Hi clients and friends.
Here is an update for the first half of 2023.
90% of our Hurricane Ian wind and/or food claims are closed. If you are one of the 10% that is not closed- I am sorry (I am one of them too as my excess flood insurance company is not being kind- yet!). I can tell you that Ian was by far the most extreme event for most of our clients from a financial and emotional perspective.
I would say that the majority of our carriers we work with finally got it right. Some were very slow to react or had a lot of turnovers or did not have the staff to react. Most auto companies were able to quickly handle the claims, the hurricane insurance property carriers took more time than expected and the flood carriers still are trying to catch up.
If you are one of the 10% of our clients who have an unresolved claim, I would say it is time to hire a private adjuster or attorney. You can always call or email me to help too, but after 8 months I would say you need something to push the claim along more than me calling the company. In my case, I hired a public adjuster on my excess flood claim as the adjuster lowballed me. I know I will get most of it back because they approved most of the loss, but they came in a lot lower than my actual costs. It will take at least another 6 months.
Coverage and Company Matters
As we go forward into renewal season post-Ian we will continue to focus on coverage and companies we do business with. For the most part most of our companies responded well (some too slow, but they finally got it right over time). We will continue to focus our business with companies where we know the management and financials.
Flood Coverage Enhancements
Companies are coming up with better flood policies. In the past flood carriers did not cover loss of use, replacement cost on contents, pool equipment and dock coverage. This was a real gap in coverage that was magnified post Ian. Companies are coming up with solutions for the basic FEMA policy. In most cases it is more money, but at the same time better coverage. Ask your account manager for a quote to compare.
Renewals Prices are Unsustainable
The renewal market is not realistic or sustainable. About ½ of you have seen your 2023 renewal offer. The lowest renewal increase has been 15% and the highest has been 70%, with an average being about 30%. About 25% of the time the insurance company is not offering a renewal as they are reducing their exposure in Florida. When this happens, we have found a renewal option for ALL of our clients. We have over 18 companies to work with and we are one of the biggest agencies in Naples, so I am confident in our process, coverage and pricing. We are doing the best we can to be proactive on renewals by reaching out to you.
Legislation Changes will Help
In December 2022 the Florida legislature passed insurance reform. This was their second attempt, and I would say this one will be successful. They eliminated “one way attorney fees”; curtailed most “assignment of benefits” and reduced the time frame to file a hurricane claim from three years to one. All of this will stabilize the market, but it will take time.
New Companies and Capital are Entering the Florida Market
There have been 3 new companies that have entered the Florida market this year. We are appointed with all of them. In addition, the companies that were in financial trouble have been washed out to sea. I don’t foresee another large wave of companies going insolvent.
Welcome Insurance Source of Naples Clients
We purchased the Insurance Source of Naples business in December 2022. Tiffany Lehman sold her successful business and started a nonprofit – Empowerment Farms where she purchased a five acre property in Collier County to bring kids out to a working farm. Shirley, Ashleigh and Trish came over to the Harbour team and we hired Sylvia to help the Insurance Source of Naples clients. The integration is complete and is going very well.
I want to give a big thank you to all of the Harbour Insurance team who work so hard to make sure you have the best coverage available. They have been through so much the last eight months, from dealing with their own insurance losses, to helping you with your claims and now helping you work through these challenging renewals. The last eight months have not been easy, and the Harbour team has done a great job.
We are rapidly growing and are hiring some new positions to continue to scale our growth. The newest position we are about to fill is an “Insurance Operations and Technology Manager.” With the new hires I hope to continue our strong customer service focus to you.
Thank you all for your business and support,