As the peak of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season nears and Florida approaches the one-year mark since Hurricane Irma, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis are reminding consumers to take action now to review their insurance policies and secure flood insurance coverage. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy takes effect, so it is vital to act before a named storm or significant weather event emerges. [Read more…] about Take Action Now to Review Your Insurance Policy, Secure Flood Insurance Coverage
Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
As the State of Florida continues to brace for significant flooding throughout the week, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier is encouraging consumers to take action now to secure flood insurance coverage. For a list of flood insurance writers in Florida, visit this link.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “It is never too early to prepare for a tropical weather event. With significant rain forecasted and flooding on the horizon, Floridians need to review their current insurance policies and fully understand their coverages and exclusions so they can prepare accordingly. Now is the time to take action.”
Commissioner Altmaier said, “Flooding can happen any time of year, but the chances increase significantly with hurricanes and tropical storms. As we know from last year’s hurricane season, these systems can bring storm surge and increased rainfall amounts to our state. Having flood insurance in place is critical for homeowners and businesses, and helps our state’s response and recovery efforts.”
A basic homeowners’ insurance policy does not provide coverage for flooding. This coverage must be purchased separately through a private insurance company or the federally-administered National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Florida’s private flood insurance market is growing and there are now 26 insurers offering primary or excess flood insurance coverage. This coverage is usually offered at prices similar to or lower than those of the NFIP, providing more consumer choice and an alternative to the federal program.
Flood insurance coverage can often be purchased directly from a consumer’s existing insurance agent or company. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before an NFIP policy takes effect, so it is vital to act before a named storm or other event emerges. For more information about ways to prepare for hurricane season and resources to a variety of fact sheets and tips, please visit OIR’s Hurricane Season Resources site.
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier announced today that staff from the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) will travel to Puerto Rico to assist those impacted by Hurricane Maria. In partnership with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), an OIR team member will deploy on May 12, 2018 to assist families and individuals with claims and other insurance issues.
Governor Scott said, “Since Hurricane Maria, Florida has provided steadfast support to our neighbors in Puerto Rico and I am proud to continue this aid by sharing an insurance expert from Florida to provide claims assistance to homeowners and business owners as they work to rebuild their lives. I am proud of the work Florida has done to help families from Puerto Rico and we will continue to do all we can to make sure they have the resources needed to get back on their feet.”
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Access to insurance help and resources is critical for consumers and businesses in Puerto Rico impacted by Hurricane Maria. As we gear up for the 2018 Hurricane Season, it’s important that we do all we can to provide resources to the people of Puerto Rico to help recover and now prepare ahead of June 1. My office’s bi-lingual insurance experts stand ready to assist with any consumer concerns.”
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said, “OIR’s mission is to protect insurance consumers and cultivate a stable insurance marketplace in Florida, and we’ve worked closely with Governor Scott, CFO Patronis, Commissioner Putnam, and Attorney General Bondi to carry out this mission before, during, and after storms. I am proud that our team will now have the opportunity to extend our efforts by providing direct assistance in Puerto Rico.”
Julie McPeak, Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance Commissioner and National Association of Insurance Commissioners President, said, “Having OIR staff available to assist with policyholders with claims processing will be an invaluable service, and the NAIC is thrilled to partner with Governor Scott and Commissioner Altmaier on this initiative.”
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners will provide financial support for travel costs associated with the initiative.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation announced today that it has approved a rate decrease for workers’ compensation insurance in Florida. The 1.8% decrease was filed by the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) in a law-only filing resulting from the effects of the Federal Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “Reducing insurance costs and financial burdens is great news for our business community. Businesses in Florida support our local communities, create jobs, and help our state’s economy. This rate reduction is a much needed insurance cost savings for Florida businesses.”
Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Adam H. Putnam said, “Reducing the cost of business spurs job growth, and this rate reduction is exactly what Florida needs to continue to create the business climate that will help our economy thrive.”
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said, “NCCI has demonstrated through its rate filing that this decrease is an actuarially-sound response to the savings workers’ compensation insurers have realized as a result of recent federal legislation. The data indicates that passing the savings along to businesses through a rate decrease is an appropriate response at this time.”
The overall rate level change is a 1.8% decrease due to a change in the Profit and Contingency (P&C) Factor to 0.5% from 1.85%. NCCI’s analysis to determine the revised P&C reflects provisions from the recently-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, including top corporate tax rate decreases, changes to reserve discount factors, and other factors. This applies to both new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies effective in Florida as of June 1, 2018.
- Cryptocurrency is subject to minimal regulatory oversight, susceptible to cybersecurity breaches or hacks, and there may be no recourse should the cryptocurrency disappear.
- Cryptocurrency accounts are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which insures bank deposits up to $250,000.
- The high volatility of cryptocurrency investments makes them unsuitable for most investors.
- Investors in cryptocurrency are highly reliant upon unregulated companies, including some that may lack appropriate internal controls and may be more susceptible to fraud and theft than regulated financial institutions.
- Investors will have to rely upon the strength of their own computer security systems, as well as security systems provided by third parties, to protect purchased cryptocurrencies from theft.
Office Releases Results of AOB Data Call
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) and Cabinet applaud the actions of the Florida House of Representatives in passing legislation today to specifically address assignment of benefits (AOB) reform. House Bill 7015, which was sponsored by the Judiciary Committee, Representative Jay Trumbull, and Representative James Grant, and co-sponsored by Representative Jim Boyd, provides consumer protections and strengthens provisions in Florida law to reduce unnecessary litigation associated with AOBs that is causing an increase in homeowners insurance costs across the state.
