FACT Book

The Florida Insurance FACT Book is the result of years of pertinent data accumulated by the Florida Insurance Council. It is a one-of-a-kind, constantly evolving, Florida-specific resource that includes important material compiled from Florida Insurance Council, along with data assembled from other Internet sites, including state agencies, the Florida Legislature and important national sources.

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Task Force on Long-Term Solutions for Florida's Hurricane Insurance Market, final report:

http://www.floir.com/pdf/lts_2006.pdf

 

The Property Insurance Reform Committee developoed dozens of issues and options that could stabilize and improve the hurricane insurance market in Florida. Here is an October 18, 2006, ourline that has good background on some of the most significant issues. The committee was chaired by then-Lieutenant Governor Toni Jennings.

Jennings Committee Issues & Options

 

(This report is from the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee as part of the Senate’s 2006 Regular Session Summary)

PROPERTY INSURANCE
CS/CS/SB 1980 — Property and Casualty Insurance
by Ways and Means Committee; Banking and Insurance Committee; and Senator Garcia


Sinkhole Claims

  • Requires the Department of Financial Services to certify engineers and geologists to serve as “neutral evaluators” of sinkhole claims disputes. This process would be mandatory if requested by either party, but nonbinding, and the costs would be paid by the insurer. If the insurer timely complies with the recommendation of the neutral evaluator, but the policyholder declines to resolve the matter in accordance with the evaluator’s recommendation, the insurer is not liable for extra-contractual (bad faith) damages related to issues determined at the neutral evaluation. Also, the insurer is not
    liable for attorney’s fees, unless the policyholder obtains a more favorable judgment at trial. OIR is appropriated funds and 2 FTEs for this purpose.
  • Allows residential policies to provide a deductible for sinkhole losses equal to 1, 2, 5, or 10 percent of the dwelling limits.
  • Allows the insurer to make payment directly to the persons selected by the policyholder to make the repairs, if approved by the policyholder and lien holder.
  • Deletes the current requirement that testing by a geologist to determine the presence or absence of a sinkhole loss be conducted in compliance with a specified publication of the Florida Geological Survey.
  • Requires OIR to calculate a presumed factor to reflect the impact on rates of the changes made by the act related to sinkhole claims and the changes made by provisions of the 2005 property insurance act related to sinkhole claims. OIR is appropriated $250,000 for the purposes of this study. Each residential property insurer must, in it next rate filing
    after October 1, 2006, reflect a rate change that takes into account the presumed factor.
  • Requires that insurers file information regarding paid sinkhole claims with the county clerk of court, rather than the county property appraiser, and specifies that the recording of the report does not constitute a lien or restriction on the title, and does not create any cause of action or liability.
  • Makes it unlawful for a contractor or business providing sinkhole remediation services to communicate with any attorney for the purpose of assisting the attorney in the solicitation of legal business.

HB 217 was a major sinkhole insurance proposal winning final approval from the Legislature during the 2006 regular session. It was vetoed by then-Governor Bush because it duplicated provisions in the big property insurance package of that year, SB 1906.

This bill analysis from House committees, including the House Insurance Committee, contains excellent background on sinkholes in Florida and sinkhole insurance issues.

 See Background, beginning on page 2.

House Insurance Committee, 2006 Session, Analysis on Sinkhole Insurance

CPCU eJournal, December 2005

by Cassandra R. Cole, Ph.D.; Richard B. Corbett, Ph.D., CPCU,
CLU, ARM; Randy E. Dumm, Ph.D.; Kevin M. Gatzlaff;
Patrick F. Maroney, J.D.; Kathleen A. McCullough, Ph.D.;
and James W. (Jay) Newman Jr.


Abstract: Insurers in the state of Florida are required to make coverage available for
the peril of sinkhole. Over the past 15 years, several studies have indicated a
continual increase in the scope of the problem in terms of both frequency and
severity. In a 2005 report to the state of Florida, a variety of solutions were
proposed to mitigate the impact of the sinkhole problem in Florida. This
article summarizes those recommendations and the subsequent action
taken by the 2005 Florida legislature. These findings can be applied to other
states exposed to similar perils, both subsidence- and nonsubsidence-related.

http://www.cpcusociety.org/file_depot/0-10000000/0-10000/3267/conman/CPCUeJournalDec05article1.pdf 

FINAL REPORT:
INSURANCE STUDY OF SINKHOLES
Submitted to the State of Florida
April 2005
Center for Insurance Research
Florida State University, Tallahasseee

Investigators:
Patrick F. Maroney
Cassandra R. Cole
Richard B. Corbett
Randy E. Dumm
Kevin L. Eastman
Kevin M. Gatzlaff
Kathleen A. McCullough
Consultants:
Mark Browne
James W. (Jay) Newman, Jr.
Martin M. Simons


I. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
A. OVERVIEW
Sinkhole losses have been an ongoing issue in Florida. At the request of the 2004 Florida Legislature, a feasibility and cost/benefit study of a Florida Sinkhole Insurance Facility has been conducted. Specifically, the study examines the availability, coverage options, and costs associated with various sinkhole insurance programs. This study is divided into several major sections. Section I is the Executive Summary. Section II outlines the scope of the report and the mandate of the Legislature. The background related to prior Florida sinkhole studies is provided in Section III of the document. A discussion of several single-peril facilities related to the major points of interest outlined in the legislation is
contained in Section IV. Section V contains a summary of the sinkhole problem in Florida and the main points of consideration in designing a sinkhole facility. Section VI discusses the non-insurance sinkhole-related services that should be considered, regardless of the establishment of a sinkhole facility. Section VII discusses issues related to alternative dispute resolution, while Section VII discusses the effect of sinkholes on existing statues as they related to the availability and affordability of coverage. The final section, Section IX, provides overall conclusions and areas for further research and action. An extensive series of appendices is included with additional information related to the issues described in the report.

http://www.floir.com/pdf/Sinkhole_Study_042005.pdf

 

Sig. Bg: 2005 Joint Select Committee on Hurricane Insurance - House Bill

On January 5, 2005, Senate President Tom Lee and House Speaker Alan Bense appointed the Joint Select Committee on Hurricane Insurance to review issues arising from the four-storm, 2004 hurricane season. The group submitted a report on February 25. This is an analysis by the House Insurance Committee on HB 1745, which was the major House vehicle implementing recommendations of the joint committee, including a "drop-down" Cat Fund retention for insurers in a subsequent multi-event hurricane season.

 This study also contains excellent background information on the joint committee and the 2004 hurricane season.

2005 Joint Select Committee on Hurricane Insurance - House Bill

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