Category Archives: Blog

Florida Auto Insurance

Florida Passes PIP Reform Bill

Florida auto insurance – State Passes PIP Reform Bill

 

Gov. Rick Scott has got the legislation he wanted to reform Florida’s mandatory no-fault law and crack down on abuses in PIP cases that have led to skyrocketing increases in cost for coverage. Florida is number 1 in the country for staged auto accidents.

 

The personal injury protection law was adopted in 1972 to make sure anyone injured in an auto accident would quickly get money to treat their injuries. The legislation provided that a driver’s insurance company pay up to $10,000 to cover medical bills and lost wages after an accident, no matter who is at fault.

PIP costs have risen by $1.4 billion since 2008, largely because of the runaway fraud that threatens the system, most notably in the metropolitan Miami and Tampa areas.

The legislation requires an accident victim to obtain treatment within 14 days in an ambulance or hospital, or from a physician, osteopathic physician, chiropractic physician, or dentist. The full $10,000 PIP medical benefit is available only if a physician, osteopathic physician, dentist, or a supervised physician’s assistant or advanced registered nurse practitioner determines that the insured has an emergency medical condition. Otherwise, the PIP medical benefit is limited to $2,500.

Follow-up services and care requires a referral from a physician, osteopath, chiropractor or dentist. Massage therapists and acupuncture was eliminated from eligibility for PIP benefits.

Purchasing Florida Homeowners Insurance

 

How to choose a good one.

Buying a new home can be a daunting task, even for someone who has owned homes before. The first step in safeguarding your dream investment is to insure it with a good home insurance policy.

What is Florida Home Insurance?

 

Florida Home insurance provides coverage to you in the event of losses incurred due to fire, theft, or damage through certain natural disasters. Getting an economic home insurance is a good first step towards protecting your home. But ultimately, when you decide to buy florida home insurance, you should go for the best home insurance.

How Do You Choose a Good Home Insurance Plan?

Finding a good home insurance is often considered a lengthy process as there are several plans and companies to choose from. It takes extensive research right from the first step to the last. Over the years, India has seen a rise in home insurance with many dynamic insurance companies offering comprehensive home insurance policies.

Most policies tend to cover a wide range of household items and this in turn increases your premiums. The first thing to avoid this is to make an inventory list of all the household appliances that needs to be covered. Make a note of all your household appliances and write down an estimated value for each of them. Do remember that as household items pile up, coverage increases. And as coverage increases, so do premiums.

The next step is research. Go through brochures and websites and start comparing various policies. One thing you must keep in mind is insurance coverage. Choosing the right amount of coverage gives you peace of mind to know that your home insurance has you completely covered for any damage to your home or loss of your possessions. One thing you must look out for is excessive coverage. Some home insurance policies offer a variety of miscellaneous covers which may not be necessary to you.

You must also look out for important information such as:

• Can the policy be purchased and renewed online?

• Does the policy include a personal accident cover?

• If yes, how many people are covered under it?

• How many sum insured options are available? What is the maximum amount offered?

• Does the policy offer miscellaneous covers such as plate glass insurance and purchase protection on appliances?

Choosing the right insurance for your home and possessions will give you an added sense of security and reduce stress when replacing stolen or damaged goods or renovating your home. A comprehensive protection for your dream investment, home insurance guarantees you peace of mind

Florida Motorcycle Helmet Law

If you are a motorcycle rider over 21-years-old, you can go without a helmet in Florida. However, the Florida motorcycle helmet law requires that you have insurance coverage of at least $10,000 in medical benefits for injuries resulting from a motorcycle accident.

Do I need a special insurance to get this coverage?

You may already be covered by your medical insurance or have coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, or veterans benefits. But medical benefit policies can be hard to interpret, so you should call your benefits provider to find out if you have the right type and amount of coverage.

Motorcycles built for two

You’re just along for the ride, and the person operating the motorcycle’s insured. No problem right? Well, it depends. A passenger doesn’t have to be separately insured if covered under the driver’s policy—for example, as part of a family plan. However, if a passenger is not covered by such a plan, he or she must carry insurance for the proper amount or wear a helmet. If you’re under 21, a helmet is mandatory in any case.

Will I be stopped for not wearing a motorcycle helmet?

The Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles has taken the position that officers should not stop a motorcycle operator or passenger just to check their age or to ask for insurance. A law enforcement officer may stop someone if they have a reasonable suspicion that a driver or passenger of a motorcycle is under 21.

Be prepared

You should carry evidence of current insurance that shows your name and the amount of coverage. If you are covered under a family health insurance policy, you’ll need to carry the page of the policy that includes your name or which states that it covers family members. You can also call your insurance company to request a Certificate of Coverage.

