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

Hurricane Michael devastation and the similarity to other devastated areas is shockingly apparent to me. I lived in Panama City, Florida, and raced sailboats out of the St. Andrews Bay Yacht Club. Today, we represent the yacht club, longtime friends, iconic night clubs, a church, and numerous others as they try to get their lives, businesses, and community back on a road of recovery. Why can’t our leaders learn to do this better?
Continue Reading

Journalist Jennie McKeon

Reporter Jennie McKeon wrote an article (‘Blue Tarps’ Doc Shows The Aftermath of Hurricane Michael) about two filmmakers, Carrie Hunter and Austin Hermann, who recently released a significant documentary about Florida’s Panhandle following Hurricane Michael. I was struck by one quote from Carrie Hunter:

Literally every person we talked to said they felt forgotten . . . . This was one of the most powerful storms to hit and it hit some of the poorest and rural parts of Florida. Help and safety nets are not reaching everyone.


Continue Reading

Florida’s Insurance commissioner made the news a little over a week ago when his testimony, which you can watch above, indicated some bewilderment about why so many claims are still open a year after Hurricane Michael struck Florida’s Panhandle. Over 18,000 claims are reported as open.
Continue Reading

The time is now to button up those flood claims. The deadline for submission of the sworn statement of a Hurricane Michael flood loss, known as the Proof of Loss (‘POL”), is 365 days from the date of loss,1 which is October 10, 2019, for those in the Panhandle of Florida. The POL is the policyholder’s sworn statement for the amount of insurance proceeds requested under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (“SFIP”).
Continue Reading

Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier

One of the strongest worded notices to insurance companies to pay promptly and do whatever it takes to help policyholders following a disaster came from Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier in a December 19, 2018 memorandum entitled Hurricane Michael Claims Response.
Continue Reading

“Not with Hurricane Michael claims” is the answer to these questions being screamed by policyholders, contractors and public adjusters. The blog title and questions were plucked from CJW’s website which also says most adjusters have a difficult time making accurate estimates but CJW does not because their adjusters “work ‘round the clock” to make accurate estimates:

Accuracy: how easy it is to claim (and most adjusters do). How difficult it is to fulfill.

At CJW, high accuracy and precise teamwork are a way of life. From in-depth analysis of the policy to determine the limits of coverage…to daily reviewing of exposures and minimizing the risks of over- or under-reserving. CJW’s seasoned TPA managers will work ’round the clock, if necessary, to make sure all data, files and reports are as close to the mark as is humanly possible.

But then, isn’t that just what you’d expect from masters of the craft?1
Continue Reading

Facts are stubborn, but statistics are more pliable.
—Mark Twain

Closed claim file statistics reported by various departments of insurance following hurricanes seem absurd to those in the impacted areas and those working in the insurance claim business. The root of the problem is that most departments of insurance put pressure on insurance companies to close claims fast and provide high percentages of closed claims. So, insurance companies “administratively close” files to meet regulatory requirements and the politicians look good in the press reporting what everybody knows are fabricated numbers. The files then are reopened to make more payments and then closed again.
Continue Reading

Larry Bathgate was my co-counsel on 23 municipal insurance claims Following Superstorm Sandy and countless commercial and residential claims as well. We spoke on Friday evening and Saturday morning about our former clients, the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore and our law practices. From my view, there has been an amazing transformation and it was gratifying to see the American patriotism in Bay Head, New Jersey, with hundreds of American flags everywhere.


Continue Reading