Fact file: Florida hurricane insurance

November 2020

  • Six of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have impacted Florida. Three of these storms occurred within just two years: 2004 and 2005. (See chart.)
  • The costliest hurricane, based on insured property losses to Florida, was 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. It caused $25.9 billion in damage to Florida and Louisiana (in 2019 dollars). (See chart.)
  • Standard homeowners policies typically do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is covered by the federally managed National Flood Insurance Program, but private flood insurance is becoming increasingly available.
  • Florida leads the nation in the number of flood policies, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, with about 1.8 million policies in force in 2019.
  • About 98 percent of the total population of Florida lives in one of the coastal counties. The number of people living in coastal areas in Florida increased by 4.2 million, or 27 percent, from 15.6 million in 2000 to 19.8 million in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Florida, 2.9 million single-family homes were at risk in 2020 for storm surge damage from hurricanes up to Category 5 strength, according to CoreLogic, Inc. These homes would cost $581 billion to completely rebuild, including labor and materials.
  • After its establishment in 2002, when the state passed legislation combining two separate high-risk insurance pools known as the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association and the Florida Residential Property & Casualty Joint Underwriting Association, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. (CPIC) experienced exponential growth. As a result, Florida Citizens has evolved from a market of last resort to the state’s largest property insurer.
  • Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corp. provides multiperil and wind-only insurance coverage to Florida homeowners, commercial residential and commercial business property owners.
  • Direct homeowners insurance premiums in Florida written by Citizens was $490.9 million in 2018 down from $795 million in 2014.
  • Citizens was the state’s fourth leading homeowners insurer in 2018, with a market share of 5.11 percent, down from 9.1 percent in 2014.
  • Florida Citizens had 346,227 policies as of March 31, 2020.

Get you homeowners insurance, flood insurance and auto insurance from Jones Family Insurance. Serving Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.

Florida Governor Supports Liability Protection

As we’ve reported over the summer, work has continued behind the scenes among some Florida legislators and other elected officials to craft a bill that would provide liability protection for businesses related to the coronavirus pandemic.  Now, Governor DeSantis has weighed-in, saying he would favor such a bill.

The Governor last week told reporters that fear of lawsuits is holding back the economy – specifically, businesses’ concern that they could be sued and found liable for an employee or customer contracting the coronavirus from their business.  While noting that would be a difficult thing to prove, the Governor said the legislature could take up such a bill in a late November special session that’s he pushing to consider his disorderly protestors plan.

States across the country are increasingly looking at providing businesses some liability protection from COVID-19.   Nevada recently passed first of its kind legislation to shield its casinos and hospitality industry from such lawsuits.  The law requires those businesses to follow public health recommendations and provide free testing and paid time off to employees who test positive and are quarantined.

In Florida, where tourism and hospitality is the largest industry, state Senator Jeff Brandes (R-Pinellas) is continuing to work with colleagues and state cabinet members to draft a bill to provide protection for a broad range of businesses.  The goal is to eliminate incentives for lawyers to engage in predatory practices, while still allowing legitimate lawsuits with clear reckless disregard to proceed.

The Governor’s comments came in the same week that he ordered Florida into the third phase of coronarvirus economic recovery, opening up all restaurants, bars, and other businesses to 100% capacity.   He said the move was meant to ensure “business certainty” going forward.   While Florida’s economic recovery continues, the latest report shows state tax collections were down 4.6% in August from August 2019 and unemployment at 7.4%.

Contact Jones Family Insurance for all your insurance needs. Serving Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida.

Preparing for Hurricane Season Flooding

Hurricane season is upon us and with these storms comes the threat of flooding. Unfortunately, tropical storms can also be unpredictable and their path, intensity, and possible damages are hard to determine ahead of time. The best thing you can do if you are in a hurricane risk area is to always be prepared for these storms and the flooding they can bring. We have some tips to help you keep your family and home stay protected this hurricane season.

Before the Storm

Know Your Risk – If you live in a state that has experienced hurricanes in the past, you are at risk of being impacted by one in the future. However, depending on where your home is located the risks are different. If you are located closer to the coast, your biggest concern should be storm surge. As we move more inland, your preparation should focus on heavy rainfall with wind gusts. Knowing which conditions of a hurricane are more likely to impact your property will help you properly prepare. It is also important to know the elevation of your property, which will directly affect your flood risk. You can visit www.myfloodrisk.org to check the flood risk factors of your home.

