Office of Insurance Regulation

A lawsuit by Olympus Insurance Company challenges Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation about issues of paying for property that matches following a repair. The lawsuit also challenges whether the Florida matching statute is a minimum limit of indemnity and if insurers can contract out of matching.
Continue Reading Is Florida’s Matching Statute a Minimum Limit of Required Indemnity or Can Insurers Contract Out of Matching?

Law and Ordinance Coverage is important for policyholders incurring a significant loss and faced with rebuilding to newer building codes and local ordinances, which generally increase the cost of construction. Florida has made significant changes to its building codes since Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992. Buildings are safer and stronger today than a few decades ago. But, the cost to make them safer and stronger is not inexpensive.
Continue Reading Law & Ordinance Exclusions and Coverage and Constructive Total Loss—A Florida Perspective

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 Closed Claim File Statistics Following Hurricanes

From left to right, JL Evans, Donice Krueger, Chip Merlin, Ron Delo, James and Rene Howard

Hurricane Michael insurance claims continue to take up a lot of time with Merlin Law Group attorneys. The photograph above is from dinner last night in Panama City, Florida, where the issues and problems of getting insurance claims resolved fully were the hot topic of discussion. Hurricane Michael has a lot of slow and low paying claims where insurers are wrongfully reporting to the Office of Insurance Regulation that the claim is administratively “closed” when it is anything other than being over from the policyholder’s view.
Continue Reading Hurricane Michael Claims Deserve Continued Attention By Florida Insurance Regulators

The Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) has issued an email authorizing Florida licensed public adjusters to hire anybody to make estimates of damage. This email corrects my latest two blogs which indicated that the OIR wanted to prevent those not licensed from working on insurance claims by determining valuations of loss and estimates of damage.
Continue Reading Florida Department of Insurance Says Anybody Hired By a Licensed Public Adjuster Can Participate in Preparing an Insurance Claim By Writing the Insurance Estimates of Damage

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

Almost two months ago I wrote a blog about the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation’s announcement it was issuing orders for insurance companies to end a 1.3 percent “emergency assessment” for the state-run Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, which provides backup coverage to insurers.1

Continue Reading Citizens Property Insurance Approves July 1, 2015 End to Surcharge

Each year the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) publishes an Annual Report for the prior year pursuant to Florida Statute Section 624.315. I was researching another issue when I thought this would be a good blog post. This report briefly describes OIR roles and responsibilities, summarizes major activities and accomplishments, and highlights the state of the Florida insurance market, insurance complaints and the impact of the insurance industry on the Florida economy. It also contains company financial, market share, and premium information.

Continue Reading Financial Data from the Office of Insurance Regulation May Surprise You