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Defending Citizens…

While we confess to playing the (aggressive) watchdog regarding Citizens…piling on when Citizens eliminates internal audit staffor when the Citizens internal processes would seem more at home in a soap opera, we also believe in defending carriers – Citizens included – when allegations are made with which we disagree.  Specifically, the latest salvoes regarding Citizens’ internal expenses are just…laughable.   Having worked in the insurance business now for multiple decades, the ‘allegations’ being made about Citizens staff being profligate with State (and policyholder) money is utterly ridiculous.  CITIZENS IS THE LARGEST PROPERTY INSURER…IN THE STATE OF FLORIDA!  Regardless of whether it is...

Too Much Ad Spend?

As a dedicated watcher of football (live and on television), I confess to noticing the INCREDIBLE preponderance of insurance ads (particularly for car insurance) of late.  Now?  That increase in ad spend has been validated by McKinsey in a new report.   This is an interesting dichotomy (to me)…and I’ve commented to my two sons (who are ALSO voracious consumers of live and televised football) that “if insurance companies spent as much on backoffice services and claims payment…as they do on these ads…life would be better all around.”   But the whole process makes me wonder if this is a chicken/egg situation.  That is…without...

What We Can GAIN…from Big Tex’s LOSS

This may fit the category of ‘old news’ (in internet time)…but only recently has this become ‘insurance news’ (in ANY time).   On October 19, 2012, the State of Texas lost an icon and a native son (no, Billy Gibbons is still alive and well…touring in Australia soon, in fact, with Axl Rose.)  Rather, Big Tex, the massive statute that greeted visitors to the Texas State Fair…caught fire and burned to the ground.  Big Tex had been on the grounds of the State Fair since 1950, so the passing of this iconic symbol was a big deal in a state where everything...

Coverage For Intentional Acts…Criminal Acts…and Then Some

Insurance being – generally – a straightforward commercial endeavor, there is not a great deal of ‘philosophical’ interpretation that goes on within the industry.  One of the few areas in which this DOES occur --- and an area in which we counsel clients and younger insurance professionals (near-daily)…is  the ‘what is?’ of insurance.  Specifically, in the daily hustle of an insurance brokerage (underwriting, marketing, placing, billing, financing, issuing, so on, and so on, and so on) there is often a very real - and very common - predisposition to forget what almost every client views the most fundamental element of...

What is Sequestration?

Despite insuring primarily private sector firms, a number of Sabal clients have inquired about ‘sequestration’ and how it would impact their firms should the federal government fail to come to an agreement on deficit reduction talks.  So…a primer: Sequestration, sometimes called the sequester, is a process that automatically cuts the federal budget across all departments and agencies.  Congress included the threat of sequestration in the Budget Control Act of 2011 as a way to encourage compromise on deficit reduction efforts.  Congress couldn’t agree on a budget by the deadline set in the Budget Control Act, so mandatory budget cuts were scheduled...

Sinkholes And Insurance

The particular geology of Florida’s oolite limestone (and the sinkholes that are its side effect) has burst into the popular consciousness afterthe tragic death of Jeff Bush on February 28th in the Tampa suburb of Seffner.   Mr. Bush’s demise led to several questions on the coverage of sinkholes in insurance policies for both commercial and personal clients ofSabal.   And – without getting too granular on the response – the peril of sinkhole is, like many other elements in a ‘special form’ (formerly known as ‘all risk’) policy, included…unless it’s specifically EXCLUDED (nothing like insurance policy contracts to give you some circular logic…)   In...

Obamacare…and P&C Insurance

When P+C  'industry experts' discuss the impact of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA "Obamacare") and the P+C sector...

Fraud Allegation Leveled Against Allianz…Related to Magnolia’s Failure

When Florida regulators from the Department of Financial Services ("DFS") recently accused insurance giant Allianz of fraud (a charged term, 'fraud' is the ultimate 'F word' in insurance and financial circles), it brought to mind history repeating itself.  This is because it ALSO brings to mind a central tenet of 'insurance' (the lower case version...

Even BIGGER Rumblings…on Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Front

Recently, we posted on the Biiig Rumblings…on Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Front regarding the Westphal v. City of St Petersburg case and the market upheaval that could follow.   Now, that market upheaval has been quantified by NCCI into a dollar amount ($65,000,000).   To refresh, the massive reforms in Florida’s workers’ compensation marketplace in 2003 have dropped rates for Florida’s employers have dropped significantly.  And challenges by plaintiff’s attorneys – especially  Murray v Mariner Health/ACE USA – to  swing the pendulum back towards the employee’s advantage – have been met by a statutory (and judicial) brick wall.  (the Westphal case is, in fact, the...

Obamacare? Or Consumer Driven Care? Florida Decides…to…Try and Decide

While Sabal is predominantly engaged in providing commercial property and liability insurance for clients across the United States, the ramifications of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA "Obamacare") are so broad that, by default, they end up including the P+C sector in some fashion (especially regarding workers’ compensation.)  Yet, just as with the general effects of Obamacare, the P+C sector is as unknowing as every OTHER sector (a prior Sabal blog commented on this phenomena).   Moreover, the volume and scope of the commentary, analysis, prognostication about Obamacare…is as staggering in size as Obamacare…itself.  This is especially bewildering when no...

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Sabal Insurance Group

Sabal Insurance Group specializes in the development of innovative insurance solutions for clients nationally and internationally.   These solutions include comprehensive property and liability programs, general and professional liability, workers’ compensation, auto/fleet, and surety bonds.   Our personal lines department offers homeowners, auto, boat, motorcycle, and recreational vehicle insurance.  We also handle rental properties nationwide, as well as jewelry and fine arts (including the coordination of appraisals and valuations).   Licensed in all 50 states, we serve a diverse client base that spans the United States, Europe, and Latin America from our headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.   Sabal Insurance Group represents multiple insurance carriers, so we offer our clients a wide choice of products and coverages at the best pricing available in the global insurance marketplace. At Sabal, we add exceptional value to insurance and risk management programs through creative placements and aggressive representation of our clients’ interests.