Advocacy

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…]

Weiss Ratings…three reasons for “no credibility”!

The problem with an insurer rating agency that confirms the suspicions of those who don’t understand insurance is that it becomes the de facto standard. The Palm Beach Post, the Herald Tribune, The Tampa Times and reporters like Charles Elmore, Daniel Ruth, Jeff Harrington and others, have spread fear using bogus ratings from Jupiter based, Weiss Ratings, Inc. [Read more…]

BIG BUBBA’S CATFISH & INSURER RATINGS

Had a far ranging conversation recently with a friend and lobbyist regarding Florida’s domestic property carriers. He asked… “What can we do about agents that keep telling their clients domestic insurer’s are thinly capitalized?”

First, I reminded him that independent agents would never intentionally deride carrier’s in which they’ve placed clients. Makes no sense.

But, here’s the rub. [Read more…]

Charlie’s “new” Plan & The Way We Were

You’ve already heard about Charlie Crist’s New Insurance Plan.  A rewrite of the historical record  ignoring some facts and distorting others to obfuscate damage from the first insurance plan he pushed through in early 2007. [Read more…]

Peoples Trust Complaint Ratio

The ink was still wet when I began hearing from agents, and others, on my post about changes at Peoples Trust.  It seems that, according to the OIR’s most recent report, the Complaint Ratio for Peoples (5.44) is worse than any other carrier, including Citizens (1.0234). [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…]