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Barry Gilway

Former insurance consumer advocate Sean Shaw explains what to do before, after Irma

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Tampa state Representative Sean Shaw knows a thing or two about insurance in Florida, having served as the state’s Insurance Consumer Advocate for nearly two years between 2008 and 2010. With Hurricane Irma barreling toward the Sunshine State in less than 48 hours, FloridaPolitics.com talked to him about what homeowners need to do in advance of the storm, and what they need to do after Irma leaves, with potentially a lot of damage left in its wake.

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Lawmaker ties insurance changes with lower rates

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The chairwoman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee said Wednesday that customers of Citizens Property Insurance should receive rate reductions as the state-backed insurer takes steps to curb claims for water-damage repairs. Miami Republican Sen. Anitere Flores said during a hearing on proposed Citizens rate increases that South Florida policyholders are frustrated and have “lost trust” in the insurer.

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Citizens suggests policyholders update insurance ahead of Matthew

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation advised its policyholders Wednesday to update their policy information ahead of Hurricane Matthew, which is expected to pass along Florida’s east coast Thursday through Saturday. “Policyholders need to remember that their personal safety is the highest priority,” said Barry Gilway, Citizens president, CEO, and executive director. “Take precautions and follow instructions of local emergency management agencies. Citizens is ready to help you recover.” The state-backed insurer advised policyholders to make sure their contact and mortgage company…

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Spike in claims sparks talk of rate hike, policy changes at Citizens Property Insurance

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida’s largest property insurer is discussing whether to eliminate caps on rate hikes and limit what homeowners can do if they have water damage. The state-created Citizens Property Insurance is debating changes in order to combat lawsuits tied to water damage claims. Citizens Property Insurance President Barry Gilway said Wednesday that a rise in lawsuits over claims is “insane,” particularly in South Florida. Gilway said claims are rising even though the number of Citizens policyholders is getting smaller. It is…

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State insurance regulators approve coastal property rate hikes

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Office of Insurance Regulation approved new Citizens Property Insurance Corp. rates Tuesday that will increase costs for about 40 percent of policyholders when they take effect in February 2016. Under the approved rates the average premium for miltiperil policies will rise to $2,381 a year, up from the $2,339 average rate this year. The $42 increase is about 1.8 percent higher than the current average rate for a comprehensive policy. “Today’s decision by the Office of Insurance Regulation reflects Citizens’ success in reducing exposure…

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Despite storm-free seasons, Florida insurance still pricey

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Living in a (semi)-tropical paradise has a price – and apparently, not even going nine years without a major hurricane strike will change that. While Florida’s property insurance market has stabilized somewhat since eight storms battered the state in 2004 and 2005, as storms such as Hurricane Wilma caused billions in damages, the state still has some of the nation’s highest homeowners insurance rates. A recent national report showed that Florida’s average homeowner premium of more than $2,000 a year…

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