COVID-19 & THE FLORIDA ECONOMY

While this blog site typically reports on matters pertaining to Florida’s Property & Casualty industry, the evolving situation with respect to COVID-19 warrants some attention.  Florida, for many reasons, differs from other impacted venues and data courtesy of SUNBURNThe morning read of what’s strategic in Florida Politics (See Note #1 below), can provide a better understanding of what we may be facing.   [Read more…]

TURMOIL… Again?

Please forgive my writing about something that so many others have already written about and about which you may already have adequate knowledge, but…Florida’s residential property insurance marketplace is in turmoil…again!

Extending back to post Hurricane Andrew, later the 04/05 storms, the ill-advised HB-1A and perhaps other less notable periods, it’s happened many times before.

So, you may be asking… “if it’s happened before and we already know it’s happening now, why are you writing about it?”  Quick answer: because what’s happening now is much worse than what’s happened before and what happened before was only three years ago. [Read more…]

AOB UNDER ATTACK…Happy New Year!

How predictable for 2020 to kick off with attacks on 2019’s starlight insurance reform, Assignment of Benefits (AOB).  [Read more…]

Hurricane Dorian & Rytech… A Water Firm You Can Trust

Hurricane Dorian is now expected to hit Florida even harder than previously thought, prompting a widened state of emergency. The storm is on track to make landfall early Monday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane — it could be the strongest direct hit to Florida’s east coast since Hurricane Andrew in 1992 . Due to the uncertainty of landfall, Governor DeSantis has expanded his previous emergency declaration to include all 67 Florida counties.

It is slated to be a very wet storm with the potential for huge water losses.  Even without such an event, over 50% of an average agency’s property losses are due to water.  For some carriers water losses can approach 60% of their residential property claims count.

Keep in mind, resources for every vendor and carrier will likely be exceeded, creating delays, confusion and all of the usual challenges stemming from a Hurricane. It’s impossible to adjust or remediate claims when personnel cannot get to Florida or to the site of a loss.  Patience in the face of immense challenge is always a virtue. Things will get hectic in the coming days for agents as well.

For all these reasons it’s appropriate to reiterate that Johnson Strategies recommends Rytech to agents as a firm focused on satisfying both your clients and your carriers. [Read more…]

NON-DECISION ON AOB–Not as Bad as it Sounds!

Despite its previous decision to review the case, on Monday July 29th  Florida’s Supreme Court  reversed itself, announcing it would NOT answer the question of whether insurers could use policy language that required approval of AOB’s by “All Named Insureds.”   [Read more…]

“What’s Past is Prologue!”

The ink from Governor DeSantis’s signature on HB-7065 wasn’t even dry when some of Florida’s worst trial lawyers began perverting reform benefits into billable hours.

Two days after the Legislature adopted HB-7065 (April 24), Harvey Cohen, the self-described “Johnny Appleseed of AOB”,   posted a YouTube video imploring his unscrupulous minions to quickly send him all their AOB cases. This, in an apparent attempt to squeeze in more suits before July 1, the effective date of the new law. [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits–Restoration Association of Florida?

Google “fronting organizations” and you’ll find a variety of definitions and examples.

Wiktionary says a fronting organization is one that “…secretly acts as the public face of a covert group.”  Wikipedia says it’s “…any entity set up by and controlled by another organization”.  Examples are intelligence agencies, organized crime groups, banned organizations, religious groups, political groups,  corporations, and… “advocacy groups”. [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits—It’s About Rates!

Pssst… abuse of Assignment of Benefits is about insurance rates!

Sure, hundreds of lives are upset by scammers twisting the original intent of AOB.  And yes, this generates exponential increases in litigation. And sure, if you insist…it’s because some roofers, public adjusters, water firms, plumbers and attorneys are simply greedy, but…

…AOB is mostly about the gargantuan premiums we will all be paying if trial lawyers in the legislature continue to roadblock reforms. (See The Politics of AOB) [Read more…]

ASSIGNMENT OF BENEFITS–the Politics of AOB!

Those looking to understand the politics of AOB need look no further than the next two words: ATTORNEY FEES!

At its core, Assignment of Benefits is a scheme birthed by one law firm and materially employed by roughly two dozen others—solely to stuff their pockets via a perversion of Florida’s well intended “one-way” attorney fee statute fs. 627.428. (fs. 626.9373 for the non-admitted market). [Read more…]

My Mediation Story!

I may have been in the insurance industry for 40 years, but…when it comes to Florida’s mediation statute, I’ve been a lay person.  I had no idea how useful and easy (and free) state sponsored mediation could be. That’s until December 2010 when, late one holiday evening, our cozy fireplace popped a small flaming ember onto the rug immediately in front of the hearth.

In the seconds it took to find the TV remote and pause our movie, locate the appropriate fireside tool and flick the menacing cinder back from whence it came,  a silver-dollar sized hole was seared into our high-end, deep pile carpet. [Read more…]