Insure Your Property – One of the most important steps to take before a storm is to review your insurance coverage to make sure you are protected from any damage a hurricane might bring. A standard home insurance policy will not cover flooding or storm surge, two of the most dangerous and destructive effects of a hurricane. A standalone flood insurance policy is needed to protect your assets. When a storm is forecast to make landfall in your area it becomes more difficult to find coverage, so it’s necessary to check your policies ahead of time.


Prepare Your Home – Flood waters are extremely damaging, but there are some things you can do to reduce the impact to your home. Clean out any drains and gutters on your property, this will allow water to flow freely through these systems. Sandbags can be used as a flood barrier by diverting water from flowing through openings and diverting flood water around the structure. To reduce damage to your belongings, lift all furniture from ground level using concrete blocks. It’s also important to make sure electronics are unplugged if they could come into contact with water.


Have a Safety Kit – Every hurricane season you should stock a safety kit to prepare for every scenario that could happen during a storm. You will need food and water, enough to last each household member at least a few days. Your kit should also contain flashlights, batteries, a portal cell phone charger and a battery-operated radio, so you can still listen to news reports should the power go out. Any first aid and personal hygiene products needed should be included as well. Important documents such as insurance papers and important personal documents should be stored in a watertight case such as your dishwasher or washing machine.


During and After the Storm

Stay Inside – Do not go outside during the hurricane or immediately after until your local authorities say it is safe and the storm conditions have passed. There might be damage outside that you are unaware of and wind gusts will continue from the outer bands of the storm, which could lead to debris becoming airborne. Also if it’s still raining there is always the risk of flash flooding, which is extremely dangerous to get caught in.


Don’t Go in the Water – Flood water is full of contaminants from debris, sewage, animals and other pollutants. It’s important to your health that you avoid flood water if possible. Hurricanes often lead to downed power lines and power outages, these powerlines can be hidden by flood waters and electrically charge the water.


Contact Jones Family Insurance. We service North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida – If you have flood damage from the storm, contact us as soon as possible. Your JFI agent can help you with the claim process and what to do first to prevent further damage to your home.

The Florida Supreme Court is being asked to weigh in again on an insurance claims case involving an Assignment of Benefits (AOB) contract between a contractor and a homeowner.  It follows a recent ruling by Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal against an insurance company that refused to make insurance payments to a third party vendor.

In the case of Speed Dry Inc v. Anchor Property and Casualty Insurance Company, homeowner Wayne Parker had filed a damage claim with Anchor after suffering damage from Hurricane Irma in September of 2017.  He then entered into an AOB agreement with Speed Dry to handle the repair work and any claim negotiations with Anchor.  The AOB also allowed Speed Dry to receive payment directly from Anchor according to the terms of the insurance policy.  After Anchor refused to pay, Speed Dry sued Anchor for breaching the policy.

Anchor asked for and won a summary judgment in Seminole County Circuit Court, citing “alienation restrictions” in the Florida Constitution.  It contended that any insurance proceeds resulting from a loss to homestead property are constitutionally protected to the same extent as the homestead property itself and cannot be assigned by an AOB.  Upon appeal, the 5th DCA overturned the lower court decision, ruling an assignment of post-loss insurance benefits does not transfer title of real property…and is thus treated as an ordinary contract.”

“However, because assignments of post-loss insurance benefits are utilized so extensively, we certify the following question to the Florida Supreme Court as one of great public importance: Does article X, section 4(c) of the Florida Constitution allow the owner of homestead real property, joined by the spouse, if married, to assign post-loss insurance benefits to a third-party contractor contracted to make repairs to the homestead property?” the 5th DCA wrote.

A Florida Supreme Court decision last summer to dismiss an AOB case that it previously had agreed to review has left in limbo conflicting lower court rulings on whether insurance companies have had the right to deny AOBs without the sign-off of all parties with an insured interest.

For more information on AOBs and broader litigation abuse in Florida, contact Jones Family Insurance!


Fire is one of the most serious and devastating disasters a homeowner can face.  Luckily, all standard homeowners insurance policies provide coverage for fire damages.  However, many homeowners wonder what fire insurance covers when it comes to their home.  Here’s what you need to know about the fire protection included in your home insurance.

