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The Florida Insurance Roundup from Lisa Miller & Associates

The Florida Insurance Roundup from Lisa Miller & Associates

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"The Florida Insurance Roundup" podcast from Lisa Miller & Associates, is your program on the people, issues, and regulations shaping Florida’s Insurance Market. Lisa, a former deputy insurance commissioner, brings you the latest developments in Property & Casualty, Healthcare, Workers' Compensation, Litigation, and Surplus Lines insurance from around the Sunshine State. She is a nationally-recognized disaster insurance and recovery expert. Based in the state capital of Tallahassee, Lisa Mil ...
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A new report claims that Florida's property insurance market is full of “low quality insurers,” especially those Florida-based companies that write the bulk of the 7.5 million homeowners and condo insurance policies. It casts aspersions on Demotech, the rating agency that reviews their financial stability. Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commission…
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How will the insurance bills that passed in the recently completed 2024 Florida legislative session compliment past marketplace reforms? Is a property insurance market marred by carrier insolvencies in recent years and ongoing double-digit rate increases starting to stabilize? Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commissioner Lisa Miller talks with two …
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Ray Shelton, Ph.D. is a nationally-known expert on stress and the impacts it has on frontline personnel in disasters and other crises. He is a Fellow and the Director of Professional Development for The American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress, in Miller Place, New York. He’s seen tragedy first-hand over 35 years serving with the Nassau Coun…
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Advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are getting closer to providing insurance companies with a new underwriting tool to combat fraud: the ability to review meeting minutes and other public documents from homeowners and condominium associations, whose communities are home to nearly half of Florida’s 22.3 million residents. …
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Media coverage has intensified over an allegation by three independent insurance adjusters that Florida property insurance companies are cheating their policyholders out of rightful claim payouts. The three accuse the industry of altering their field adjuster reports and reducing claim payouts – all without their knowledge or approval. Former Flori…
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An interim report submitted to the Florida Building Commission says that Southwest Florida coastal communities impacted by last September’s Hurricane Ian were “ill-prepared” for the storm surge and flooding, despite lessons on wind mitigation learned from Hurricane Charley 18 years earlier. Ian was the costliest storm in Florida history, killing 15…
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The December 2022 property insurance market reforms passed by the Florida Legislature are making a big difference already, with fewer and less severe non-hurricane claims and fewer daily lawsuits, according to a major Florida insurance company. Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commissioner Lisa Miller talks with Stacey Giulianti of Florida Peninsula…
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Florida property insurance companies, their policyholders, and repair contractors are starting the New Year with a new law designed to reform an out-of-control marketplace. The Florida Legislature in December passed comprehensive measures to stem high insurance and reinsurance rates, carrier insolvencies, inflated claims, excessive litigation, and …
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The Florida Legislature is meeting in special session the week of December 12 to address two issues vital to Florida’s economy: disaster relief for Hurricane Ian victims and further insurance consumer protections for homeowners across the state. Property insurance and reinsurance rates have grown by 100% or more in the past three years, yet insuran…
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Most damage from Hurricane Ian appears to be from flooding, rather than wind, and thus won’t be covered under most Florida homeowners insurance policies. Insurance adjusters face a challenging job now determining whether it was wind or water or both that damaged a home, and in some cases in what order, for hundreds of thousands of properties across…
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Alternative dispute resolution – including appraisal – is playing an increasingly important role in settling homeowners property insurance claims. Florida’s 2019 Assignment of Benefits (AOB) law requires third party contractors to utilize these alternatives before filing a lawsuit against an insurance company, if required by the policy. Former Flor…
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The Florida Legislature in a May special session passed a series of reforms to help stabilize a property insurance market that has seen a growing number of carriers stop writing business or becoming insolvent. Homeowners rates keep growing by double-digits and coverage is increasingly difficult to obtain. Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commissione…
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The Florida Legislature will meet in a special session May 23-27 called by Governor Ron DeSantis to “bring some sanity and stabilize” Florida’s property insurance market. Homeowners are suffering big rate increases and some have lost their coverage, while a growing number of insurance companies are going insolvent or reducing or eliminating their p…
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Beside their direct impact on Florida homeowners, multiple double-digit rate increases in property insurance are impacting Florida’s real estate market as well. If rates continue to rise, there’s concern they will affect the availability and affordability of insurance for new homebuyers. Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commissioner Lisa Miller expl…
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The Florida Legislature begins its 2022 session on January 11. Among the bills filed are those seeking enhanced insurance consumer protection, greater safety for high-rise condominium buildings following the Surfside collapse, COVID-19 relief, controls on prescription drug costs, and legislative redistricting. Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commis…
