Category Archives: Property (Homeowners)

UPDATE: New Charges Filed Against Jacksonville Contractor & Suspected Fraudster

Eighteen new charges have been filed against Jacksonville contractor, Wyatt Green. Green was arrested in April on charges of organized fraud, forgery and grand theft. The list of Green’s victims has grown from a handful to 19. Homeowners contacted I-TEAM saying that their insurance companies had paid Storm RS to make repairs to their homes that were never completed.

Click here to read the article. (Previous post)

Filed under Fraud, Property (Homeowners)

Florida Supreme Court Dismisses Review of Assignment of Benefits Dispute

A divided Florida Supreme Court discharged jurisdiction and dismissed the review proceeding of an assignment of benefits case due to a law that was passed this spring revamping the AOB system.

According to court documents, the policyholders, John and Liza Squitieri assigned benefits to Restoration 1 to clean up water damage in their home. However, their insurance company Ark Royal Insurance Co. refused to pay the full amount. Restoration 1 sued Ark Royal for breach of contract but lost in circuit court and appeals court.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Legislation, Property (Homeowners)

New Claims Technology to Tackle Increased Water Damage Claims

There have been a lot more claims for water damage than wind damage in recent years, including the trillions of gallons of water Texas experienced when Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017. Since that time, water damage claims have gone up each year, representing more than 50% of hurricane claims.

Here are a few of the new technologies in the following areas are being used to help combat this uptick in water and flood loss:

  • Faster, easier and better-targeted forms of communication
  • Faster estimating
  • Virtual inspections
  • Damaged item valuation
  • Smarter vendor selection using data and analytics

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Property (Homeowners)

Florida CFO Urging Insurers to “Step Up” in Closing Out Remaining Hurricane Michael Claims

Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis is urging insurance companies to resolve the more than 21,000 open insurance claims related to Hurricane Michael. On the 9-month anniversary of Hurricane Michael, CFO Patronis released a statement to acknowledge “great strides in recovery,” but noted there’s a lot more work to do.

Click here to read the release.

Filed under Property (Homeowners)

What Laws Did or Did Not Pass During Florida’s 2019 Legislative Session

Many laws that were passed by the Florida Legislature during the 2019 legislative session effect the insurance industry. The majority of the laws took affect on July 1st. Here’s a summary of what did and did not pass.

Here’s what passed:

  • HB 7065 – AOB Reform (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • HB 301 – Insurance “Omnibus” bill (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • HB 617 – Flood Insurance Disclosure (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • HB 107 – Hands-Free Driving Requirement (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • HB 311 – Autonomous Vehicles (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • SB 1024 – Blockchain Technology Task Force (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • HB 1393 – Modifies Areas Regulated by the Florida Department of Financial Services (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • HB 7091 – Hurricane and Flood Loss Model Trade Secrets (Effective date: October 1, 2019)
  • SB 426 – Firefighters Cancer Benefits (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • HB 1253 – Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (Effective date: July 1, 2019)
  • SB 983 – First Responder PTSD (Effective date: Upon becoming law)

Here’s what didn’t pass:

  • HB 323 – Motor Vehicle Insurance Coverage for Windshield Glass
  • SB 1052 – Motor Vehicle Insurance/Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
  • HB 7077 – Medical Malpractice
  • SB 538/HB 387 – Nonadmitted Insurance Markets
  • HB 751 – Duty of Good Faith

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Legislation, Property (Homeowners)

Couple Denied Coverage After Water Heater Leak Under Policy’s Earth Movement Exclusion

Barbara and Charles Hatch had a water heater leak about 4,000 gallons of water flooding their home. Their insurance company, GeoVera Specialty Insurance Co., inspected the claim and issued payment to mitigate the damage. However, after then work had begun the Hatch’s discovered damage to the foundation and structure of the home.

Upon further inspection, GeoVera denied coverage based on the Hatch’s policy that excludes under the earth movement, which caused the foundation and structural damage. The district court ruled the structural damage to the Hatches’ home was excluded as the company claimed and GeoVera was entitled to summary judgment on that portion of the Hatches’ claim. In its decision, the district court explained that, under the policy, any damage caused by the accidental discharge of water from the water heater, including the structural damage to the Hatches’ home, was covered “unless otherwise excluded.”

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Property (Homeowners)

10 Unlicensed Workers Arrested in Fraud Sting

Florida Department of Financial Services and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office launched ‘Operation Stonewall,’ a three-day fraud sting to catch contractors allegedly agreeing to perform work without the required licenses and proper workers’ compensation insurance coverage.

Ten individuals were arrested in the fraud sting and could serve up to 5 years in prison if convicted.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Property (Homeowners)

Cape Coral Roofing Company Accused of Taking Money and Not Completing Work

According to WINK News of Fort Myers, FL, twenty-four people are accusing Campbell Roofing and Sheet Metal of Cape Coral of taking deposits for roofing jobs, starting the work and abandoning the jobs. In some cases, the roofer never started the job at all.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Fraud, Property (Homeowners)

17 Unlicensed Contractors Arrested in Sarasota County Sting Operation

Sarasota law enforcement partnered with the Sarasota County Building Department, the Florida Department of Financial Services Division of Insurance Fraud and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation on a sting operation to bust seventeen people who were allegedly doing unlicensed contract work.

During the three-day operation, detectives waited to see if the potential workers were licensed, registered, and insured to perform the work. The sting resulted in 17 arrests with 21 felony charges and 15 misdemeanor charges.

Click here for the news story.

Filed under Property (Homeowners)

It’s baaaack! Hurricane Season Starts Tomorrow and the Forecast Is In

The 2018 Atlantic hurricane season officially went in the books as being tumultuous or “above normal” to say the least.  However, 2019 doesn’t seem to trail too far behind. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, nine to 15 named storms are forecast during the six-month season that starts June 1, of those, 4 to 8 will become hurricanes and 2 to 4 will be major systems with winds of 111 miles (179 kilometers) per hour or more. This year is the fifth time in a row that a system has spun up in the Atlantic before the official June 1 start to the season.

Click here to read the article.

Filed under Property (Homeowners)