We all know the risks of driving on New Year's Eve. Revelers ring in the new year with a little too much to drink, then they get behind the wheels of their cars. The results can be catastrophic. Here in Miami, the added allure of the Orange Bowl on New Year's Day brings more visitors to town and provides yet another opportunity to drink to excess. The upshot is that the city's streets could prove especially dangerous during the first 24 hours of 2013.
When a family entrusted their investment money to Bernard Madoff, they started getting financial statements from his business showing them falsely inflated amounts in their accounts to make them think that they were doing well, and perhaps should consider investing more. But the money wasn't really there. The investment offered was actually just one big Ponzi scheme, and their money was lost. Later, they sought to file insurance claims, as many others from Florida and elsewhere who lost money did.
We are finishing up our discussion of holiday parties -- before, we hope, the holiday parties are finished -- and the potential liability they carry for the homeowner and renter hosts. The basic rules of thumb are to know your state's "social host" laws and to be familiar with the liability coverage terms of your homeowners or renters insurance policy.
We are continuing our discussion of insurance issues not really unique to the holidays but certainly more easily overlooked at this time of the year. Some of us love the bustle of preparing for parties, making last-minute or well-planned forays to the stores and rifling through catalogs looking for deals on shipping and gift wrapping. Some of us would rather hunker down with our homeowners insurance policy just to be absolutely clear about our potential liability if carolers stop by and when we have our annual neighborhood get-together.
We may not have a white Christmas in Miami, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to celebrate. This time of year is jam-packed with office parties and get-togethers with friends. We deck our halls with boughs of whatever and invite people in to make our spirits bright. Seldom do we wonder about the insurance implications of our annual Christmas Eve cocktail party.
We are returning to our Dec. 5 discussion of long-term care insurance and the changes the industry is likely to impose beginning in 2013. Most of the changes will affect women's coverage, particularly when it comes to premiums. Tougher underwriting standards are also on the horizon. For Florida residents, the prospect is just more turmoil with insurance in general.
Many homeowners on the East Coast have learned a valuable lesson in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, and it's a lesson Florida homeowners can take from as well. The lesson is this: Many homeowners whose properties were ravaged by Hurricane Sandy did not understand their insurance policies and as a result will not be compensated for the hurricane's damage.
It happens frequently in Florida after storms and hurricanes, and now homeowners in New York are feeling the frustration. In the wake of Superstorm Sandy, hundreds of thousands of homeowners are still waiting for their payments from their insurance companies. For most, it has been weeks and weeks since they filed their claims, and they still have yet to see a check.
The long-term care insurance market is about to change, especially for women. After years of charging the same premiums regardless of the insured's gender, one of the country's leading LTC insurers announced that women's premiums will be increasing by as much as 40 percent in 2013.
Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is currently under investigation after closing its Office of Corporate Integrity. The investigation was ordered by Florida Gov. Rick Scott after the property insurance company hurriedly shut its internal watchdog's doors following the compilation of a 73-page report indicating extensive misconduct within the corporation.
Having an insurance claim denied can quickly become a financial nightmare. Whether it be for housing damage, an auto accident, or an on-the-job injury, In times of denial of compensation, often legal action and the filing of a suit is the best means of recouping lost damages. In this regard, Florida policyholders should take special notice of an ongoing Supreme Court decision.