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Insurers prepare for Irma aftermath

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Insurance companies are prepared to meet Floridians’ needs after Hurricane Irma, state Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said Thursday.

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CFO Jimmy Patronis: Get a plan ahead of Irma

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Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis “is urging Floridians to prepare now for possible Florida impact” from Hurricane Irma, he said in a press release. “Residents should take steps immediately to ensure their family is prepared to possibly weather this major category 5 storm,” the release said.

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Jeff Atwater offers insurance advice as hurricane season opens

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Hurricane season begins Thursday. Are you covered? Are you sure? Better take a look at your policy, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater advised Tuesday. “For a better chance of a complication-free claims process, Floridians should carefully review all insurance policies to ensure that proper coverage is in place for their home, car, and belongings,” Atwater’s office said in a press release. “Common reasons for complications include a lack of adequate insurance coverage and insufficient documentation or proof of damage,” the…

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Rick Scott says he will sign ‘Uber bill’

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Gov. Rick Scott tweeted on Monday that he will sign into law a bill creating statewide regulations for ride-booking companies like Uber and Lyft. “I look forward to signing the @Uber/ @lyft bill,” Scott tweeted from his official account, @FLGovScott. Colin Tooze, Uber’s director of public affairs, tweeted back, “Many thanks for your leadership, @FLGovScott ! All of us at @Uber are excited to have a permanent home in the Sunshine State.” Lawmakers had considered legislation for four years before passing a bill…

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House panel votes to abolish PIP insurance effective Jan. 1

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A House committee voted overwhelmingly Monday to do away with personal injury protection, or PIP, insurance in Florida. The vote in the Insurance & Banking Subcommittee was 12-2, with Jay Fant and Blaise Ingoglia the holdouts. PCS/HB 1063 passed despite concerns by insurers that they need stronger protections against bad-faith lawsuits by people injured by their policyholders. Medical providers, meanwhile, argued that requiring accident victims to file lawsuits would make it harder for them to get paid. Michael Grant, a Republican from Port Charlotte, summed…

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House panel would allow interest payments on noneconomic verdicts

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Insurance interests are up in arms about a House committee’s approval of a bill that would allow plaintiffs to recover prejudgment interest on noneconomic claims, including pain and suffering. HB 469 says that plaintiffs who prevail in lawsuits could collect interest — at a rate now set a 4.9 percent, but varying with inflation — from the date of a loss. They could collect against attorney fees and costs, too. Exiting law provides for prejudgment interest on economic claims only,…

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Hurricane Matthew-related insurance claims surpass 29,000

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Insurance claims related to Hurricane Matthew are arriving in earnest now — nearly 30,000 of them as of Tuesday morning. The exact number, according to the Florida Department of Insurance Regulation, was 29,697. Estimated losses stood at $170 million. Of the total claims, 641 had been closed. “It’s still early in the process, but we are monitoring the information being reported for any potential concerns,” department spokeswoman Amy Bogner said via email. Residential property accounted for 26,147 claims; commercial, 481. Volusia County…

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