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Numerous Homeowners Dropped Flood Insurance

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

Keep Your Roof in Good Shape

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

Watching the Movements of Tropical Storm Dorian

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

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

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

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

Prepare Florida Provides Useful Storm Resources

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

Have You Checked Your Policy Coverage?

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

With Insurance Reform, Will Rates Soon Decrease?

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

Florida Homeowners Show Greater Storm Concern

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

A Home Evaluation May Save You on Insurance

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

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

The Insurance Reform Bill Has Been Passed

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

Contractor Arrested for Alleged Assignment of Benefits Fraud

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

Florida Legislature Evaluates Insurance Related Bill

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

There May Be a Right to Repair Clause in Your Policy

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

Do You Have Coverage for Flood Damage?

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

Insurance Reform Bills Inch Closer to Reality

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

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

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

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

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

Florida Law Makes It Easier to Understand Flood Coverage

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

Florida 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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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