|Citizens insurance approves rate changes|
Florida’s largest property insurer approved a 10% rate hike for many customers, but approved a 10% rate decrease for some.
|FAR president promotes disaster insurance|
Speaking before a U.S. House subcommittee today, Pres. Cynthia Shelton said its importance “cannot be overstated.”
|State Farm clients needn’t panic yet|
State Farm clients needn’t panic yet
|Governor vetoes FAR-supported condo bill|
Governor vetoes FAR-supported condo bill
|Florida creates Web site insurance library|
Florida creates Web site insurance library
|Governor signs sweeping insurance bill|
HB 1495 increases Citizens Property Insurance rates by 10% and reduces the state’s exposure through the Cat Fund.
|Federal proposal would create disaster insurance|
Federal proposal would create disaster insurance. If enacted, the Homeowners Defense Act would create federal insurance backing for the worst disasters – the type of events driving Florida insurers out of the state.
|Wind coverage in flood insurance opposed|
Obama administration fears that adding windstorm coverage would overburden a flood insurance program already in debt.
|Florida CFO wants My Safe Florida Home program to continue|
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer sent a letter urging the Florida Legislature to continue the successful My Safe Florida Home program, saying the state sees “over $2 in risk reduction for every $1 invested.”
|Vacant properties raise insurance risk|
NEW YORK – March 19, 2009 – Rising vacancies in commercial property increases insurance risk and ultimately the cost of insurance, warns the Chubb Group of Insurance Companies.
|CAT Fund looking for backup but Washington may be only help|
TALLAHASSEE – March 11, 2009 – With less than three months before another hurricane season, the state of Florida will try to line up financial backing for the battered Florida Hurricane Catastrophe (Cat) Fund. But Gov. Charlie Crist and other state officials conceded on Tuesday that the only solution for the state-created reinsurance fund may be hope that the federal government can help – although they were quick to say it would not be considered a “bailout.”
|Insurance commissioner releases his legislative priorities|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – March 11, 2009 – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty presented his bosses on Tuesday with his legislative priorities for the 2009 session.
|Citizens Property Insurance facing $223M investment loss|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Oct. 24, 2008 – Citizens Property Insurance, the state-run insurer, may face losses of more than $223 million from investments – mainly in asset-backed securities that have declined sharply in value as the mortgage and credit markets have fallen apart in the past year.
|Congress extends flood coverage program until March|
WASHINGTON – Oct. 1, 2008 – Both chambers of Congress passed an extension of the existing National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), extending it through Mar. 6, 2009, and providing it with interim appropriations until the next Congress.
On Forbes magazine list of expensive states to buy property insurance, Florida ranked No. 6 with an average annual insurance cost of $939. But the numbers for Florida don’t include the 1.35 million properties insured by the state’s insurer of last resort, Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which is underwritten by tax dollars.
|NEED TO MAKE A CLAIM?|
There are two Web sites you may want to bookmark in case Tropical Storm Fay– or any other storm for that matter – damages your home or business.
|Crist signs insurance bill into law|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla – May 29, 2008 – Gov. Crist yesterday signed property insurance reform into law, the so-called Homeowners’ Bill of Rights (SB 2860 by Sen. Jeff Atwater, R-N. Palm Beach). The final version of the bill included other bills that were added as amendments, and is the biggest insurance change to come out of the 2008 Legislative session. It offers a number of protections and upgrades for Florida homeowners.
|Homeowners insurance: Tips for reducing premiums|
ORLANDO, Fla. – July 29, 2008 – Property insurance can be expensive, and many homebuyers don’t fully understand what they’re buying or how they can save money. The general key: Pay for adequate coverage without being grossly underinsured.
|Insurance commissioner: Floridians need 'all-risks' policies|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – July 25, 2008 – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty is calling upon the insurance industry to create multi-peril policies to protect homeowners.
|Realtors join Gov. Crist for international business meetings|
LONDON – July 16, 2008 – Gov. Charlie Crist met yesterday with Lord Levene, the chairman of Lloyd’s of London to discuss reinsurance issues in Florida, as well as Lloyd’s climate change initiatives. The meeting occurred during the Team Florida Trade and Business Development Mission to the United Kingdom (UK), France, Russia and Spain.
