Archives for 2016

Assignment of Benefits— Lawyers “lie to court”

You’ve read my past opinions on the reprimands judges have given to some Florida plaintiff’s attorneys.  In describing their bad behavior court documents contain phrases like “trifled with the justice system” and the words “perpetrated”, “fraud” or “deception” –all to describe trial attorneys and firms doing what they too often accuse insurers of doing; “acting in Bad Faith.”   

Nothing confirms bad faith by some plaintiff firms and their complicity with public adjusters more than the recent case of Auto Owners vs. Summit Townhomes—a Colorado suit involving one of Florida’s leading lawsuit mills, the Merlin Law Group.  (See Note #1 below) [Read more…]

The War Against Managed Repair!

While I write these words millions of homeowners are still mopping up after Hurricane Matthew. Some have lost their homes. Others their lives.  Concomitantly, after meticulously implementing their Cat Plans, Florida insurers, agents and emergency personnel of every breed worked, literally 24/7, to return property and persons to pre-storm condition.  (See Note #1 below)

Shameful that too many responders are of a different persuasion–Matthew is to them, what the civil war was to carpetbaggers—a disgraceful occasion to profit.

Always in the name of consumers! [Read more…]

WILBUR JONES..In Memoriam!

A while back a former insurance agent and friend of mine, Wilbur Jones, celebrated his 101st birthday by having dinner at one of Tallahassee’s premier downtown venues, appropriately named…the 101 Restaurant.

This morning I read the sad news that Wilbur Jones had passed away, dying of natural causes at the age of 104.

He was an unusual man to say the least.  [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits–ditto for any vendor!

No one really needs more proof that remediators of all types conspire to defraud the public.  I certainly don’t.  Not when it comes to Assignment of Benefits (AOB).

Even when exposed for having done so they and their attorneys will often play the blame game, so their fraud game, can continue to bring home the bacon.  Blame each other, blame the policyholder.  Blame it on a billing mistake that’s been corrected or a bad employee that’s been disciplined or fired.

Then…do it all over again! [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits—For what it’s worth!

Just FYI: while well worth reading, this blog is more of a lamentation than my usual analysis and opinion.  Take it for what it’s worth.

Recall that in my immediate preceding blog I wrote of a threat I received during the Insurance Consumer Advocates (ICA) water loss forum in Boca Raton.  It happened prior to my presentation, and was an obvious attempt by a trial lawyer at intimidation–specifically, “play nice” or get a “desist letter”.

In that blog I concluded we may all be playing a little too nice. [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits…”playing too nice?”

Hats off to Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA), Sha’Ron James!

When any public figure conducts a public meeting, especially one dealing with insurance, it’s a tightrope at best, requiring both patience and parliamentary acumen.  Her decision to host a water loss forum in southeast Florida (6/14/16, Boca Raton) not only salutes her skill on the high wire, but… it shows determination to help consumers despite others who appear less inclined. [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits—Regulate Drying Firms?

I’ve heard it said many times that when it comes to Assignment of Benefits… “Florida cannot regulate its’ way out of the crisis”.  

Regulation, after all, hasn’t stopped bad practices for those who are already regulated.  Roofers are one example.  Plumbers another–they’re regulated but still accept exorbitant kickbacks in the form of referral fees and are thus complicit in, and partially responsible for, the inflation of invoices from those paying the kickbacks. [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits–Real Reform!

With less than a week to go in the 2016 legislative session AOB reform is, again, dying. There’s a small chance of something limited. Banning referral fees and kickbacks for example. But… most industry lobbyists are prepared to scuttle anything limited only to referral fee’s without reforming attorney fees and AOB. [Read more…]

Assignment of Benefits–Conspiracies & Theories!

Gotta hand it to Citizens! It’s recent study of water losses, Assignment of Benefits (AOB), and the fraud attendant thereto was not only an irrefutable rifle shot at both the extent and root of the problem but, it’s release was impeccably timed. [Read more…]

Kevin McCarty…Right Man, Right Time!

After twelve years working for three governors, Florida’s tenth insurance commissioner has resigned his post effective May 2, 2016. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Attorney General Pam Bondi will struggle mightily to fill the void. Governor Scott will offer up a name and if Atwater agrees, the entire Cabinet will vote to replace the irreplaceable Kevin McCarty. [Read more…]