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Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier told a legislative committee in late September that the state’s property insurance market is in “critical condition” with a growing number of insurance companies losing money and consumers facing continued double-digit rate increases. A new set of reforms designed to help is already being challenged in …
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In the wake of the Champlain Towers South condominium building collapse, insurance companies are looking to tighten their underwriting requirements on Florida condo association policies. Policy renewal premiums are expected to increase up to 25% for those that can’t show a good building maintenance record. While the commercial residential market ti…
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Florida’s new property insurance reform law takes effect on July 1. While its intent is good, Florida policyholders are in desperate need for the law to have a significant impact on double-digit rate increases and questionable door-to-door solicitation practices. Will it deliver? Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commissioner Lisa Miller walks us thr…
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The Florida Legislature has passed a property insurance reform bill designed to stem double-digit rate increases, costly claims practices, and excessive litigation. While the bill awaits the Governor’s expected signature into law, there are questions about just how effective it will really be. Host Lisa Miller, a former Florida Deputy Insurance Com…
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Florida’s residential and commercial property insurance market is in a precarious state of flux, for both insurance companies and consumers. Old hurricane claims, litigation abuse, and fraudulent repair tactics have led to big underwriting losses and rising reinsurance rates. Those are being passed along to Florida residents in double-digit rate in…
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Whether you’re an insurance consumer or professional, 2020 is providing lessons and insight into the changing Florida insurance market for 2021. How can you get the best priced coverage for your needs? And for insurance professionals, how can you better serve your customers now and in the long-run? Host Lisa Miller, a former Florida Deputy Insuranc…
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As hurricane season heats up, a growing number of properties located outside of FEMA-designated high-risk flood zones are actually flooding. The problem is especially bad in the urban areas of America’s cities. A national survey shows nearly 85% report experiencing urban flooding. Insurance claims are on the rise, too. Host Lisa Miller, a former de…
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The invisible coronavirus' crushing impact is being felt by businesses small and large – and on the insurance companies that insure those businesses. But for those organizations with business interruption policies, do they have a valid insurance claim because the government shut them down and/or their business was "interrupted"? There’s a lot of di…
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In the six months since legislative reform, insurance companies report the number of Assignment of Benefit (AOB) claims in Florida are way down as are related lawsuits. But they’re also seeing new strategies by contractors and their attorneys to work around the reforms. On the other side, contractors complain that without the “old AOB,” they’re get…
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The Florida Legislature begins its 2020 session this Tuesday, January 14 amid growing concern about the state’s property insurance market. Two carriers have failed in recent months. Others are seeking rate increases of up to 30% to stem rising reinsurance and litigation costs. Future financial ratings downgrades on some Florida domestic insurance c…
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Two hundred Mexico Beach, Florida homes sitting beach block from the Gulf of Mexico, yet labeled X-Zone, FEMA’s lowest risk for flooding, were nearly wiped out by 2018’s Hurricane Michael. Many of those residents had no flood insurance, complicating which damage from the Category 5 storm may or may not be covered by their homeowners insurance. In f…
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Recent disasters and the growing number of open insurance claims are creating renewed interest in an alternative to costly litigation in resolving claims disputes: mediation. While claim frequency is down, claim cost is way up – more than five times what it was 20 years ago. Unnecessary and abusive litigation, including Assignment of Benefits (AOB)…
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Not only was the Florida Building Code not fully effective in buildings damaged by Hurricane Michael, but neither were mitigation efforts designed to fortify our homes and businesses, according to a new FEMA report. A team of building experts conducted an assessment of 350 structures affected by Michael’s Category 5 winds that reached upwards of 16…
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As Hurricane Dorian bears down on Florida, two reports that examined damage from last fall’s Hurricane Michael have mixed reviews on building construction in Florida’s Panhandle. While newer homes built after the 2002 Florida Building Code was enacted suffered less structural damage than older homes, the roof cover loss and siding damage was just a…
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The July 4 earthquakes that hit South Central California are a fresh reminder that California's population is the most susceptible in the country to major earthquakes. So why is it, that earthquake insurance is no longer required as a condition for California mortgages? Especially, when wind insurance is required throughout the state of Florida and…
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Florida’s seven year wait for meaningful reform of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse is over. The Florida Legislature has passed a measure to level the playing field for consumers and reduce the skyrocketing rates of litigation filed by vendors against insurance companies, driving double-digit rate increases. Hailed as a “wake-up call for the bad …
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For the seventh time in as many years, the Florida Legislature this spring of 2019 is considering bills to reform abuses of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) insurance contracts between vendors and property owners. AOBs allow contractors to take control of a homeowner’s insurance policy and bill their insurance company directly for repair work – sometim…
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The Florida Legislature convenes its 2019 session next Tuesday, March 5. The big insurance issue: the growing cost of property insurance claims litigation. But there are also bills that would change Florida’s no-fault auto insurance and more than 200 bills funding much-needed Hurricane Michael relief to the 14 Panhandle counties still struggling wi…
