Archives for 2011

Tis the political season…

Tis the night before Christmas and all through the capitol, political creatures are stirring… especially in the Senate where Senator Mike Fasano handed the media a letter requesting the Chairman of the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee (B&I) to summon the president of Citizens to be grilled on camera (my words) about “…coverage changes and homeowner policy practices that will take effect on January 1.” [Read more…]

INDEPENDENT AGENTS…Be Forever Vigilant!

A recent article in the Insurance Journal, “Florida Agents Concerned About Homeowners Choice Contract”, touched so lightly on issues basic to the independent agent delivery system that many, obviously those at Homeowners Choice, may not fully recognize what’s at stake.

It reminded me of trying to explain to lawmakers that agents own their  book of business or why the policyholders’ information “belongs” to, or is owned by, the agent.   Reactions to my explanations ranged from incredulity to blank stares.

Perhaps more compelling, especially for agents who would sign a contract like the one Homeowners Choice offered, is…“why does ownership of information matter?” [Read more…]

CITIZENS BUILDERS RISK… Stop the Madness!

Recently a room of industry lobbyists was asked what they thought the source of Florida’s insurance problems might be.  “The real source”, they were cautioned, not just the ill-advised 2007 legislation we were all known to despise.  [Read more…]

Citizens RCV…A Good Job!

Suddenly there’s a cluster of articles, formal complaints, and political hay about Citizens replacement cost (RCV) calculation methodology. There are four reasons for this:

1) Citizens is finally getting serious about making sure it’s policyholders are insured to value.

2) Way too many Citizens policyholders are underinsured.

3) Those who are underinsured want to continue to pay even less than their subsidized,  rate-capped, Citizens policy should cost.

4) Those complaining and writing about it don’t have the vaguest idea of what they’re talking about.

Sound Familiar? [Read more…]

US BANK…Not So Fast!

Questions have arisen regarding the rescission by US Bank of an asinine requirement that  its Florida borrowers purchase sinkhole “activity” coverage.  It was the only lender to have such a mandate.  Neither Fannie or Freddie required it of lenders. Eighty percent of those in sinkhole alley insured in Citizens don’t buy it. [Read more…]

U.S. BANK…Rescinds Sinkhole Requirement!

In what I’m sure is a big disappointment to some, the only lender to require borrowers to purchase sinkhole activity coverage, U.S. Bank, has just announced it will no longer do so.

Activists used the false threat of foreclosure as a tool to limit Citizens sinkhole rate increase.  That’s done and over with but, the damage from it’s doing is not. [Read more…]

SHAW SAYS… “Just Stop!”

It’s hard to imagine a more transparent epistle than the one Sean Shaw sent to the Tallahassee Democrat.  He was attempting to recast an op-ed from Steve Pociask with the American Consumer Institute which pointed to Shaw as being, well…transparent.  [Read more…]

Citizens…The Case for Consumer Choice!

The last meeting of Citizens was both painful and profitable.  Board members followed Governor Scott’s directive to discuss various ideas that could reduce Citizens policy count and exposure and report their findings to the Cabinet on December 6th. [Read more…]

OCCUPY CITIZENS…A Letter to the Editor

I was taken recently by a letter to the editor of the Florida Times Union. It was signed by Tom Smith of St. Augustine and titled; “A Botched Deal”. Not only did its use of sarcasm capture my fancy, but…it focused on the irony of Citizens “assessments” and how they stick in the craw of those assessed; which, in the case of Citizens, is a lot of craws.

I thought you’d like to see what Tom Smith had to say, and how I would respond had his letter been sent to me.  Enjoy! [Read more…]

ADJUSTERS…In Memoriam!

I often report the negatives of the adjusting profession and on those within it who may take advantage of Florida’s legislative enactments. But…I’m ashamed to say I haven’t  mentioned that not all of them are so inclined and that the profession is not only an honorable one, but one involving difficult and, sometimes dangerous work. [Read more…]