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October 2011 Archives

Horrors! Halloween hijinks are hassles for hapless homeowners p2

In our last post, we were talking about the risks associated with Halloween. As wonderful as it is, Halloween can turn into a nightmare if a trick-or-treater slips and falls in a homeowner's yard. It's also a time of year that presents a host of opportunities for vandals and thieves. Property insurance policies may cover pranks and cranks, but there may be a few easy ways to avoid that injury or damage altogether.

Horrors! Halloween hijinks are hassles for hapless homeowners

It seems a shame, but Halloween is really pretty risky. In the "old days," the primary concern was about tainted candy. Urban legends abound about the innocent 5-year-old trick-or-treater in a Miami suburb -- right on the block where a friend of a friend lives -- who bites into a rosy red apple, only to find a razor blade or surgical needle. You couldn't swing a black cat without hitting some kind of terrifying tale of danger to life, limb and property.

Florida's hurricane fund is short $3.2 billion, concl.

In our last post, we were talking about the state's Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. The fund was established to help Florida's property insurance companies pay claims after a major storm. Recently, financial analysts determined that the fund, in its current state, would be unable to cover a big storm.

No big storms, but Florida's hurricane fund is short $3.2 billion

Miami remembers Hurricane Andrew. The 1992 storm devastated South Florida and swept away the reserves of insurance companies in the area. Florida lawmakers responded by establishing a hurricane fund that would help insurers pay homeowners' property claims if a storm were to level part of the state.

CLASS dismissed, voluntary program not sustainable

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has been over the numbers time and again, but it just won't work. Last week, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told Congress that the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports program can never be actuarially sound. The insurance program was to have been established under the Affordable Care Act.

Air race tragedy leaves event in limbo and insurers at a loss

The human cost alone was appalling. Last month, 11 people died and 74 were injured -- some horribly so -- when a modified World War II plane crashed into the crowd of spectators at the National Championship Air Races. As one witness said, it looked like a war zone.

Sinkhole swallows family vehicle as Citizens approves rate hike

Miami-Dade County may have its share of windstorms and hurricanes, but sinkholes are extremely rare in this part of Florida. That may be a selling point for one Marion County family looking to relocate after losing their home to two sinkholes. If there is any good news, it could be that this happened before Citizens' new premiums go into effect -- families with sinkhole insurance could be paying hundreds of dollars more in premiums after the first of the year.

A different kind of 'bad faith' bill for Florida Legislature p. 3

We're continuing our story of a claims bill that will be heard by the Florida Legislature in 2012. If passed, the bill would compensate the victim of a car accident involving and caused by a deputy sheriff. The parties -- the victim and the sheriff's office -- don't object. The insurance company for the sheriff's office does.

A different kind of 'bad faith' bill for Florida Legislature p. 2

We're picking up the thread from our Sept. 28 post, continuing the discussion of a claims bill scheduled for Florida's next legislative session. The claim involves a personal injury suit against a county sheriffs department. The bill has languished for a couple of years, because the focus has shifted from compensating the victim and his family to setting a new precedent for insurance bad faith claims.

The sky is falling! Will my insurance carrier pay for the damage?

Officials from NASA announced recently that an expired climate satellite lhad ost its orbit and would fall to Earth. People in Florida and elsewhere in the country had been wondering if their home or even their person could be hit by falling debris. It is no surprise that people question whether their insurance company will pick up the tab to repair any damage -- the satellite weighs 6 tons.