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Insurer Stresses the Importance of Avoiding Fraud

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

Items in Your Home Worth Insuring

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

Understanding Hurricane Categories

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

Should Hurricane Season Begin Earlier?

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

Your Insurance May Have Changed

As the official start of hurricane season looms, there are even more reasons to take a look at your home insurance and ensure the coverage meets your needs or those of your home. Based on the age of your home, policy terms may affect you significantly. Depending on the last time you took a close…Continued

Have You Made Your Flood Preparedness Plan?

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

Florida Is Now a Federal Disaster Area

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

Last Resort Insurer Seeks Rate Slowdown Solutions

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

Does Your Insurance Company Have the Right to Repair?

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

FEMA Is Revising Its South Florida Flood Maps

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

It’s Time for Your Home Check-Up

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

First Time Homeowner? Save Money on Repairs

It’s a new year and that means many people may be thinking about becoming first-time homeowners in 2020. Homeownership can be a rewarding milestone but it’s also one that comes with potential costs that need to be taken into account, alongside mortgage payments. A major difference between a homeowner and renting is that there is…Continued

Your Dream Home May Be a Flood Risk

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

South Florida Property Owners File Hurricane Dorian Claims

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

Major Storms Reinforce the Need for Protection

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

Prepare Your Home for the Next Storm

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

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

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 Rethinks Its Rate Hikes

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

Prepare Florida Provides Useful Storm Resources

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

Have You Checked Your Policy Coverage?

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

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

AOB Reform Bill Inches Closer to Becoming Law

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

Assignment of Benefits Bills Draw Criticism

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

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

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

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

Keep Your Home Safe from Fires This Holiday

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

Hurricane Michael and Roof Contractors

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

Hurricane Michael Serves as a Warning to Homeowners

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

Healthier Insurance Market Means More Policyholder Perks

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

Hurricanes 101

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

Insurers Score a Win in Assignment of Benefits Ruling

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

Florida 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

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

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

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

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