Regulators Find Florida Insurance Companies Are Ready To Handle Hurricane Damage
A top Florida state regulator issued a report stating that 67 of Florida’s insurance companies are financially able to handle hurricane damage, even if the state were to see multiple hurricanes in one season. State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater had positive things to say about this report, despite the fact that it does not provide sufficient information for customers to compare carriers. Atwater believes the report should foster an increase in confidence in the state’s insurance industry.
However, Citizens Property Insurance Company, a state-run company, is still removing customers and urging them to look at private insurance carriers. Atwater has commented that these moves by Citizens to encourage the use of private insurance companies may be “scare tactics.” Citizens is on pace to remove 130,000 customers by the end of 2015. The company has removed approximately one million customers since 2012.
Because of the move toward private insurance companies, Atwater requested the so-called “stress testing” of these companies. Many people have not heard of some of the companies and questioned whether they could financially survive an intense hurricane season. The companies were run through three past storm seasons, including a 1921 storm in Tampa Bay, a 1947 storm in Fort Lauderdale, and the 2004 season, which resulted in four storms hitting throughout the state. Companies were tested to see whether they had enough surplus after paying out all claims from the storms to equal ten percent of the company’s liabilities. All 67 companies passed the stress test, according to the report; 30 companies passed the test with over 500 percent of the surplus required; and nine companies had a surplus of 110 percent to 140 percent of the requirement. However, the report does not state how each company performed or which companies performed better. There is a resource, however, for consumers to see the amount of surplus each company must carry under state law and how much surplus each company actually has. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation made this information available online here. The test participant information provided by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation also includes the number of policies each company has outstanding as of June 30, 2015.
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Negotiating with insurance companies can be difficult. Making a claim on your policy can involve a lot of time and effort, which can be a frustrating process. Policies can be confusing and involve lots of back and forth communication with your insurance company. If you are unsure about the specifics of your insurance policy, or if you are concerned about a claim being made against your insurance policy, the advice of a seasoned team of insurance lawyers is invaluable. The Miami lawyers at Pita, Weber & Del Prado are available to advise you of your rights. Call 305-670-2889 today to speak with our staff.