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October 2013 Archives

Three more life insurers settle over unpaid benefits, death list

In the past few months, Florida and six other states have entered into settlement agreements with three life insurance companies regarding their failure to do due diligence in identifying deceased insureds and their beneficiaries. The states' efforts began a couple of years ago and have already resulted in a number of insurers paying multi-million dollar settlements, revising internal processes or both. See our Oct. 12, 2012, post for information about the deal reached with Nationwide Financial Services Inc.

Florida orders force-placed insurer to cut premiums by 10 percent

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is continuing to crack down on force-placed insurers. Earlier this month, the OIR entered a consent order against American Security Insurance Co. that will result in lower premiums for policyholders; the order should also result in less predatory practices by the insurer, the largest force-placed homeowners insurance company in the state.

We pay Insurers to assume risk, so why is filing a claim risky?

A recent article about insurance claims reminded us of the movie "Roxanne." Steve Martin plays the fire chief whose crew is in dire need of some training. One mishap after another leads to the scene in which an exasperated Martin exclaims, "You can't have people with their houses burning down saying, 'Whatever you do, don't call the fire department!'"

Proof-of-loss deadline extended for 'Meteorological Event Sandy' 2

The federal shutdown may have motivated the Federal Emergency Management Agency to extend the deadline for Superstorm Sandy victims to file an important insurance form. Pressure from Congress may have helped, too: Realizing that many of their constituents may not have the information needed for the form and that some may not even know about either the form or the deadline, 22 senators and representatives signed a letter to FEMA asking for an extension.

Proof-of-loss deadline extended for 'Meteorological Event Sandy'

The Miami Herald reported recently that a group of Florida seventh-graders were staging a hurricane simulation. They would learn how to prepare for and recover from a storm. For those of us who have been in Florida for a while, the idea of having to simulate a hurricane sounds a little odd, until you realize that these kids have not experienced a major storm in their young lives -- at least, not one they remember.

'If the earth moved, you're not covered' and other Sandy blowback

After our multi-post discussion of the National Flood Insurance Program and rising premiums for Florida homeowners, we came across a story about a couple of flood insurance coverage issues that we thought worth sharing. The story does not involve Florida property owners, but it does involve hurricane-damaged homes, something many of us know well.

NFIP rate hike set for Oct 1 triggers storm of controversy 3

The hurricane season has been much quieter than anticipated, and it's a lucky turn of events for a number of reasons. First and foremost, of course, Florida and other Atlantic and Gulf Coast states have avoided the property damage and fatalities the come with a major storm.

NFIP rate hike set for Oct. 1 triggers storm of controversy 2

Any discussion of the National Flood Insurance Program rate hikes that went into effect on Oct. 1 has certainly been eclipsed by the news of the federal government shutdown. Homeowners along Florida's coast, though, may be tuning out news about the shutdown when they see their new flood insurance premiums.