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Florida’s Insurance Scam

By STEVE POCIASK Special To The Tampa Tribune If an insurance company sold you a homeowner’s policy knowing that, if disaster was to strike, it probably couldn’t pay your claim, you would call that “consumer fraud” – plain and simple. If private insurance companies were to instigate such a scam, the insurance commissioner would be…

Beware of Contractors Offering Homeowners A “Free Roof”

Palm Beach County Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association CONSUMER ADVISORY BULLETIN For the past few years, South Florida homeowners have been solicited by an increasing number of scam operators, offering to install a new roof on their house for the settlement amount they obtain from the insurance company. As the October 24, 2010 deadline…

After-Storm Advice for Roof Repair

By Jennifer Reich, Elk Marketing Specialist Dallas — During the worst storms you can board up windows and doors around the exterior of your home, but you can’t board up your roof. Mother Nature can wreak havoc on your roof, one of the most exposed parts of your home. But, how do you know if…

Public insurance adjusters: An alternative to helping policyholders win claims

Public adjusters draw regulatory scrutiny and some blame for Florida’s property insurance woes Many homeowners don’t fully understand their property insurance policies and are at a disadvantage when negotiating with insurers about repairs needed after a fire, theft, hurricane or other disaster. That’s the premise behind the public insurance adjusting industry, which has grown substantially…

Claims audit could spark legislative battle: impacts on the bottom lines at Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and Cat Fund.

A state audit released in January could spark a fierce legislative battle this spring and raises additional concerns about the viability of both Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (Cat Fund). State auditors found that Citizens’ policyholders who hire public adjusters wind up getting more money for their claims than those…

New Lead Paint Laws for 2010

It’s hard to keep track of new legislation that affects home building and remodeling across the 50 states. Too often homeowners and re-modelers get going on a project that requires a local permit and suddenly discover they have to lay out additional money to meet building codes. I know people who have had to rip…

Insurers and policyholder reps wrangle over claims delays

Representatives of Florida’s insurance industry and public adjusters — who represent policyholders in claims disputes — fiercely debated how to speed up repairs after hurricanes on Wednesday.

As of this fall, more than 2,000 homeowners were still trying to get claims paid from Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Delays keep people out of their homes longer and can make the damage worse. The gathering — focused on how to improve the so-called appraisal process — is the third on claims delays organized by Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw, who plans to make recommendations to state lawmakers before the annual legislative session in March.

Under Alex Sink’s Department of Financial Services Florida Insurance Companies only get a slap on the hand when they break the law.

A Florida online insurance agency found to have sold homeowners policies using unlicensed personnel will pay a $100,000 fine. The agency will also contact every customer affected and offer to rewrite their policies, under terms of a settlement reached with state officials. In March, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink’s Department of Financial Services took legal…

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