Last week, Chip Merlin posted “Insurance Company Declares War on Public Adjusters.” In this post, you can see a letter sent to one policyholder of Sawgrass Mutual, a mutual insurance company owned by its members. The letter invited insureds to a special meeting where a vote would be held to determine whether policyholders would be precluded from hiring public insurance adjusters.

Continue Reading Vote held by Sawgrass Mutual: Policyholders elect to bar themselves from using public insurance adjusters, but were they informed?

Governor Charlie Crist will certainly be asking himself the question whether the property insurance legislation before him is bad for average Florida insurance consumers. Yesterday’s afternoon post, Pay Higher Premiums and Get Less Coverage Legislation — Can Anybody Explain Why This is Good for Floridians? provided a simple explanation of why many are calling for Governor Crist to veto this legislation. The analysis is not easy because the proposed law was rolled into one massive piece of legislation, some very bad and some good. The media is starting to pick up the overall aspects of the proposed law.

Continue Reading Is the Proposed Property Insurance Bill Bad for the Average Florida Insurance Consumer?

The Sarasota Herald-Tribune conducted a year long investigation into the manner Florida insurance companies diverted premiums and monies as expenses and losses to hide actual profits. This revelation is probably shocking to many who have been told repeatedly that the Florida insurance industry is losing money as a result of "unfair" rates and for other claims related reasons.

Continue Reading Breaking News Story: Florida Insurers Hide Profits While Claiming Losses to Get Rates Raised

Julie Patel of the Sun-Sentinel published Battle Brewing Over Public Insurance Adjusters which was preceded by Florida Cabinet Tables Insurance Fee for Hurricane Claims: Fraud Suspected and a St. Petersburg Times article "State Delays Bond Sale for Hurricane Wilma Claims.” In each of these, the message from the insurance industry was clear:

The Florida Insurance Council, Property Casualty Insurers Association of America and the Florida Property Casualty Association issued statements Wednesday backing bills filed this week by Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, and Rep. Janet Long, D-Seminole. They say public adjusters — who represent homeowners in claims disputes with their insurer — inflate claims, driving up costs for all policyholders.

Continue Reading The Florida Insurance Lobby Currently Controls the Rhetoric Regarding Public Adjusting in Florida

Julie Patel, of the Sun Sentinel, reported that Florida officials and State Farm appear to be working towards a mutual solution to keep State Farm selling property insurance in Florida:

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty told the Florida Cabinet Tuesday that State Farm may not leave the state’s property insurance market as planned and the state is developing a report card on insurers to help consumers and increase competition.

“We’d like them to be a good neighbor so long as they are a fair neighbor," Gov. Charlie Crist said about McCarty’s prediction that State Farm will stay in Florida in a smaller form.

Continue Reading While State Farm May Stay in Florida, Appraisals May Go

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty is working tirelessly for fair treatment of insurance consumers. It is amusing that the Florida legislature may give into State Farm’s bullying and even allow higher insurance rates, which McCarty says are unnecessary. Some of our legislators are pandering to State Farm and the Florida insurance industry by using the usual "word spin" games. Deregulating rates under the guise of "consumer choice" will simply lead to higher premiums.

Continue Reading Kevin McCarty Battles for Consumers and Against Higher Rates

Most of the time, I battle large corporate insurers in David vs. Goliath like battles. I find it amusing that State Farm’s attorneys are struggling in this fight, given State Farm’s enormous size and power. Today, State Farm’s lawyers, lead by the very able Mark Delegal, are lobbying Florida’s leaders on a very anti-consumer bill. This bill would allow State Farm to charge whatever rate it wants. Florida Governor Charlie Crist is reportedly prepared to veto such legislation.

Continue Reading Does It Stay or Does It Go? State Farm’s Assault on Florida