Insurance is a highly regulated industry, and state insurance departments keep track of how well companies are complying with all those regulations. Every insurance company operating in the state of Florida is subject to a full market conduct review. The Office of Insurance Regulation determines how often the reviews are conducted, but state law dictates what the OIR reviews.
We are picking up our discussion from Sept. 20. We left off with some basic information about force-placed insurance, the profits it reaps for the insurers and the coverage gaps it results in for homeowners.
Following the traumatic events of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Congress created a risk-sharing program known as the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act. This law will expire at the end of December 2014 and provides for federal backup for insurance coverage, eliminating the situation where many terrorism-related risks could not be insured because of their high premium price, causing insurers and reinsurers to decline to offer policies.
Thanks to the combined pressure of the Securities and Exchange Commission, insurance regulators from Florida and four other states, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and consumers, Assurant Inc. recently shared sales data for its force-placed insurance line. The company said it had collected $90 million in premiums from two of the four states that have questioned force-placed rates.
When it comes to health insurance, there are a few terms that can give just about anyone hives. The first, of course, is "pre-existing condition." There may not be one resident of Florida who does not know someone who has fought a claim denial over a pre-existing condition.
Neil Armstrong's widow committed her astronaut husband's ashes to the Atlantic Ocean this week, in many ways bringing an era to a close. Men who walked on the moon are still alive -- Buzz Aldrin, for example -- but the first man to do so is gone. It is an odd feeling for those of us who remember that first step in August 1969.
The death of Neil Armstrong late last month seems to have reignited interest in the space program and the lives of the Apollo astronauts. Tributes to Armstrong always included the grainy footage of his first step on the moon, and some recalled the entire Apollo 11 mission, from liftoff in Florida to splash-down and quarantine. Armstrong's achievements may well inspire a whole new generation of explorers.