This Year

Countless Florida homeowners will feel the sting in their pocketbook this year as higher property insurance rates go into effect across the state. Florida’s top insurers such as Heritage and Citizens have received the necessary clearance from state regulators to increase their rates by as much as ten percent for residential homes. Property insurers state…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

How Florida Handles Insurers and Undisputed Amounts

If you make an insurance claim, the time it takes for a first party insurer to pay any or all of the undisputed amounts will vary. For example, here in the state of Florida, the insurer is legally obligated to pay these amounts within 90 days of receiving notice of the claim. However, there are…Continued

Supreme Court Decision Could Reopen Claims

The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of policyholders seeking coverage on claims where there may be a possibility of multiple concurrent losses but at least one of the losses is covered under their policy. The case involved a homeowner who filed suit against his insurer for denying him coverage on his policy which…Continued

Dealing with Debt Collectors

When struggling with debt, dealing with a collector is the last thing you want to think about. Collectors use tactics that can range from annoying to aggressive or in some cases, illegal. It’s important to know how to handle the situation so you can determine the best course of action and know your rights. The…Continued

Citizens May See More Policies

Citizens Property Insurance may begin to see a shift in its size as the rise in water damage claims is forcing the insurer to halt its downsizing efforts. In fact, Citizens may find itself taking on more than 45,000 policies next year as more and more insurers choose not to grant new policies in Miami-Dade…Continued

Gift Giving During the Holidays

With the holidays here, it can be a tough time, especially if you’re struggling financially and you don’t want to spend a lot of money on gifts. Holiday shopping can mean going over your budget, which is why it’s critical to carefully plan your gift giving and keep it simple. Here are some tips to…Continued

Bankruptcy and Divorce

When people file for bankruptcy, the reasons behind the filing are sometimes more than just money issues. A marriage that isn’t working out or a breakup caused by a tough financial situation may also be reasons. Bankruptcy cases that also involve divorce need to be closely evaluated by a bankruptcy attorney, and this usually means…Continued

Factors That May Affect Your Homeowners Insurance Premium

There are numerous factors that could affect what you pay in homeowners insurance premiums, some of which may be out of your direct control such as weather conditions or the criminal activity happening in your neighborhood. Despite these uncontrollable factors, there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of loss and potentially keep…Continued

Insurers May Be Responsible for Attorney Fees

Should an insurer act in bad faith or if they choose to deny your claim, as a policyholder you may be able to sue to receive your policy benefits as well as attorney fees. Florida Statute section 627.428 requires an insurance company to pay its policyholder’s reasonable attorneys fees and court costs if the policyholder…Continued

Will Filing for Bankruptcy Affect Your Employment Eligibility?

Filing for bankruptcy is stressful as it is, and worrying about the potential ramifications can cause further worry. For example, will an employer refuse to hire you if you’ve filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy? There are certain laws in the United States Bankruptcy Code that place limits on employers and how they can use your…Continued

Watch out for Insurance Scams

Residents that may have suffered damages due to the effects of Hurricane Matthew are now finding themselves having to deal with another headache: insurance scammers. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FLOIR) is finding itself having to remind homeowners to practice caution when it comes to deals that may be “too good to be true”.…Continued

How to Save on Your Homeowners Insurance

Did you know that living next to a fire station could lower your homeowners insurance? It’s just one factor that plays a role in determining what you’ll be paying for the coverage intended to protect your home should a natural disaster, theft, fire, or accident occur.  Taking the time to thoroughly look over your policy…Continued

Join Us at the 13th Annual Diamond Angels Fairy Tale Ball

The countdown is on for the 13th Annual Diamond Angels Fairy Tale Ball, presented by the Diamond Angels of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation. We’re very proud of Dalyla Santos’ efforts as one of the volunteers for this year’s Fairy Tale Ball. The Diamond Angels of Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Foundation consists of a team…Continued

Addressing Your Damage After Matthew

Hurricane Matthew has come and gone and thankfully, its effects were not as devastating as previous hurricanes like Andrew or Wilma, at least in South Florida. If you did suffer some kind of damage to your home, there are some tips to keep in mind when dealing with the aftermath as you prepare to contact…Continued

Will You Lose Your Car or Home in a Bankruptcy?