If you don’t have evidence of insurance, you may be ticketed. Be respectful and don’t argue with the officer. You’ll have a chance to contest the ticket in court by showing your insurance then.

The penalty for a violation of the motorcycle helmet law in Florida

A violation of the helmet law is treated as a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable as a nonmoving violation.

Not all motorcycle helmets are created equal

It’s not enough just to wear a helmet if you are uninsured and/or under 21. A helmet has to conform to certain standards to be considered adequate protection. The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor vehicles publishes an approved motorcycle helmet list.

Why wear a motorcycle helmet

You may be over 21 and adequately insured, but you still might want to consider wearing a motorcycle helmet. Motorcycle riders can be very vulnerable in a motorcycle accident. Among the statistics: Motorcycle riders are about 26 times more likely to die in a collision than passengers in an automobile.

The Florida law abolishing the absolute requirement for helmets probably has not improved the odds. According to 2006 National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration statistics, 750 people would still be alive if they had worn a helmet at the time of their accident.

Florida Homeowners Insurance

Home Insurance Clearwater Fl – Fee increase will ding the ‘little guy’

By: John Hielscher   12/3/2012             Sarasota Herald-Tribune

 

Home Insurance buyers in Largo, Seminole, St Petersburg and Clearwater Florida may wind up paying more for loans because the state is slow in processing mortgages.

The Federal Housing Finance Agency has targeted Florida and four other states to hike the guarantee fees that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac charge for single-family mortgages.

The increase would not be substantial — in Florida, an estimated $56 per year on a 30-year, $200,000 mortgage — but it could affect homebuyers who can least afford it, some local experts say.

“It hurts the little guy,” said Sarasota mortgage banker Joe Adamaitis. “The guys who live and work here in Florida are the ones that ultimately pay the larger price for this kind of increase.”

The FHFA says the higher guarantee fees, commonly known as “g-fees,” will help recover some of excess costs Fannie and Freddie incur when mortgages default in those states.

Fannie and Freddie, both under FHFA conservatorship, charge g-fees on home loans that are based on the type of mortgage and the borrower’s credit profile.

States like Florida are burdening those government-sponsored enterprises because their slower foreclosure processing leads to higher costs, the FHFA contends.

Foreclosures take an average 666 days to process in Florida, the fourth-highest level in the country and much longer than the 396-day national average, according to FHFA data. The per-day carrying costs to handle non-performing loans and properties in Florida is 111 percent of the national average.

“Borrowers in states with lower default-related carrying costs are effectively subsidizing borrowers in states with higher costs,” the FHFA said in its proposal.

As proposed, a fee of 0.20 percent of the loan amount would be charged upfront for home loans from Florida that were acquired by Fannie or Freddie. Borrowers in Illinois would be charged 0.15 percent, in Connecticut and New Jersey 0.20 percent and 0.30 percent in New York.

Adamaitis, branch manager of Academy Mortgage Corp. in Sarasota and president of the Gulf Coast Chapter of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Florida, says the state is being unfairly penalized.

“This is all based on the fact that Florida cannot foreclose fast enough and the costs to carry that property. It’s a cost of doing business, and the lenders won’t absorb it themselves, so the borrowers are going to pay.

“Anytime you increase the cost to borrowers, it’s going to hurt,” Adamaitis said.

The impact may not be felt as strongly here, he said, because many homebuyers have more money to put down, especially those who are preparing to move to Florida for retirement.

“Somebody coming from up north, and their interest rate is 3.5 percent there and 3.75 percent here, it’s not going to stop them if they are looking for a second home because they want to be here,” he said.

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater blasted the proposal, saying taxpayers have already spent nearly $190 billion bailing out Fannie and Freddie, with only a fraction paid back. He says the plan should be withdrawn.

“This proposed fee is nothing more than a back-door housing tax that unfairly penalizes future homeowners and strains an already fragile housing market,” Atwater said.

“It is unconscionable to think that more of taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars will be added to their coffers through higher fees,” he said.

The pending fee hike would come on top of a nationwide 10 basis-point increase in g-fees started Dec. 1 by Fannie and Freddie for the next 10 years to fund a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and Medicare reimbursements.

The Florida Realtors trade group said it stands with its national counterpart in opposing the use of g-fees for anything other than their intended purpose.

“While we certainly understand and appreciate the need to bring financial relief to the middle class, what amounts to effectively imposing a tax on housing isn’t the answer, particularly given the instability of the housing sector,” said John Sebree, senior vice president of public policy at Florida Realtors.

“It makes little sense to tax mortgage originations or the refinances of middle-class Americans to generate the desired revenue to cover the cost of a 10-month payroll tax extension aimed at providing relief to the middle-class,” he said.