Mortgage servicers, banks, and their accountants must sign off under federal regulations that the loans that they package and are underwritten by Fannie Mae comply with certain requirements, including those involving insurance. If the mortgage does not have the proper insurance, it cannot be part of the Fannie Mae backed system. The Florida Senate passed insurance legislation which clearly jeopardizes the chances of home ownership by Floridians with a Fannie Mae mortgage because it is non-compliant. Worse is that when many Floridians buy that type of non-compliant insurance, they may have the additional burden and expense of the mortgage servicer adding force-placed coverage.
Continue Reading Florida Senate Passes Insurance Bill That Will Make Mortgages Non-Negotiable Under Federal Regulations

Paige St. John wrote a Pulitzer winning series on the corruption of Florida’s insurance industry and propaganda by the insurance company trade associations nearly nine years ago. I was thinking about this and one particular article, How Florida Insurers Make Millions On The Side, when the Security First CEO blamed the furious and upset policyholders for hiring attorneys to help them get their claims paid. I suppose the Security First claims department was counting on policyholders just giving up?
Continue Reading How Florida Insurers Make Millions on The Side

It has been almost eight months since Hurricane Michael devastated the eastern side of the Florida Panhandle. Not surprisingly, many residents and business owners are exhausted. Exhausted in the deepest sense—exhausted from waiting, exhausted from hoping, exhausted from failed promises made by their insurer, which benefited from premiums faithfully paid, only to find out that their insurer has “exhausted” its obligation to them. What is the recourse for the insured who has purchased insurance coverage to protect against a catastrophe such as Hurricane Michael? Will an insured be indemnified under its contract of insurance, including recovery of the costs and expense to pursue the benefits of the policy in court if necessary?
Continue Reading Attorneys’ Fees and Costs for the Prevailing Insured

Insurance regulation is important. Unlike other commercial products, insurance is a product that serves the public trust. Without regulation, history has proven that insurers cannot control themselves. They go broke just when we need them the most and their claims practices, if unchecked, can be atrocious.

States with a strong admitted marketplace should be encouraged. States without a strong admitted marketplace run the risk of outrageous rates, bankrupt insurers and the lack of an insurance market which meets the needs specific to that state. Florida, with its peculiar geographic risk to hurricanes, especially needs a strong admitted market.
Continue Reading Insurance Regulation and the Attack on Admitted Insurance Carriers in Florida

After Hurricane Michael, on October 15, 2018, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an Emergency Order No. 234790-18-EO, that affected insurers writing insurance in the following counties affected by Hurricane Michael: Bay, Calhoun, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Hamilton, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Leon, Liberty, Madison, Suwannee, Taylor, Wakulla, and Washington Counties.
Continue Reading Cancellation of Property Insurance Policies in Florida after Hurricane Michael

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently released updated data from Hurricane Irma.1 A quick review of the data paints an interesting picture. While we all know that Irma did substantial damage in Florida, the sheer size of the numbers is still daunting. Almost one million claims have been reported (997,237) totaling over $10,000,000,000.00 in estimated damage. These are the numbers self-reported from insurers.
Continue Reading Hurricane Irma Claims Data Update

You filed a claim with your insurance company after suffering a loss and it is refusing to pay what is owed under your insurance policy – what now? One of your options is to file a Civil Remedy Notice of Insurer Violation, or CRN, with the Department of Financial Services. The CRN serves as notice to the insurance company that a bad faith claim is forthcoming.
Continue Reading Civil Remedy Notices – What Are They and What Do They Require?

Over the past year , I have received numerous mailings from People’s Trust Insurance Company, like many other Florida policyholders.
Continue Reading People’s Trust Insurance Company Has Assertive Marketing Campaign Aimed to Attract Policyholders–But Is it Somewhat Deceiving to the Untrained Eye?