It’s never an easy decision to file for bankruptcy. For a number of people however, the major concern is whether or not they will be able to keep the items that are most valuable to them, generally their car and their home. In South Florida, a car is practically a necessity, and not having one…Continued

Citizens Receives Rate Increase Approval

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) recently gave the okay to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, allowing the major insurer to raise rates by 6.4 percent for 2017 multi-peril policyholders across Florida. Per Citizens, the move was necessary to address what it calls a disturbing increase in the amount of non-weather water loss claims and…Continued

Financial Apps for Your Smartphone

Today’s smartphones can make our lives incredibly productive, allowing us to easily track and keep a close eye on finances. If you’re looking to save money (especially with the holiday season quickly approaching), there are a couple of financial apps you can use to help you stay on track. Mint has been around for several…Continued

What Does the ITT Closure Mean for Former Students?

The higher education industry was rocked last month when the for-profit ITT Technical Institute chose to close its doors permanently and cease operations after the U.S. Department of Education decided to ban the vocational college from enrolling students who receive federal aid. The news was particularly surprising considering ITT had been in business since 1969,…Continued

Financial Tips for Business Startups

For every successful startup, there are plenty of businesses that ended up failing despite being founded on brilliant business ideas. You may be curious as to why this happens, and it’s often because budding entrepreneurs fail to understand that there are significant differences between having a business idea and actually running a business. A lack…Continued

Insurance Planning Can Save Time and Headaches

Florida is currently at the peak of hurricane season, and although the bulk of it has come and gone, there is still a chance that a storm could arrive and cause significant amounts of damage. Now is an ideal time for homeowners to look over their insurance plans as some of the terms and coverage…Continued

Will Your Insurance Company Protect You This Season?

As storms begin to form during hurricane season and rate increases start to show up on property insurance bills, the question on the minds of many South Florida homeowners is whether they will be protected should a major hurricane hit. South Florida homeowners generally pay the highest property insurance rates in the United States. Most…Continued

Rebuilding After Bankruptcy

Choosing to file for bankruptcy is a major life decision, and once you’ve filed you may feel like there is no hope in terms of recovering from your financial situation. It may be tough, but it’s not impossible if you set your mind to it and make some small adjustments to your lifestyle. You can…Continued

Money Saving Back to School Tips

Many students in Miami-Dade County will be returning to school next week, if they haven’t already. As a parent, you know that back to school time means having to factor in clothing, materials, and possible extracurricular activities into your budget. This can be difficult if your budget is already tight to begin with, but there…Continued

Florida Homeowners Face Substantial Insurance Rate Hikes

If you’re a Florida homeowner, you should be prepared for a potentially steep increase in your flood insurance bill. A two-year reprieve intended to prevent steep premium increases has expired, and there is a strong likelihood that bills will double or even triple within the next couple of years. Next year, Congress will be reviewing…Continued

Your Flood Insurance Rates May Skyrocket

Tampa Bay was facing its share of problems just three years ago due to massive hikes in flood insurance rates, so much so that home sales came to a standstill in several neighborhoods. Thanks to the efforts of Congress which passed a temporary reprieve, the situation was resolved, at least temporarily anyway. Florida homeowners may…Continued

Why Is Credit Counseling Necessary?

Are you living paycheck to paycheck struggling to pay your debts to the point that it’s affecting your health? If so, declaring bankruptcy and starting with a clean slate may be a necessity. Because it’s perhaps the most serious decision you’ll make regarding your finances, you’ll be required to receive pre-bankruptcy credit counseling whether you…Continued

Citizens Launches New Program Aimed at Water Loss Claims

In an effort to curb the burgeoning claims related to water loss, last resort Florida insurer Citizens has launched a new Water Mitigation Estimate Review Program. This program is aimed at providing the insurer “certified and trained professionals” that will assess contractor invoices and expenses related to the restoration of commercial and residential properties because…Continued

Why Should You Hire a Bankruptcy Attorney?