  • Coverages

Your homeowners insurance offers coverage for fire damage to your home, damage to the contents of your home, and your additional living expenses if you and your family must live elsewhere while your home is being repaired.  It’s important to note that the additional structures on your property, such as storage sheds, fences, detached garages, etc., are also covered by most home insurance policies.

  • Coverage Exclusions

All insurance policies are subject to certain limits, and your homeowners insurance is no different.  When it comes to fire, your policy will not offer coverage if the fire was caused by war, nuclear damage, and other associated perils.  The damages caused by arson are also not covered by your home policy.  Your insurance will also exclude coverage for fires that break out in a vacant home.  A home is considered vacant if it has been uninhabited for more than 30 consecutive days.

  • Wildfire Protection

With wildfires becoming more common and more deadly every passing year, many homeowners are anxious about securing wildfire protection.  Fortunately, standard homeowners insurance policies offer coverage for the damages and losses caused by a wildfire.  If you live in an area that is particularly prone to wildfires, then you may want to speak to your insurance provider and ask if there are options to secure supplemental wildfire coverage for your home.

This is what fire insurance covers when it comes to your home.  Do you have more questions about your homeowners insurance?  If so, then contact the experts at Jones Family Insurance.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your home coverage needs.

Serving North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.

Protecting your Business from Pandemic Scams

Many offices have successfully transitioned from in-office to a work-from-home system. It’s been a successful experiment for a lot of businesses, as they’ve quickly transitioned their entire business from in-person to virtual in just a matter of months. As the pandemic continues, it’s clear that many businesses will have to keep at least a partial work-from-home set up for their employees. It’s definitely worth celebrating your business successfully adapting to the challenges of the pandemic, but there is still a lot of work ahead to keep your business safe from bad actors taking advantage of the situation.


Protecting Your Office (At Home)

Most people who worked in offices are now working from their homes. Hackers and bad actors will try to take advantage of this situation in order to steal data, hack accounts or steal money directly. Here are a few things you can do to protect your employees and business.

  1. Keep your work and personal hardware separate. Give employees a secure laptop that they can work on. Hire an IT firm to set this up for you. If you don’t already have the infrastructure in place, it may seem like a big investment, but the alternative (having data or money stolen) can be far worse. Plus, many experts predict that working from home will remain prevalent even after the pandemic is over.
  2. Check your home wifi to make sure it’s secure. This one will also require the help of an IT expert who will give instructions to your employees on how to secure their wifi connection. Even if you aren’t working from home, cyber crime is on the rise during the pandemic so hiring some IT help to secure your home can be worth it.


Fake Websites and Emails

Always check the website URL before entering your log in information. One popular age old scam is receiving an email from a company you do business with asking you to click a link to check something. Most people click the link and immediately try to log in to check whatever it is. Be careful. Check the exact email address that the email was sent from and make sure it’s familiar to you. Then, instead of clicking the link provided in the email, search for the website using Google and log in from there. You can then hover over the email link to see if the URL matches the URL from your Google search to determine if it’s authentic. If something doesn’t add up, delete the email.


One note for people still using Live.com, hotmail and Yahoo email addresses: I’ve noticed that these mail service has been particularly poor and filtering spam compared to email services like Google. If you are still using one of these mail services, be especially careful as many scams seem to escape their filters.


Scam Calls

According to a report by nextcaller.com. Scam calls to financial institutions are up 50% since the start of the pandemic. These are bad actors (often starting the scam with a robo call) who are looking for a crack in your business. If your bank calls with a fraud alert, listen to the message, hang up, then independently Google the phone number for your bank. If it’s a real person, do not engage or give any personal information, even if they seem friendly. And, you cannot rely on the caller ID or contact in your phone. For example, if you have Citibank’s number saved and your iPhone shows the call is from Citibank, this is not a reliable way to verify the call is real. Scammers can easily spoof Citibank’s real number while calling from a completely different number. Always hang up and call back from a number you are sure is authentic.

And, if you receive a bill from a company you do business with, don’t just pay it. Call the company first using contact information you can confirm to be authentic. There have been incidences reported where a company has paid a bill for the exact amount they owe, only to find out later they paid scammers.

This isn’t a complete list, but hopefully these tips prove helpful as you navigate this new normal for businesses.

Contact us at Jones Family Insurance. Serving clients from North Port, Fl to Fort Myers, Fl!

Why Do Contractors Need Insurance?

