Insurance companies now face massive losses due to sinkholes in Florida

Sinkholes that are destroying Florida houses are now costing insurance companies in that state hundreds of thousands of dollars as claims begin rolling in. In fact, in three claims alone linked to sinkholes that cracked floors and broke water pipes, insurers had to pay out over $500,000. Among those three houses in question, none of the homeowners used the money to try to repair their homes. Instead, they are among the hundreds living in Florida’s “sinkhole alley” – which consists of the counties of Hillsborough, Hernando, Pasco, and Pinellas –…

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Finding the best homeowners’ insurance rates for 2012 coverage

Following a year of record breaking disasters, many homeowners are wondering how they can find lower and more affordable rates for their insurance policies. Even those with experience in shopping around for the best price for a policy are discovering that the process is becoming much more complex. Many insurance companies have now implemented a number of different types of exemptions for various forms of damage from storms and other natural events. Some are also assigning lower values to a home’s replacement cost. According to the Consumer Federation of America’s…

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Florida legislators feeling pressure to solve the fraud plaguing the state’s insurance industry

Florida Governor Rick Scott is pressuring lawmakers to make changes to some of the state’s auto and property insurance laws. The Governor claims that these laws are each costing consumers millions of dollars. Legislators have been trying to find a resolution for the issue for over a decade but have so far been unable to make any headway. Governor Scott is now pushing for a solution to be found quickly to prevent further financial stresses falling upon consumers. State law requires Floridian drivers to purchase personal injury protection. The issue…

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Citizens board of governors submits new legislative agenda to Florida lawmakers

The governing board of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has agreed on a new legislative agenda that could save the state-run insurance program more than $1.5 billion in insured losses. The board met with state legislators this week in Orlando to discuss the agenda, particularly what legislators can do to make the insurance program more efficient. The board expressed the importance of making cuts to the types of properties the program can insure and has begun pressuring lawmakers to hasten the rate at which premiums can rise. Earlier this year,…

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Florida legislators consider allowing surplus insurers to participate in Citizens Property Insurance Corp

In an effort to make Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. more sustainable in the future, lawmakers are now considering opening up the state-run insurance program to surplus carriers. Legislators believe that by allowing surplus insurers to participate, the program will go through a depopulation period as consumers take advantage of the wider variety in policies they have access to. Currently, the state-run program covers more than 1.5 million policyholders. With the program being so large, Governor Rick Scott believes that the only two solutions for sustainability lie in depopulating or…

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Nationwide average for homeowners’ insurance premiums increased in all but two states

According to the most recent HomeInsurance.com RateReport, which shows the average premiums across all of the states in the country over a 12 month period (as of September), all but two states experienced an increase in homeowners’ insurance premiums. The two states that saw a decrease in premiums were Washington D.C. and Vermont. All of the other states in the country saw their average homeowners’ premiums increase from 0.1 percent to 5.8 percent more than what policyholders had been paying during the year beforehand. The average premiums that were used…

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Florida dodges volatile hurricane season, could make Citizens Property Insurance more financially sound for 2012 season

Hurricane season has come to an end and Florida and its insurers are still standing. Florida has managed to evade major hurricanes for the past six consecutive years. For a state that is growing increasingly dependent upon insurance coverage, this is no small feat. Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance has also emerged from the season virtually unscathed by major storms, though the state-run insurer is still wracked with persistent financial and fraud issues. The 2011 Atlantic hurricane season produced 19 named storms, of which only 7 became full-fledged hurricanes, according to…

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