Office of Insurance Regulation

Florida’s CFO Jeff Atwater must have had sticker shock when getting his bill for insurance renewal premiums. Last week, Atwater fired off a letter to Florida’s Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty asking why Florida insurance rates were still going up despite a drop in reinsurance rates.


Continue Reading Reinsurance Costs Drop But Not Florida Insurance Rates

Many states have prompt claim payment statutes.1 In Florida, we have myriad statutes aimed at facilitating the prompt adjustment of claims.2 So, are insurers adjusting claims as promptly as they should be? Here are statistics obtained by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation while conducting a market conduct examination of one of the largest homeowners insurance writers in the State of Florida (note: the below statistics were derived from a random survey of claims opened by the subject carrier over a period of approximately two years):


Continue Reading How Timely Is Florida Claim Adjustment?

People’s Trust Ranks Number 1 for complaints…again.

In Florida, the Office of Insurance Regulation is required by Florida Statute §624.313 to publish statistics and ratios on the complaints consumers submit against insurance companies. The OIR’s primary responsibility is regulation, compliance, and enforcement of statutes relating to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. The OIR must annually publish several categories of information about the insurance companies doing business in Florida.


Continue Reading Insurance Company Complaint Rankings for 2010 Have Been Released

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation “OIR” is required by Florida Statute §624.313 to publish statistics and ratios on the complaints consumers submit against insurance companies. Its primary responsibility is regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes relating to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. Florida Statute requires the OIR to annually publish several categories of information about the insurance companies doing business in Florida. When the 2010 report was released in February 2011, the report tabulated data on Consumer Complaints against insurance companies from complaints lodged in 2009 only.


Continue Reading Top 50 Florida Homeowner Insurers’ Consumer Complaint Stats from 2009

The Florida legislature and Office of Insurance Regulation should learn from insurance history, recent warnings, and common sense when it comes to building a stable Florida insurance marketplace. Former Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate, and now lawyer in the Merlin Law Group, Sean Shaw highlighted a fundamental flaw in Florida’s insurance marketplace in a recent St. Petersburg Times Letter to the Editor. He noted:

In reality, the lion’s share of the blame for the industry’s solvency issues falls squarely on its own shoulders. During the current five-year storm-free stretch, the state’s insurers have neglected to build their capital reserves to levels that would enable them to withstand the next major disaster. Instead, insurers send as much as 86 cents on the premium dollar overseas to reinsurers who are not obligated to conform to the regulations that act to protect consumers. Florida’s undercapitalized and overleveraged insurance companies are essentially slaves to these offshore reinsurers, who often charge five times the actuarial risk of loss simply because they can.

There is another dirty secret that the state’s insurance companies don’t want you to know. Despite all the self-pity, many Florida companies actually make sizable profits. Nearly every private insurer in the state has divided itself into several separate subsidiary companies that swap money in a veritable shell game to escape regulation.

According reporting by Paige St. John, between 2006 and 2008 Florida property insurers gave out more than $149 million in executive bonuses, perks and dividends to their holding companies while increasing Floridians’ rates by an average of 35 percent over the same period.


Continue Reading Florida’s Insurance Problem is Inadequate Surplus Growth During Good Years

Sinkhole claim information was collected from 215 insurance companies and the results were reported on November 8, 2010. Chip Merlin posted about the report and the absence of fraudulent sinkhole claims in his post, Florida 2010 Sinkhole Report Findings Published — Where’s the Fraud? A few other interesting points in the report also stand out and raise some interesting discussion topics.


Continue Reading Sinkhole Data Report Released By the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation — Public Insurance Adjusters Are Not Included In the Report

Sinkholes are a problem in Florida. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation conducted a data call study from insurers regarding the insurance issues created by this peril. One significant finding was the extremely low reported cases of fraud. Here is what the report said on that issue:

From 2006 through 2010, only 203 claims were reported to the Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud—less than 1% of the total claims reported. The number of alleged fraudulent claims peaked at just over 2% of the total claims reported in 2007.


Continue Reading Florida 2010 Sinkhole Report Findings Published—Where’s the Fraud?

Should Florida create a fourth state-run Insurance entity to cover sinkhole losses? This question was recently reported on by Julie Patel of the Sun-Sentinel. The question was raised during an Office of Insurance Regulation symposium held in Orlando. The attendees were primarily those in the insurance industry—insurance consumers are usually at work during the day.


Continue Reading What Will Sinkhole and Mold Claims Have in Common?