As a contractor, you work hard for your customers. You make sure they get the results they were going for, and that all your work is done at the highest level of professionalism. Your customers know they can trust you to care for what they value, and to be a serious professional. Whether you’re installing a light, fixing a broken drain, or renovating a kitchen, you take your work seriously and give it your all.

Contractor’s insurance enables you to focus on your work without distractions. Contractor insurance gives you the confidence to take on big jobs, and to succeed.  And contractors liability insurance is one more way you show your customers that you’re a professional and have taken steps to make sure that you’re covered, even in the unlikely situation that something goes wrong. General liability insurance for contractors enables you to thrive, with the awareness that you have great coverage behind you on every job, every day. Contractor’s insurance is a must for anyone who works with residential and commercial buildings, such as general contractors, handymen, carpenters, electricians, plumbers and more.

Why Do Contractors Need Insurance?

Is Contractors Insurance Required By Law?

Depending on where you work, general liability contractors insurance can be required by law, as a minimum insurance coverage for contracting business. Regulations regarding contractor insurance vary by state and even by city. We recommend you check your local guidelines for exact legal requirements. Even so, we believe general liability contractor insurance is a good idea for any business.

Why Do I Need Contractors Insurance?

Contractors liability insurance offers your business protection and peace of mind for even the unpredictable parts of life and being a business owner. With the right independent contractor insurance, you can do your work and focus on the job at hand without fear of what could happen or worry about if something goes wrong.

What’s The Impact On Your Business?

Customers want a contractor who’s confident. Contractor general liability insurance is one way you can show them that you have an edge on your competition, with a serious insurance policy and certificate of insurance for contractors, just like they’d expect. When you have affordable contractors insurance which you can pay monthly, the impact on your profitability is small, while the impact on your level of professionalism is huge. Insurance for self-employed contractors proves to your customers that not only will you do your job properly, but you’ll take care of them even in the unlikely case of an accident.

COVID-19 impact could take 5 years to be fully understood: survey results

The results of the second COVID-19 survey by Reinsurance News suggest that it may take up to five years to fully understand the impact that the pandemic will have on the insurance and reinsurance markets.

The survey, undertaken in collaboration with ILS focused sister-site Artemis, acted as a follow-up to our April survey, which sought to take the pulse of the global reinsurance market at this unprecedented and challenging time.

Now two months on, with COVID-19 still profoundly impacting the market, our latest survey aims to show how re/insurers’ views of the crisis have changed, while also providing fresh insights.

The new COVID-19 Market Survey includes responses from hundreds of identifiable market participants, of which more than half have responsibility for, or provide input to, reinsurance and retrocession buying decisions.

This includes 16 CEO’s, 15 CUO’s, 12 COO’s, 27 senior Board members, reinsurance buyers, senior underwriting executives, ILS managers, brokers and a range of service providers.

While 25.9% of these respondents were hopeful that the full impact of the pandemic could be understood in less than two years, 60.4% agreed that it could take up to five years.

There was broad consensus in other areas too, as the majority of survey answers indicated that re/insurers are more concerned about the affect of COVID-19 on the underwriting side of their business, rather than on the investment side.

And in terms of underwriting losses, the vast majority (85.3%) saw non-life business as more exposed than life business.

There were mixed thoughts about the overall size of the industry’s non-life underwriting loss, although the $80-100 billion range proved the most popular, with 27.3% of respondents favouring this option.

The adjacent ranges of $50-80 billion and $100-150 billion were selected by 14.4% and 20.1% of respondents, respectively, and the top end of $200+ billion also came in at 14.4%.

With opinion split across such a wide range of potential loss scenarios, it seems to reinforce the sense that it could be a number of years before the market is truly able to put a concrete figure on the cost of the pandemic.

Also supporting this notion was the general agreement that the highest levels of pandemic losses are yet to be reported, as roughly a quarter of respondents felt that the highest levels of claims would be seen in the second quarter of the year, while 39.6% forecast the highest losses in Q3, and 19.4% in Q4, with others putting the heaviest impact even into 2021 and 2022.

Other questions offered insight into the market’s view on legal efforts surrounding retrospective business interruption claims, which less than 15% of participants now feel is likely to be successful.

This compares to the results of our previous survey, when almost one third of respondents said they were very concerned, while almost 18% said they were extremely concerned.

But more than two-thirds of respondents to the latest survey said they anticipate ‘significant changes’ to business interruption policies following the pandemic.

