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Tell ’em what they’ve won! More Menendez-Grimm details

Tue Mar 25th, 2014 on     Insurance Law,    

We have a friend who believes that “grandfathering” is the most confusing term used by rulemakers. We suggested she read the tax code for other candidates. The subject came up because we were about to explain more provisions of the Menendez-Grimm Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, and grandfathering is front and center.

Menendez-Grimm: Out with the bad insurance law, in with the good

Fri Mar 21st, 2014 on     Insurance Law,    

News sources are saying that President Obama is “set to sign” the flood insurance bill we discussed in our last post. There were whispers of a veto earlier this year because the White House had some qualms about the bill (see our Jan. 31, 2014, post). A report from the Office of Management and Budget had questioned the fiscal wisdom of rolling back the planned rate increases from the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012. If rates did not increase, the National Flood Insurance Program would continue to operate with a significant deficit, the OMB said.

More policyholder-friendly NFIP reform just a signature away

Mon Mar 17th, 2014 on     Insurance Law,    

The U.S. Senate has passed the Menendez-Grimm bill, also known as HR 3370, also known as the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2013, also known — informally, at least — as the antidote to Biggert-Waters. After months of wrangling in both the House and the Senate, the bill is finally making its way to the president’s desk, where it may or may not be signed. We have been following the action for the past few months.

Slower rate of growth good news for commercial policyholders

Thu Mar 13th, 2014 on     Insurance Claims,    

We usually talk about consumers’ issues with insurance companies. Flood insurance, homeowner insurance, auto insurance and life insurance — these are topics that focus on Florida residents and their families. In this post, though, we have something for businesses: the fourth-quarter results of Towers Watson’s Commercial Lines Insurance Pricing Survey.

Consumers not so predictable in insurance ‘switching’ survey

Thu Mar 6th, 2014 on     Homeowners Insurance,    

The insurance industry group at Accenture PLC released the results of a survey recently that must have made a few agents and brokers shudder. The results, in fact, may explain in part why the industry is so anxious for Congress to pass the National Association of Registered Agents and Brokers Reform Act (see our Feb. 4 post): If they cannot sell across borders, agents and brokers will have a tough time competing with, oh, Amazon and Google.

Chinese drywall hits the fan in ruling against manufacturer p2

Tue Mar 4th, 2014 on     Insurance Claims,    

We are continuing our discussion of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decision in a class action case against one of the manufacturers of Chinese drywall. The court has ordered that the company pay damages to the homeowners who were the named plaintiffs in the class action. The plaintiffs are not from Florida, but the decision clears the way for Florida homeowners to pursue the manufacturer for damages as well.

Chinese drywall hits the fan in ruling against manufacturer

Fri Feb 28th, 2014 on     Insurance Claims,    

The Chinese drywall debacle should be well behind us, but homeowners in Florida and a couple of other states are still waiting for their day in court. Their wait should not last much longer, though, now that the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the second manufacturer of the defective drywall cannot remove the litigation to China and must pay damages to a handful of plaintiffs.

Ask not for whom the Death List tolls – unless you’re ‘certified’ p2

Mon Feb 24th, 2014 on     Insurance Law,    

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013 included a provision that has the insurance industry in a kerfuffle. The provision deals with access to the Social Security Death Master File, perhaps the most comprehensive list of deceased Americans available. Life insurance companies in particular use the list to identify insureds and annuitants that have passed away. In fact, thanks in part to Florida’s efforts to hold the companies accountable, a number of life insurance companies have committed to check their lists against the DMF on a more regular basis.

Ask not for whom the Death List tolls – unless you’re ‘certified’

Fri Feb 21st, 2014 on     Insurance Law,    

The Social Security Death Master File is in the news again. Florida is an old friend to the DMF, having led the posse of states challenging the use of the file by life insurance companies. As we have discussed before — in our Oct. 12, 2012, post, for example — life insurers had regularly checked the DMF to make sure they were not paying annuities to people who had passed away, but the same insurers had much less frequently checked the list to make sure they were paying life insurance benefits to named beneficiaries in a timely manner. As a result, millions of dollars went undistributed to rightful heirs while the insurance companies collected interest on the unpaid monies.

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