Next  Meeting

 

Date:  Due to the current Pandemic The July 14, 2020 meeting has been cancelled. 

 

Next meeting is 2/29/2021

 
Presentation on Statutes, Rule and Codes and provides valuable resources and contacts - See Presentation

NEWS YOU CAN USE FROM AROUND THE STATE 

June 22, 2020

Citizens Insurance Files Suit Against the Strems Law Firm.

Speaking of cooking up and inflating claims, many of you are following the Strems Law Firm Supreme Court actions and now others are piling on.  Last week, Citizens Property Insurance filed suit alleging Scot Strems and his firm, along with several associates, conspired to defraud Citizens into paying for sham first-party property insurance claims.  This is the latest action against Strems and follows his law license suspension and subsequent complaints filed by The Florida Bar against him and a second attorney in the firm.

June 22, 2020

Why are your insurance rates increasing? Great example - Florida Bar vs Scott Strems Law Firm Emergency Petition - Read what is taking place in Florida

This petition of The Florida Bar seeks emergency relief and requires the immediate attention of the Supreme Court pursuant to R. Regulating Fla. Bar 3- 5.2. The Florida Bar seeks the emergency suspension of Scot Strems, Attorney No. 42524, from the practice of law in Florida based upon facts that establish clearly and convincingly that Mr. Strems and his firm are causing great public harm.

Read how for years the Strems Law Firm has impacted insurance companies and insurance consumers across Florida.  

April 27, 2020

Florida Supreme Court to decide if its appropriate for a public adjuster to also serve as an appraiser.

The Florida Supreme Court is being asked to decide the question of whether it’s appropriate for a public adjuster to also serve as a disinterested appraiser in a property damage claims dispute.  And of particular interest, this case involves contingency fees from the appraisal process.

March 31, 2020

Contractor and associates plead guilty to Hurricane Michael scam

 Three Tampa area men who made the six-hour trip to the Panhandle to supposedly help elderly Hurricane Michael victims repair their damaged homes have now pled guilty in federal court to scamming them out of more than $300,000.

The feds charged Edward Newton of Lutz, who they say used his two businesses, Newton Remodeling and Statewide Marketing, to carry out the fraudulent scheme.  The indictment charged Newton with hiring Christopher Mayes of Tarpon Springs and Christian Pantazonis of Largo to go door to door in Bay County soliciting home repair contracts, a month after Hurricane Michael struck in October of 2018.

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HURRICANE INFORMATION

The Florida Property and Casualty Insurance Fraud Task Force issues press release regarding Hurricane Michael. 

Press Release

State CFO Jimmy Patronis is ready to deal with fraud following Hurricane Dorian.  Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team activated. 

Indicators of Storm-Related Fraud 

  • A contractor or restoration professional who offered to waive or discount your insurance deductible.

  • A contractor or restoration professional that has received payment and has failed to provide any repairs to your home.

  • A contractor or restoration professional who offered to provide repairs at a cash-only discounted rate and has failed to provide repairs to your home.

  • A contractor or restoration professional who pressured you to sign an AOB and has failed to provide any repairs to your home or stopped responding to your contact attempts.

CFO Jimmy Patronis - Understand what you are signing

  • Contact your insurance company before signing any document that may contain an AOB

  •  Read and understand your insurance policy 

  • Be sure all documents that you sign have no blanks

  • Consumer helpline - (877)-693-5236

Press Release​

 

Consumer Brochure - How to avoid a disaster after the disaster.  The Task Force has created a brochure to help protect you and your property after a loss.  Click to read brochure 

Florida Division of Consumer Service - Need Assistance with an insurance matter?  Click here

Concerned that you are being misled into signing an AOB.  Before signing any AOB learn what the RED flags are  Click Here

Use CAUTION in signing any document that transfers the insurance claims rights or benefits to a third party.  Learn more about the dangers of signing an Assignment of Benefits - Click here

REMEMBER - INSURANCE FRAUD AFFECTS ALL INSURANCE CONSUMERS - PLEASE REPORT ANY SUSPECTED INSURANCE FRAUD Report Insurance Fraud

Eye on Tallahassee -Changes related to AOB's  

HB - 7065  -  Now Law - Addresses AOB Language, pre-suit duties and attorney Fees (signed into law and effective July 1, 2019  One way attorney fees portion in effect as of 5/23/19).  View Bill

  • Define “assignment agreement” and establishing requirements for the execution, validity, and effect of such an agreement

  • Prohibit certain fees and altering policy provisions related to managed repairs in an assignment agreement

  • Transfer certain pre-lawsuit duties under the insurance contract to the assignee and shifting the burden to the assignee to prove that any failure to carry out such duties has not limited the insurer’s ability to perform under the contract

  • Require each insurer to report specified data on claims paid in the prior year under assignment agreements by January 30, 2022, and each year thereafter

  • Allow an insurer to make available a policy prohibiting assignment, in whole or in part, under certain conditions

  • Revise the state’s one-way attorney fee statute to incorporate an attorney fee structure in determining the fee amount awarded in suits by an assignee against an insurer

  • Require service providers to give an insurer and the consumer prior written notice of at least 10 business days before filing suit on a claim.

  • Gives the insured 14 days to rescind the assignment.

  • Gives the insured 30 days to rescind the assignment if the assignee has not begun substantial work during that 30 days.

  • Requires the assignee to provide a copy of the assignment agreement to the insurance company within 3 days.

  • Limits assignments of benefits to $3,000 or 1 percent of Coverage A during emergencies.

  • Prohibits assignee from charging fees or penalties for mortgage processing, rescission or cancellation of the agreement, or administrative fees to insureds.

  • Limits the ability of assignees to collect payment from insureds.

  • Requires insurers to report information about assignments to the Office of Insurance Regulation.

  • Provides that Citizens Property Insurance Corporation cannot implement rate changes unless the rate filing reflects projected savings from the bill.

Please  Join Us in the Fight Against Insurance Fraud

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