Abuse drives up insurance

A state law intended to give homeowners recourse in disputes with their insurers is instead being used by some repair vendors and their lawyers to generate a windfall. The “one-way attorney fee” allows policyholders to collect legal fees from their insurer if they win a claims dispute. But if the policyholder loses in court, they…

End home repair contract abuse

By: Alan Daley, American Consumer Institute, Florida Every year, disreputable attorneys and home-repair contractors launch an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) “open season” on home insurance policy holders. Consumers whose homes are damaged by a leaky pipe or storm damage want quick action by repair contractors to mitigate further damage. Some contractors will not proceed unless…

Michael Carlson: Don’t trade a tax cut for a tax increase- preserve the salary tax credits for insurers

For three decades, Florida has offered insurance companies a highly effective, performance-based tax credit that has resulted in tens of thousands of good jobs being created or imported to our state. Not only does this credit bolster our state’s economy in a transparent, accountable way, it also helps ensure insurance rates for Floridians stay as…

Editorial: Water Claims Spell Trouble for Florida Property Insurance Market

Tampa Bay Times Editorial A steady drip usually signals bigger trouble, and this is no exception. Insurance claims and lawsuits for water damage are climbing, and the mess is spreading from South Florida to Tampa Bay. That means trouble for private insurers and the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. And that means trouble for homeowners…

Restoring Balance in Insurance Litigation

An Update of the Abuse of Assignments of Benefits and its Correlation with One-Way Attorney’s Fees by Mark Delegal and Ashley Kalifeh for Florida Association of Independent Agents, Executive Summary As discussed in FJRI’s 2015 paper,1 the prospect of one-way attorney’s fees has encouraged a growing number of lawyers to partner with various service providers…

Thousands of Florida Mortgages Could Be At Risk Because of Insurance Abuse

TALLAHASSEE An Ohio insurance-rating company has warned that recent court rulings and skyrocketing losses from water-damage claims have created an “uncertain operating environment” for Florida’s property insurers and that it will downgrade the financial stability of 10 to 15 Florida-based companies, potentially threatening the solvency of thousands of homeowners policies. Demotech, Inc., a company which…

Report Points to Problems with AOBs, and a Way Around One Proposed Fix

As the Legislature debates restricting attorney fees in insurance litigation involving assignment-of-benefits agreements, a tort-reform group has identified a way to circumvent that fix. Attorneys could convince policyholders to file suit in their own name. A report, “Restoring Balance in Insurance Litigation,” released Monday by the Florida Justice Reform Institute, discusses that possibility in the context of…

SENATE WORKSHOP MAKES THE CASE FOR AOB REFORM

SENATE WORKSHOP MAKES THE CASE FOR AOB REFORM   TALLAHASSEE, FL, (January 10, 2017) – The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida today applauded the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance for holding a workshop on property insurance and the problem of non-catastrophe water claims and related “assignment of benefit” abuse. During today’s presentation, critical evidence…

Water Claims Could Lead To More Citizens Policies

CBSMIAMI.COM: Facebook | Twitter TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Increases in water-damage claims — primarily in South Florida — will likely reverse years of downsizing by the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance, board members were advised Wednesday as they approved a hike in the corporation’s operating budget. Citizens President and CEO Barry Gilway said efforts to shed policies have already slowed…