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February 2014 Archives

Chinese drywall hits the fan in ruling against manufacturer

The Chinese drywall debacle should be well behind us, but homeowners in Florida and a couple of other states are still waiting for their day in court. Their wait should not last much longer, though, now that the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the second manufacturer of the defective drywall cannot remove the litigation to China and must pay damages to a handful of plaintiffs.

Ask not for whom the Death List tolls - unless you're 'certified' p2

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 included a provision that has the insurance industry in a kerfuffle. The provision deals with access to the Social Security Death Master File, perhaps the most comprehensive list of deceased Americans available. Life insurance companies in particular use the list to identify insureds and annuitants that have passed away. In fact, thanks in part to Florida's efforts to hold the companies accountable, a number of life insurance companies have committed to check their lists against the DMF on a more regular basis.

Ask not for whom the Death List tolls - unless you're 'certified'

The Social Security Death Master File is in the news again. Florida is an old friend to the DMF, having led the posse of states challenging the use of the file by life insurance companies. As we have discussed before -- in our Oct. 12, 2012, post, for example -- life insurers had regularly checked the DMF to make sure they were not paying annuities to people who had passed away, but the same insurers had much less frequently checked the list to make sure they were paying life insurance benefits to named beneficiaries in a timely manner. As a result, millions of dollars went undistributed to rightful heirs while the insurance companies collected interest on the unpaid monies.

House to propose its own flood insurance bill, you know, soon

The House of Representatives is getting closer to acting on legislation addressing the rate hikes imposed by the National Flood Insurance Program. While the companion bill to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act passed by the Senate has more than 225 co-sponsors, it is looking less and less likely that the House will follow in the Senate's footsteps. What is not clear at all is what direction the House bill will take and how far it will stray from the Senate's; House leadership has been mum on the details.

Round and round she goes, but where NFIP ends up, nobody knows p5

We are finishing up our discussion of the Senate bill that would delay National Flood Insurance Program rate increases. The bill was tied to another insurance-related bill, the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act.

Round and round she goes, but where NFIP ends up, nobody knows p4

We are picking up where our Feb. 4 post left off and getting into the particulars of the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act. The U.S. Senate has tied the NARAB bill to the Homeowner Flood Insurance Availability Act, the bill that would postpone many flood insurance rate increases resulting from implementation of yet another law, the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act.

'Floridians deserve rate relief' says Florida's CFO Atwater

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners recently released a report that showed that Florida residents are paying the highest property insurance rates in the country. Data showed that the average homeowner was paying approximately $1,933per year in insurance premiums.

Settlement agreement reached in Michael Jackson insurance case

The former "King of Pop" Michael Jackson had fans throughout the world including in the Miami area. His untimely death came as a shock to many and so too likely did its cause. At the time of his death he was in the process of rehearsing for a concert tour that was being promoted by AEG Live LLC. As a part of the tour a non-appearance and concert cancellation insurance policy was purchased from Lloyd's of London in June 2009. 

Round and round she goes, but where NFIP ends up, nobody knows p3

We are back to discussing the bill passed by the U.S. Senate that will delay flood insurance rate hikes. The Senate combined the National Flood Insurance Program bill to another insurance bill, the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act. We talked about the flood insurance bill in our Jan. 31, 2014, post. Here, we will tackle the NARAB bill.