LMA NEWSLETTER May 23, 2022

Gaylord, Michigan: Anywhere USA

Mother Nature paid an unusual visit last week to Gaylord, Michigan, a town of 4,200 residents about 230 miles northwest of Detroit.  In fact, northern Michigan has rarely seen a tornado event like the one that hit this small town and the last notable windstorm was in 1998 when 100 mph straight-line winds raked Gaylord.…

Bill Watch

Special Session on Property Insurance

The Florida Legislature this morning begins its week-long special session focused entirely on addressing the dire escalating issues in our property insurance market.  Initially sparked by laser-focused Senator Jeff Brandes and formally called by Governor Ron DeSantis to “bring some sanity and stabilize” the market, his proclamation calls for the …

Messages to the Legislature

The road to reform

The compromise reached between House and Senate leaders just prior to this week’s special session seemed doubtful at times and was certainly a product of pressure put on by industry leaders and other stakeholders, an increasingly attentive news media, consumers, individual lawmakers, and the Governor, who realized the property insurance dilemma …

More Rate Hikes & Market Retrenchment

Consumers suffering consequences

Three more insurance companies went before Florida regulators last week seeking rate increases from 23% to 49%, citing in part the growing frequency and severity of claims litigation which is driving up costs for all Florida property insurance writers.  Meanwhile, one of Florida’s largest insurance companies has agreed to voluntarily restructure, shedding …

Contractors Sue Insurance Commissioner & Companies

Policy language questioned

Just prior to this special session week, the Restoration Association of Florida (RAF) filed a lawsuit against Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and two insurance companies over policy form changes that it says unjustly deny homeowners the right to enter into an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contract and sue their insurance company.  It’s …

Strems Settles Citizens’ RICO Action

Accused contractors settle, too

The infamous Scot Strems and his Strems Law Firm along with co-defendants Contender Claims Consultants and All Insurance Restoration Services have agreed to a $1 million settlement with Citizens Property Insurance to settle a massive fraud and collusion lawsuit.  The allegations included violations of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations …

Billions in Claims Fraud

Florida cited in NICB report

A new report says property and casualty insurance companies across the US paid upwards of an extra $9.2 billion in disaster claims because of insurance fraud last year.  With hurricane season just a week away, Citizens Property Insurance has decided to use a combination of traditional reinsurance and pre-event catastrophe …

Loud and Clear

Elizabeth Bonker has non-speaking autism, and she has not uttered a word since she was 15-months old.  So, when she was unanimously selected by her four fellow valedictorians to deliver the graduation speech to their Rollins College graduating class, she rose to the occasion.  Ms. Bonker used a text-to-speech computer program to deliver her May …