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2018 was a tough year for flooding in the United States, and nowhere worse than in the Carolinas, where Hurricane Florence dumped three feet of rain in spots. Damage is estimated at $13 billion but at least half of that is uninsured – as most residents had no flood insurance. While some didn’t know they needed it, others took a gamble by going with…
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The Thousand Oaks, California bar shooting. The Pittsburgh synagogue massacre. Just two of the recent mass shootings across the country involving what police term as an “active shooter.” The worst to date in Florida was the Valentine’s Day 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Broward County, in which 17 people were killed and 17…
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Hurricane Michael struck Florida’s panhandle in October 2018 as a strong Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of 155 miles per hour. At least 29 people in Florida died in the storm or its aftermath and another 10 people in Georgia, North Carolina, and Virginia, as of this recording. Beyond the cost in human lives, is the cost of rebuilding homes,…
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Former Florida Deputy Insurance Commissioner Lisa Miller was interviewed by Tom Flanigan on WFSU-FM, National Public Radio for Florida, just hours before Hurricane Michael made landfall on the Florida panhandle. She shared with listeners the importance of staying safe prior to and during the storm, how to handle any damage and prepare an insurance …
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It’s an insurance agent – it’s an adjuster – it’s an underwriter – no, it’s an Insurance Nerd! In an industry that sometimes screams boring and is full of complex, technical jargon, comes a refreshing team of veteran insurance professionals that are out to change that. Their goal: to engage younger people considering different career paths and show…
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The real estate market and the insurance market are intertwined – in fact, “property” is literally the first word in property & casualty insurance. Both are highly value-based, as higher property values require higher insurance premiums to provide adequate coverage. But there’s a bigger picture: the connection between real estate and promoting inve…
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The emerging distributed ledger software technology Blockchain, being developed for use in financial transactions, has applications in how we manage insurance information, too. It could one day be used to reduce Florida’s nearly 27% rate of uninsured drivers – the highest in the nation – while providing added convenience and money-saving efficienci…
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The aftermath of the Parkland, Florida school shooting and other major casualty events can greatly impact the insurance companies that provide liability policies to schools, hotels, and other venues. While these policies traditionally cover a variety of more ordinary events, some policies never contemplated – and priced the risk for – the increasin…
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Congress is pushing into 2018 a decision on how to reform the beleaguered National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) that 1.8 million Floridians depend on for their property flood protection. Congress must reauthorize the program as well, because without it, federally-backed home mortgages which require flood coverage for high-risk zoned properties co…
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Florida homeowners, businesses, and other property owners have been assessing the damage from Hurricane Irma and begun filing claims with their insurance companies. Those claims are expected to number in the hundreds of thousands from the first major hurricane to hit Florida in 12 years. How are insurance companies responding? How will they be able…
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The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation recently approved two first-of-their-kind programs designed to help the state’s property insurer of last resort – Citizens Property Insurance Corporation – control the rapidly rising claims and litigation costs among its current 450,000 policyholders. Citizens will now be able to limit coverage on non-weat…
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Aided by new state legislation this year designed to encourage a robust private flood insurance market in Florida, the number of companies writing flood policies has nearly doubled in the last year, while Congress works this summer to reform the federal government’s beleaguered National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Meanwhile, new technology is m…
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Just in time for the start of hurricane season, the Florida Legislature has made it even easier for private insurance companies to write flood coverage in the Sunshine State. The private market is seen as a much-needed alternative to the debt-ridden, increasingly expensive, federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Even more so …
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The Florida Legislature ended its 2017 session this week three days late – and without passing most of the major insurance-related bills. These include Assignment of Benefits reform, Workers’ Compensation reform as mandated by the state Supreme Court, and No-Fault Personal Injury Protection automobile insurance reform. What went wrong? Host Lisa Mi…
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The Florida Legislature is once again trying to decide what to do with the state's 45 year-old No-Fault Automobile Insurance coverage law – more specifically, how to handle the persistent fraud that keeps increasing and with it, automobile insurance rates. But one component that's rarely talked about is the Bad Faith doctrine - and the third-party …
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They come to your house peddling offers of a free roof, courtesy of your insurance company. Regardless of whether you’ve suffered serious enough storm damage to warrant a total roof replacement, these scam artists have you sign an “AOB”– an Assignment of Benefits – that takes away your rights and benefits of insurance claims proceeds and puts it in…
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Although Florida accounts for nearly 40% of the National Flood Insurance Program policies, it remains a huge donor state to this federal monopoly, with property owners here paying $4 in premiums for every $1 in claims received. Maria Wells, President of Florida Realtors, has been a driving force behind efforts to encourage a private flood market in…
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