The Post…at any cost!

In an understandable attempt to close a painful chapter of ethical missteps, The Palm Beach Post editorial titled “Too much hot air in inflated homeowners market assessment”, gets it wrong….again.

And…AGAIN! [Read more...]

Barn Burners II

Last week you read of a hatchet job by the Palm Beach Post.  Writer Charles Elmore was hell bent on connecting the rates and underwriting of Citizens with the international travel necessary to save $233 million on reinsurance premiums.

Anything favorable to Citizens, or the reinsurance deal it secured, was sullied with Elmore’s fact selection, the words he put in the mouths of others, sales puffery he cut/pasted from travel brochures and spa pictures downloaded from the internet.

Not a good day for journalism.

[Read more...]

The Palm Beach Barn Burners!

Those with barrels of ink never really get their comeuppance.

But…when a major Florida daily that fancies itself an advocate for insurance consumers is accused by a leading advocate for insurance consumers of mistreating an insurance company, well…that’s about as close as it gets. [Read more...]

Water Extraction… Florida’s biggest cost driver?!

It’s Thursday, 2:15 in the afternoon. A Tallahassee plumber, who arrived at 9:00AM, has just left my home.

The result of a call from the utility company warning  of a potential water leak. My previous months water bill was $191.22 for 24,339 gallons of water (I had the sprinklers on every day).

But…since paying that bill I began hemorrhaging  nearly 128,610 gallons in three weeks at a cost of nearly $400.  And, I was told “… it’s still leaking!”

After checking the irrigation system (sprinklers) I discovered my worst water leak nightmare.  A pipe beneath the garage slab was leaking.  Water was pouring outside and into the neighbors yard.   Drywall was wet up to 18″ high.  Outside the brick wall was wet to the same height.  The fifteen year old indoor/outdoor garage carpet was soaked. [Read more...]

SEAN SHAW… for which people?!

Sean Shaw, a Democrat from Tampa and Florida’s former Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA) now favored to win the District 61 house seat (See Note #1 below), appears to have completely sold out.

True. His leanings were never much in question. Even as the ICA he pushed for free access to “Citizens”, meaningless sound-bite regulations like Insurer Report Cards and subsidies over sound premiums. The Charlie Crist Plan.

Occasionally dispensation is due statewide advocates representing inland policyholders and wealthy coastal homeowners simultaneously.

But, not anymore. Not for Shaw. [Read more...]

PA’s & Claim Inflation…it happens!

After my May 28 post titled “PA’s & Chip Merlin; “…until proven guilty!” I was contacted by a Miami public adjuster. He was “fed up” with his “entire profession.” He wanted to quit and do something else.

He talked about fraud and corruption. He spoke of fancy cars PA’s drive and how they couldn’t afford them if they acted ethically. He talked about how fraud is motivated by exorbitant contingency fees subtracted from amounts otherwise due the claimant.

Except for the anecdote on “fancy cars” I thought he was reading from one of my blogs. [Read more...]

CHARLIE’S CURSE

The curse of any perfectionist is in seeing only that which keeps perfection out of reach.  Never being thankful for what’s been gained. Never being satisfied with the status quo.

For me Florida’s improved property market is such a curse.  I’m a perfectionist.

The market, however, has it’s own curse–Charlie Crist’s overreaction to a temporary market adjustment. We were helpless as he stuck pins in the  industry voo-doo doll. Bragging as he did and chiding “…good riddance” to Florida’s future. [Read more...]

PA’s & CHIP MERLIN; “…until proven guilty!”

Despite declining ranks, a decade of reform and record level prosecutions, news of dishonest public adjusters hasn’t abated.  Prompting one subscriber to comment on my “failure” to report recent arrests.  A bit strong I thought. Frequency, after all, can jeopardize classifying some occurrences as news.  Besides most public adjusters are honorable. [Read more...]

Wilbur Jones & the Killer in the Keys!

This following story is timely for two reasons: one, hurricane season begins in a few weeks and; two, the National Hurricane Center just officially reclassified the Great Labor Day Hurricane of 1935 as the mightiest storm in history.  It replaces Hurricane Camille long thought worthy of such distinction.

I knew long ago the 1935 storm was the strongest ever. I knew because I interviewed one of its few survivors.  In my first book, “From Cartels to Competition”, I wrote about 24 year old Wilbur Jones.   Trapped inside an overturned rail road car,  he and others also were pinned beneath Henry Flagler’s rescue train.

I’ve just read that Jones,  formerly an insurance agent and well connected public figure, celebrated his 101st birthday. Perhaps his 1935 brush with death tells how fortunate we are today to have a Hurricane Center with advance warning systems.

Perhaps it’s a horrifying reminder of what mother nature may have in store beginning this June 1.  Enjoy! [Read more...]

Peoples Trust…some very good questions!

My postings on this blog site are often driven by my opinions. Opinions based on facts from everywhere and input from anyone in command of those facts.

In this report on Peoples Trust (PTIC) I’ll stick only to the facts and comments (good and bad) from others and refrain from personal speculation, (yes,  it’s possible).

You decide what it all means, if anything.  Feel free to share your thoughts with a published response below or an email to me directly. [Read more...]