LMA NEWSLETTER November 5, 2018

Frustration Over Hurricane Recovery

Since our last newsletter of two weeks ago, I have been back to the panhandle area of Florida, to some of the areas hardest hit by Hurricane Michael’s landfall nearly four weeks ago.  While I was impressed with the determination I saw in residents wanting to focus on getting back on their feet, I observed …

The Latest on Michael Recovery

Where to put the nearly 10,000 residents displaced?

While the statistics are improving on the progress in Hurricane Michael recovery efforts, one of the biggest challenges in the aftermath remains largely unanswered: where can displaced residents live for the next few weeks and months as homes and businesses and needed infrastructure are rebuilt?

The Florida …

Michael Claims and Losses

Damage estimates up to $25B; only half insured

The most recent data call report shows there have been 113,000 Florida insurance claims filed with total estimated insured losses of $2.35 billion.  About 30% of those claims are now closed, and 75% of those were paid.  Bay County, which got hit hardest by Hurricane Michael’s 155 …

Hurricane Michael’s Construction Lessons

Does Florida Need a Tougher Building Code?

Although Florida is recognized as having the toughest building codes in the nation, a large share of homes and other buildings in the Florida panhandle were built before 1995, when Florida’s tougher post-Hurricane Andrew building code was established.  The newer Florida Building Code (FBC) requires structures statewide to …

Red Tide Still Growing

While a productive use for blue-green algae emerges

Aside from the aftermath and challenges of hurricane recovery, Florida is still fighting the growth of Red Tide on both coasts and conducting clean-up efforts on blue-green algae blooms created by water releases from Lake Okeechobee.  The company that is leading the massive algae cleanup effort on …

Workers’ Comp Decrease Tentatively Approved

Plus other insurance news and thoughts

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has given tentative approval to a slightly larger workers’ compensation rate decrease for 2019.  OIR late Friday issued an Order notifying the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) that its 2019 rate filing proposing a 13.4% decrease, if amended by this Wednesday, …

Excessive Lawsuits are Costly

Florida tops the list of states with costliest litigation

Two recent reports attempt to quantify the impact that civil litigation has on Florida and its taxpaying citizens and businesses and the numbers are pretty big.   According to a report released by the Florida Justice Reform Institute, torts result in $7.6 billion in annual direct costs …

Three Florida Cities “Best to Retire”

Change in buying habits noted for women retirees

There is positive news to report as well in this newsletter.  Three Florida cities have made the U.S. News and World Report’s latest list of best places to retire in the country.  Fort Myers, Sarasota, and Lakeland all ranked in the top 10.  Meanwhile, a new report …

Revising Florida’s State Constitution

Amendment 5 requires a supermajority vote on new or expanding taxes

(Editor’s note: This is the last part of our ongoing series on the 12 proposed state constitutional amendments that will appear on tomorrow’s ballot for Florida voters to consider.)

Amendment 5 is a proposal put on the ballot by the Florida legislature that would, …

LMA Newsletter Readers to the Rescue!

While we await coordination among local, state and federal authorities on temporary housing remedies for the estimated 7,500 to 10,000 panhandle victims of Hurricane Michael who need it, the tremendous outpouring of donations and volunteer efforts continues unabated, including from readers of this LMA Newsletter.  We want to share two of those stories with you.…