Commercial buildings have green insurance, and now at least one company says it will start to offer green insurance for residential property starting this summer, though it may not be available in Florida until later in the year. Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company - the nation’s first provider of green insurance for commercial buildings - will launch green insurance for homeowners starting this summer.
|My Safe Florida Home program comes to an end|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – July 3, 2008 – Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced today that the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program will end this weekend, once it meets the Florida Legislature’s goal of approving 400,000 homeowners for free wind inspections. The program will cease to take new applications in the next few days, ending its mission a year ahead of schedule.
|Capitol Hill to work on insurance issues in July|
WASHINGTON – June 30, 2008 – Congress plans to address insurance regulatory issues in July before departing on an extended summer vacation, and industry officials are hopeful that legislators will finish work on legislation reauthorizing and reforming the National Flood Insurance Program.
With two mouse clicks, a homeowner – or homebuyer thinking about making an offer – can find a property’s potential risk from flooding.
|Citizens Property set to hand off more policies|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 3, 2008 – Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty signed off on plans to allow six insurance companies to take an additional 100,000 policies out of state-run insurer Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
|Insurers see greater risk of hurricanes and want to charge more|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – June 2, 2008 – Florida homeowners could see hikes in their insurance premiums this year, even though scientists are squabbling over whether the 2008 hurricane season will be more severe than those in the past due to the impact of global warming.
|FEMA changes rules on flood insurance discount|
TAMPA, Fla. – May 21, 2008 –The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) revamped its 20 percent premium discount rule for flood insurance policies, which will impact some Florida communities, such as Indian Shores.
|Florida’s mitigation grants for homeowners to end soon|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – May 14, 2008 – The My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program will achieve its goal of 35,000 grants to homeowners by the end of this month, and the first-come, first-served program will stop accepting grant applications.
|Flood bill reauthorization possible this week|
WASHINGTON – May 5, 2008 – Leadership in the U.S. Senate indicated the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reauthorization bill (S-2284) could come up for consideration by the full Senate the week of May 5. The reauthorization bill, which forgives the program’s $17.3 billion in debt related to Hurricane Katrina and does not include a provision allowing the program to offer wind coverage to policyholders, passed the Senate Banking Committee in October 2007.
|FEMA: Get flood insurance now for the 2008 hurricane season|
WASHINGTON – April 30, 2008 – Recommend flood insurance to your new homebuyers, and do it tomorrow. It takes 30 days for a new policy to become effective, and signing up on May 1 would make their coverage effective on June 1 for the start of Florida’s hurricane season.
|Florida mitigation inspections program gets good review|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – April 30, 2008 – A recent survey of My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) participants revealed that 97 percent of homeowners in the program found the application process easy, 80 percent had a good or excellent experience, and 82 percent were interested in recommending the program to neighbors.
|Lawsuit filed to require state to compel insurers to comply with hurricane mediation law|
CORAL SPRINGS, Fla. – April 3, 2008 – The Hurricane Law Group, a small private firm based in Coral Springs, announced it has filed a lawsuit in the Leon County Circuit Court against Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, the Department of Financial Services and the Office of Insurance Regulation, seeking enforcement of Florida laws designed to protect residents in the wake of the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes.
|Storm brews over adding wind coverage to federal flood program|
WASHINGTON – March 27, 2008 – The battle continues to heat up within Congress and between congressional members and the insurance industry. U.S. Rep. Gene Taylor (D-Miss.) proposed that the reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) include wind coverage, which was passed by the House.
|HOW FAST CAN YOU SAVE MONEY?|
Florida’s My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program wants to get the word out, and will do so in many state markets by advertising on TV and radio. And the message will be funny. The commercials will ask: “How fast can you save money?” and then use satire to compare the ease of signing up for a free home inspection with money-saving techniques that don’t work nearly so well.
|Florida lawmakers rethinking backup insurance coverage|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Feb. 11, 2008 – Florida lawmakers may revisit property insurance changes instigated last year. A $12 billion increase in state-backed reinsurance was supposed to drop homeowners’ premiums, but it didn’t work that way. And some legislators now think the state’s increased financial risk faced overshadows the minimal savings.
|FAR President urges Congress to develop a national disaster policy|
PALM BEACH, Fla. – Feb. 11, 2008 —Florida Association of Realtors’® (FAR) 2008 President Chuck Bonfiglio is speaking to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations today at a special field hearing at the Palm Beach County Commission chambers.
