A year after the Florida Legislature and Governor Crist were duped by the insurance industry, legislation aimed at lowering the financial catastrophe of a major hurricane has been introduced to correct last year’s mistake.  See HB 983.  Last fall, I spoke with Alex Sink regarding her concern that the collapsing bond markets could make

 Tuesday was a rather interesting day.  Our firm helped win a $4.6 million dollar judgment for a panhandle Condominium Association last year. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation did not pay, as usual, but appealed.  I argued the case [Citizens Property Ins. Corp. vs. East Pass Towers II Condominium, No. 1D07-2727 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. oral argument Jan. 22, 2008)] for our client in Tallahassee, met with the Association representatives, and then made my way up the hill to the State Capitol where the Select Committee on Property Insurance Accountability was meeting. One of firm’s lobbyists briefed me on the schedule and introduced me to some of the panel members I had not previously met.  We wondered if the media attention and articles (Tom Zucco, No Auto for Allstate, St. Petersburg Times, January 17, 2008, at A1; Jerome R. Stockfisch, State Bans Allstate From writing any New Policies,  January 17, 2008, Tampa Tribune) following last week’s 0ffice of Insurance Regulation hearing would cause more attention to be focused on these proceedings. 

Continue Reading Insurance Industry Claims And Rate Practices Come Under Public Scrutiny

Following the passage of recent insurance legislation, I wrote an op-ed piece for the St. Petersburg Times noting that Floridians are now a Hurricane Katrina away from financial disaster. Recently, the St. Petersburg Times and Miami Herald have run stories finding that our elected politicians have also come to the same conclusion. 

Continue Reading How do we escape Florida’s financial insurance catastrophe?

Insurance is a business based on trust. If the public does not trust that you will pay claims promptly and for what is owed, your business will flounder.  Fair value assessments and prompt payments aren’t just expected by policyholders – they are required by every State insurance code. How this is going to happen is rarely open for public debate. Until now. Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is no longer an insurance company under Florida law. It acts like one, is subject to most of the insurance code, but it is the creation of the government and is the government….whatever that means.

Continue Reading Claims practices–what really concerns insurance companies