Consumers that are planning on filing for bankruptcy may think it’s wise to go through the process alone without seeking the help of a bankruptcy attorney, but this can prove to be incredibly risky, especially if it’s a Chapter 7 bankruptcy which involves full elimination of the debt upon a discharge being issued. When someone…Continued

Combat Rate Hikes by Reviewing Your Insurance Policy

When you check your mailbox later this year, you may end up finding an unwelcome surprise: a letter stating your insurance premium will be increasing. If that’s the case, the next logical step would be to find ways to reduce your bill. If you are looking for ways to reduce your insurance bill, experts suggest…Continued

Citizens Insurance Seeks to Investigate Water Damage Claims

The board of governors at Citizens Property Insurance Corporation recently approved a $1.8 million contract with a company tasked with taking a look at the insurer’s ever increasing claims related to water damage in an effort to determine whether excessive charges are involved. The decision was unanimously approved. According to the chief of claims at…Continued

Heritage Forced to Withdraw its Petition on Rate Increases

Florida-based Heritage Property & Casualty Company recently withdrew its petition to raise homeowners insurance rates after heavy criticism and a review by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR). The company originally planned to raise rates by just over fourteen percent, despite recording a 7.4 million dollar profit for the year’s first quarter. Heritage is…Continued

What Not to Do During Your Bankruptcy Filing

Rapper 50 Cent filed for bankruptcy last year after a Florida woman won a $7 million judgment against him in an attempt to wipe out the debt as well as other business losses. Despite allegedly having no money, the rapper was caught on social media posting pictures of himself near wads of cash, an action…Continued

Will You Lose Your Home in a Bankruptcy?

Among the many questions a person may have when filing for bankruptcy is what will become of their home. Generally speaking, your home will be protected during a bankruptcy as long as your equity in the home is fully exempt. Even if your home’s equity is not fully exempt you could keep it if you…Continued

Citizens Seeks to Raise Its Rates

Florida has thankfully remained free of any major hurricanes for several years now, allowing major insurance provider Citizens Property Insurance to become financially stronger and leaner. And yet despite the fact that it’s been over a decade since there’s been a major storm, Citizens continues to force rate hikes upon its customers. Last month, Citizens…Continued

Insurers Are Restricting New Business and Renewals

Some Florida homeowners are finding themselves in quite the predicament: a lack of property insurance companies refusing to take on new business in South Florida ZIP codes with high claims rates. In some cases, these insurance companies are going as far as canceling or choosing not to renew policies in areas considered high risk. Increasing…Continued

Hurricane Preparedness

Hurricane season began on June 1st and as most people know, Florida is notorious for being one of the states most at risk for hurricanes or tropical storms due to its location. Being prepared is essential and could literally save your life. Regardless of how many or how hurricanes are predicted, you should always be…Continued

The Importance of Rule Enforcement

Let’s say you purchased a unit in a condominium when it was brand new. As with any other condominium, you likely received documents stating the rules and regulations imposed by the association which could restrict the level of customization you’re allowed to do such as restricting decorating or changing the landscaping around your front doors.…Continued

What to Do with a Debt Collector

There are many reasons why you may receive a call from a debt collector. Perhaps you fell behind on your bills due to a lack of employment, or maybe you forgot about an old debt. Now you’re receiving phone calls and letters, which can be frightening if you’ve never been in such a situation. By…Continued

What You Should Know About Post Bankruptcy

If you’ve been living in debt for numerous years, the feeling of finally being free of it after filing for bankruptcy can be incredibly liberating. You now have a clean slate to start rebuilding your life and start making better financial decisions as well as attain those things that once seemed out of your reach,…Continued

Condo Associations Are Charging Excessive Fees

Per Florida law, a condominium association is not allowed to charge applicants any more than $100 when they are applying to purchase or rent a unit yet condo associations are doing just that: violating the law. When a person applies for a unit, the application fee—which is nonrefundable—is meant to cover the costs involved in…Continued

Filing for Bankruptcy with Your Spouse

If you’re married and are planning on filing for bankruptcy, you may be debating whether to file a single or joint bankruptcy petition. Should you choose to file jointly, you and your spouse’s combined debts and property will be included in the bankruptcy. In most cases a joint bankruptcy petition is the best way to…Continued