|National study focuses on Florida’s insurance crisis|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Feb. 6, 2008 – The James Madison Institute study on the state of insurance markets across the United States, completed with help from the Competitive Enterprise Institute and the Heartland Institute, revealed Florida and four other states have dismal markets warranting an “F” for performance.
|Big changes could raise flood insurance premiums for some|
WASHINGTON – Jan. 16, 2008 – When Congress resumes this month, the National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP) renewal will be one of many issues to tackle. About 33 percent of all NFIP claims are related to homes in minimal-risk areas, and experts estimate during a 30-year mortgage, a home has a 26 percent chance of being damaged by a flood.
|Allstate still aims for homeowners-insurance-rate hikes|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dec. 20, 2007 – Allstate Insurance has taken the first step toward appealing state insurance regulators’ rejection of the company’s request to raise property insurance rates.
|IRS ruling: State grants for hurricane mitigation are tax-free|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Dec. 13, 2007 – Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink announced yesterday that grants awarded to homeowners through the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program are not taxable income and do not have to be reported when filling out federal income taxes.
|States, insurers at odds over rising rates|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nov. 12, 2007 – Florida’s persistent battle with insurers over rates and coverage is spreading to other states and could have an effect on insurance customers nationwide.
|Citizens to offer commercial multi-peril coverage Jan. 1|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Nov. 6, 2007 – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (FOIR) announced yesterday that it approved a new multi-peril commercial non-residential insurance program for Citizens Property Insurance Corp. (Citizens), the result of a legislative change that authorized Citizens to assume the policies of the Property and Casualty Joint Underwriting Association (PCJUA).
|Realtors encourage Senate to expand flood insurance program|
WASHINGTON – Oct. 3, 2007 – Speaking before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) expressed support for reforming and expanding the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP helps protect homeowners, renters and commercial property owners from losses sustained from flooding.
|Florida’s hurricane mitigation program coming to a city near you|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Sept. 10, 2007 – In an effort to promote Florida’s free hurricane home inspections and the fact that it provides funding for some homeowners to help pay for upgrades, the My Safe Florida Home (MSFH) program plans to hit the road and host fairs in three Florida cities.
|South Florida lawmakers advocate national catastrophe fund at forum|
PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. – Sept. 4, 2007 – At a recent forum held in the chambers of the Palm Beach County Commission, U.S. Reps. Ron Klein, Tim Mahoney, and Robert Wexler – all from the Sunshine State – said they are pushing for legislation that would establish a national catastrophe insurance fund to put an end to what Wexler calls “astronomical insurance rates.”
|Governor Crist to Realtors: ‘Get ready, Florida is on the move’|
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – Aug. 23, 2007 – Gov. Charlie Crist spoke to more than 800 Florida Realtors this morning at the 2007 Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) Convention & Trade Expo, thanking them for their leadership in supporting property tax reform efforts and urging them to spread the word to family, friends, neighbors, clients and throughout their communities to vote “Yes” on Jan. 29 for the proposed constitutional amendment.
|Save Our Homes challenge thrown out of court but appeal planned|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Aug. 7, 2007 – A lawsuit filed by some Alabama residents challenging Florida’s Save Our Homes (SOH) property tax amendment, which shields homeowners from increases greater than 3 percent per year, has been thrown out of court. But it’s not gone for good.
|Show me the money|
A Citizens Property Insurance Corp. official announced yesterday that the state insurer has more money than anticipated. “As of May 30, we had a $1.9 billion surplus,” Citizens CFO Sharon Binnun told the corporation’s board of governors during a meeting Thursday. “Our total surplus for 2006 was $1.1 billion.”
|Terrorism insurance bill protects commercial real estate market|
WASHINGTON – Aug. 3, 2007 – Reauthorization of the federal government’s terrorism risk insurance program will help maintain a strong commercial real estate market and the health of the nation’s economy, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).
|Effective today, Citizens Property Ins. expands coverage options|
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Aug. 1, 2007 – Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state’s insurer of last resort, today begins offering a new inclusive homeowners policy to customers. The change, effective Aug. 1, stems from recently enacted legislation designed to make Citizens more profitable and less vulnerable to the risk of a catastrophic event.