The Florida insurance market is struggling with all the recent insolvencies. With the high cost of insurance premiums, clients call and ask if they should keep insuring their property or should they self-insure.
I am a strong believer that you should never self-insure and always have coverage for a catastrophic event such as a fire, tornado, hurricane or flooding. The out of pocket costs for one of these claims could be financially devastating without the proper insurance coverage.
More recently, surplus lines carriers have entered the Florida market, although there are still good strong and financially sound admitted carriers writing insurance policies.
What Is An Admitted Carrier?
An admitted insurance company sells insurance products that are regulated by the state.
In Florida, that is the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and if you have an issue with your insurance company, you can turn to DFS for assistance.
These carriers have specific requirements they need to adhere to, and must also submit reports to the state to make sure they are solvent and don't lose their rating.
Surplus Lines Carriers Are Different
A surplus lines insurance company can sell insurance products that are not regulated by the state and the state has no authority over them.
Some of these companies are placing restrictions in their policies. They are not allowing you, a policyholder, to utilize the services of a public adjuster should you need help with an insurance claim.
This is not good public policy or consumer friendly when an insurance company wants to restrict you from seeking help if you need it.
Do you think it is okay for the insurance company to have an independent adjuster "help" them, but you are unable to get help from your own public adjuster? This leaves you with no protection.
What You Should Do
Your insurance agent should review your needs and discuss all available insurance companies. Make sure they explain what is covered, what is not covered and if there are limits or restrictions within the policy.
Don't shop price, shop coverage. Never assume a policy provides full coverage. By asking lots of questions and having the proper information, you can then make an educated decision on the best policy for your needs.
What is most important, is that your insurance agent should always put your needs and interests before their own commissions.
Understanding Your Insurance
It is important that you understand the insurance you are purchasing and due your due diligence to protect your largest asset, whether it is your home or business.
Compare all the quotes you receive from each carrier. Review the coverages, exclusions, and endorsements of the policy before you agree to have them insure your property.
If you need help, we offer complimentary policy reviews. We know what to look for and what questions to ask so call us today.