Today, the Office released the “2017 Review of Assignment of Benefits (AOB) Data Call Report,” which provides aggregated results of information received by the top 25 personal residential insurance companies encompassing more than 85% of the Florida market and writing Homeowners and Dwelling Fire policies from January 1, 2015 – June 30, 2017. The findings of this report show a larger progression in the geographic spread, frequency, and average severity of water loss claims across the state; however, this occurred in half the time it took to develop when compared to the nearly six-year analysis of the February 2016 report on this same issue. Since 2015, results indicate the frequency of water claims has risen by 44% with all regions of the state experiencing double-digit increases. Likewise, the average severity of water claims has increased by 18%. The total combined impact of these changes reflect an average 42.1% annual increase in water losses, which is nearly triple the 14.2% average annual increase shown in the previous report.
“I am thankful for the support of the Cabinet, bill sponsors, and all House members who have been working hard to address AOB reform,” said Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier. “The results of my Office’s newest report is a clear sign that Florida is seeing an aggressive rise in the number of water loss claims associated with an AOB and this impact is being felt statewide. Without a legislative remedy, this problem will lead to an increase in homeowners insurance premiums and lack of consumer choice as insurers stop writing or renewing policies in areas with high water losses. I look forward to working with the Florida Legislature and other stakeholders on a proactive solution to address this issue in the 2018 Session.”
Governor Rick Scott said, “I appreciate the Florida House for passing meaningful reforms that will help Florida families. I look forward to continue seeing this important issue addressed throughout the legislative session.”
“House Bill 7015 is the multi-layered legislative approach our state needs to address the rapid climb in AOB water loss claims, and I applaud Rep. Jay Trumbull and the Florida House for passing this good bill today,” said Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “The data paints a bleak picture for Florida’s Insurance market. With skyrocketing homeowners insurance costs, consumers are on the losing end.“
“As Attorney General, consumer protection is one of my top priorities, and I applaud the Office of Insurance Regulation’s efforts to protect policyholders. This legislation aims to protect homeowners who are simply trying to repair their homes after a disaster,” stated Attorney General Pam Bondi.
A copy of the report can be accessed here. For additional information, please visit the Office’s “AOB Resources” webpage.
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office), Florida Department of Financial Services, and the Florida Office of the Attorney General today announced national life claim settlement agreements have been signed with State Farm for $250,000 and Aflac for $350,000.
These settlement agreements facilitate the use of the Social Security Administration’s Death Master File to determine if the insured, annuitant, or account holder is indicated.
In its sixth year, this multi-state national effort has resulted in the successful return of more than $8.7 billion in unknown or lost policy proceeds to beneficiaries directly by the companies and over $3.25 billion delivered to the states’ unclaimed property programs, which continue efforts to locate and pay beneficiaries.
To date, state insurance regulators have either reached settlements or concluded the investigation of 30 of the top 40 companies constituting over 81% of the total market. Efforts continue to be focused on the examination of the remaining 10 insurers.
State Farm and Aflac have agreed to compare all company records against the DMF to determine whether there are unclaimed death benefits, search for those beneficiaries, and otherwise remit unclaimed proceeds to the appropriate state authority. Florida’s allocation of the collective multi-state settlement payments by the two companies is $41,759, which covers the costs of the investigations and future compliance monitoring.
For more information, visit the Office’s “Life Claim Settlement Practices” webpage. To search or submit a request for unclaimed property, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org, or call 1-88-VALUABLE or (850) 413-3089.
About the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has primary responsibility for regulation, compliance and enforcement of statutes related to the business of insurance and the monitoring of industry markets. For more information about the Office, please visit www.floir.com or follow us on Twitter @FLOIR_comm and Facebook.
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier has issued a Final Order granting approval to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) for a statewide overall rate level decrease of 9.5% and premium level decrease of 9.8%. This applies to both new and renewal workers’ compensation insurance policies effective in Florida as of January 1, 2018.
“I am pleased that today’s approval of NCCI’s rate filing will translate into a decrease in workers’ compensation rates for many Florida employers,” stated Commissioner Altmaier. “The Office will continue to monitor the marketplace and support reforms that provide additional cost savings for Florida’s businesses.”
“Florida’s job creators will no doubt appreciate this significant cost savings, a step that will support our state’s growing economy,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. “I’m pleased to see the cost of business going down, and as the Legislature looks at our workers’ compensation system, I will be working with them on proposals to lock in these lowering rates.”
NCCI received this approval after submitting an amended rate filing to the Office on November 7, 2017, which met the stipulations of an Order issued by the Commissioner on October 31, 2017.
For more information about the NCCI public hearing and rate filing, visit the Office’s “NCCI Public Rate Hearing” webpage.
Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier issued an Order late yesterday notifying the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) that its 2018 rate filing has been disapproved and, if amended by November 7, 2017, will be approved with a slightly larger workers’ compensation rate decrease. Approval of a revised rate decrease is contingent on the amended filing being submitted with changes as stipulated within the Order. If approved by the Office, the revised rate decrease would become effective on January 1, 2018 for new and renewal business.
WHO: National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI)
A copy of the hearing agenda can be viewed here. The Florida Channel will stream the hearing live online via its website and a link to the video recording will be available at a later date. For additional information, visit the Office’s “NCCI Public Rate Hearing” webpage.
WHEN: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 at 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: The public hearing will be held at 412 Knott Building, 404 South Monroe Street, Florida Capitol Complex, Tallahassee, Florida 32399