Regulators seek claims answers
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) last week issued data calls on Hurricanes Sally, Michael, and Irma, providing notice to insurers to file a Catastrophe Reporting Form for these past storms. OIR is asking for a simplified form for Sally claims and enhanced forms for Michael and Irma claims, which includes the “Survey” tab within the form template.
OIR states it’s instituting these data calls “for the purpose of collecting additional claims and other relevant information,” as follows:
Data Call Notice for Hurricane Sally – Reporting Deadline: October 26, 2020, 12 noon, ET
Data Call Notice for Hurricane Michael – Reporting Deadline: November 2, 2020, 12 noon, ET
Data Call Notice for Hurricane Irma – Reporting Deadline: November 9, 2020, 12 noon, ET
Many have wondered what prompted these requests, especially since Hurricanes Irma and Michael occurred three years ago and two years ago, respectively. To say that these hurricanes are ones that keep on giving is an understatement! Florida statutes allow for claims to be filed up to three years post hurricane and what appears to be commonplace is that even after the three year deadline, insurance companies will do all they can to accommodate a hurricane claim as it is difficult and costly to deny when a formal complaint is lodged because of a “missed deadline.”
The market reported that there was a “flood” of claims leading to the September 10 Hurricane Irma deadline and it appears OIR is seeking to determine what the numbers look like. These data requests are primarily aimed at giving OIR the ability to determine the costs of ongoing claims and for that matter, how these claims affect an insurer’s reserves and the overall fiscal health of the insurance company. Data calls serve as market tools for regulators to determine insurance companies’ responses and a heads-up on trends in the marketplace that may require additional regulatory action.
OIR’s website shows Hurricane Sally claims (as of September 28, 2020) totaled 56,852 with total estimated insured losses of $300.7 million and 11.2% of those claims closed. Hurricane Michael claims (as of December 13, 2019) totaled 149,815 with total estimated insured losses of $7.85 billion and 90.6% of claims closed. Hurricane Irma claims (as of January 10, 2020) totaled 1,062,835 with total estimated insured losses of $17.44 billion and 95.7% of claims closed.
In other hurricane news, in the “gee-wiz” department, Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has successfully partnered with vendor Xactware in testing and making available a new “Claims Estimate Mobile Application.” It runs on any device and guides a field adjuster or inspector through the claims process without the need for internet or cellular service until the estimate is ready for actual filing. It’s designed to deliver an estimate done to Xactimate standards, improving the efficiency and quality of the claim – a win-win for adjusters and policyholders.
LMA Newsletter of 10-26-20