The Problem with Overdraft Fees

For the many Americans that live paycheck to paycheck, it’s not easy to keep a close eye on a bank account among other responsibilities, and there may be a time when a person ends up unintentionally overdrafting, resulting in significant fees. These overdraft fees are big moneymakers for banks, earning them more than $15 billion…Continued

Understanding Re-Setting or Re-Aging Debts

If your debt ends up going into collections, there is a possibility it may change hands a couple of times due to a creditor selling the debt or contracting another agency in attempt to collect it, all of which can happen more than once depending on the amount of time that’s passed since the debt…Continued

Post Bankruptcy Tips

Are you ready to wipe the slate clean and embark on a road to a brighter financial future? Upon receiving a discharge of bankruptcy debts, there are a couple of things you’ll need to take care and be aware of to ensure long term success in your financial journey. You can begin by ensuring that…Continued

Do You Need to Have HO-6 Insurance?

A topic that may emerge during a condominium board/association meeting is insurance. If a board states that unit owners are not required to carry insurance, is that correct? If you were to examine Florida’s existing condominium laws, it does state that all owners must carry insurance for their units, doesn’t it? The Florida Condominium Act…Continued

Google Says No to Payday Loan Ads

Have you ever had to deal with a company offering payday loans? You may have come across them if you happened to be doing any related searches on Google. The search giant is now making sweeping changes and recently announced that it is banning all payday loan ads, citing concerns about the questionable lending practices.…Continued

The Costs of Filing for Bankruptcy

Perhaps the greatest cost of filing for bankruptcy is the emotional one. Unfortunately, there are also financial costs and fees that are involved when you choose to file, and it’s important to take these into account as you may be in a situation where you’re already low on funds. Let’s begin with the court fees. …Continued

Possible Changes to Contract Language may Make it Easier to Sue your Bank

If you read the fine print on a contract you sign with a bank, a credit card company or even payday lenders, you may notice terms explicitly barring you from joining a class-action lawsuit against that company. If Federal regulators have their way, this contract language will soon be banned. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau…Continued

Dealing with Debt Collection

When you have debt, the last thing you want to do is answer your phone. The anxiety of knowing there is a potential bill collector on the other end asking for money that you may not have causes stress, and sometimes these collectors can become incredibly rude.  While the Federal Trade Commission has made efforts…Continued

Getting Started with a Business Plan

So you’ve decided to start your own business, congratulations!  Starting a business can be an exciting and highly opportune experience, but there are steps that need to be taken prior to your grand opening.  For starters, you’ll need to develop a business plan which can seem intimidating as you’re essentially putting all of your business…Continued

Preparing for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

Filing for bankruptcy is time consuming and it involves a significant amount of paperwork, not to mention the emotional toll and stress involved.  For anyone filing for Chapter 7 for the first time, it’s important to know the right forms and necessary steps. Begin by doing an assessment of your finances and examining closely why…Continued

The Problem with Assignment of Benefits

Have you ever heard of “assignment of benefits”?  Private insurance companies are putting in requests to the state to approve two important policy revisions aimed at reducing losses from this practice.  Last month, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation gave Citizens Property Insurance Corporation the okay to limit costs involving emergency repairs after a loss…Continued

Understanding Student Loans

Student loans are the largest source of debt for American households. An average student graduates with a $25,000.00 loan balance and for many people, one of the several factors that lead to a bankruptcy filing is being unable to pay for student loans. Student loans are often a necessity for someone seeking to obtain his…Continued

Understanding Debt Settlement

If you’re struggling with credit card debt, there are options available to get out of it, but unfortunately these options are not as simple as you might like.  You may for example choose to apply for a loan to consolidate your loan at a lower interest rate, but this requires having a good credit score. …Continued

Taxes and Your Bankruptcy

Besides weighing the pros and cons of filing for bankruptcy, one thing many people fail to take into account are the tax-related consequences.  With the tax season deadline right around the corner, it’s worth taking a look at the subject and what you can expect. If you file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy there will be…Continued

Filing for Bankruptcy

Are you planning to file for bankruptcy?  This process can be emotionally painful, overwhelming, and stressful.  As with any process, the more you educate yourself and do your homework, the easier it will be to navigate the bankruptcy filing process, allowing you to start fresh with a clean slate and practice better financial decisions. Before…Continued