And there was also broad consensus that government supported backstop reinsurance schemes for future pandemics should be implemented, with 22.3% classing them as essential, 41.7% as definitely helpful, and 28.8% saying they would help a bit.

What is clear from the survey results is that there remains a tremendous amount of worry and uncertainty when it comes to unprecedented challenges that the market now faces.

Amid all of this uncertainty, we hope that this survey can help to capture a snapshot of this historic moment, create useful data to inform actions, and take the pulse of the market at this time.

9 Things You Should Never Do During A Hurricane Insurance Claim

Property owners are now facing the threat of hurricanes in Southwest Florida. Homeowners may be overwhelmed by having to potentially navigate a hurricane insurance claim, there are – at least – 9 things that property owners should NOT do after a hurricane property damage loss.

1.   Do NOT return to your home until it is safe to do so.  First responders are going to be busy searching for survivors and helping those with critical needs. Do not make their job more difficult by attempting to gain access to your property before you have been given authorization by your local officials to return to the area.

2.   Do NOT automatically throw away all possibly damaged items. Salvage the items and property that can be saved and take pictures of any items that are beyond repair. Although on first glance much of your property may look like it has been totally destroyed by either wind or water intrusion, you may be able to preserve a substantial amount of your property by securing it from further harm.

Not only will this allow you to save some of your valued property, but your insurance company will probably require that you do what you can to protect your property from further harm and to mitigate the damage from the storm.

3.   Do NOT wait to contact your insurance company. The sooner you contact your insurance company, the sooner they can send a representative to your property to assess and compensate you for your hurricane insurance claim. The longer you wait to place your claim, the longer you may have to wait for an insurance representative to come to your home (you will not be the only one placing a claim after the storm).

Also, your insurance policy most likely has a “prompt notice” requirement, which will mandate that you give your insurance company notice of your claim as soon as possible after the loss event.

4.   Do NOT let the insurance company representative fail to investigate the full extent of hurricane insurance claim. Many times insurance adjusters will only take a cursory review of your property or purposely fail to explore portions of your home that may be damaged.

The most common example is when the adjuster says that he does not need to go onto your roof to see if it is damaged. Make sure the adjuster evaluates all of the damage to your home and, if he does not, make sure to document what portions of your home were not evaluated by the adjuster.

5.   Do NOT “diagnose” your damages to the insurance adjuster. Many property owners feel the need to “diagnose” the cause of the damage to their home to the insurance representative. Property owners sometimes try to tell the insurance representative what they think could be the cause of damage – not knowing that many times the property owner’s diagnosis could lead to the damage not being covered!

For example, if a property owner incorrectly tells the adjuster that certain damage was from “flood” as opposed to “wind”, the adjuster may deny an otherwise valid wind claim based on the property owner’s (inaccurate) representation. As a property owner, your job is to point out the damage – let the insurance representative come to his own conclusions as to the cause of the loss.

6.   Do NOT stay in your home if it is not safe to do so. If your home is rendered uninhabitable after the storm, there is a portion of your policy which will reimburse you for any out of pocket expenses you incur while you are displaced from your home. This coverage is called Alternative Living Expense and should pay for any additional expenses that you incur (over and above expenses you would have normally incurred) while your home is being repaired.

7.   Do NOT feel that you have to accept the insurance company’s initial estimate as to the amount of your loss. After a hurricane damage loss, the insurance company’s goal is to “close” as many claims as they can in the shortest amount of time.  While in pursuit of this goal, insurance companies will often (if not always) undervalue the true cost to repair the damage – which leaves you with not enough money to fully repair and restore your property. You have the right to dispute the insurance company’s estimates and to fight for the full value of your loss.

8.   Do NOT try to handle a Hurricane Insurance Claim without professional assistance. The repair of your home after a catastrophic loss is just too important for you to try and make it a “learning experience”. There are just too many tricks and technicalities involved with the placement of a property insurance claim (Actual Cash Value vs. Replacement Cost Value? Post-loss Proof of Loss requirements? Water vs. Wind vs. Mold losses?) to attempt this process without help.

Additionally, since most property loss professionals work on a contingency fee basis, there are no up-front fees or costs and these professionals are only paid if they can obtain additional insurance funds on your behalf.  Since it costs you nothing to hire a property loss attorney or public adjuster, why would you not want get the benefit of a professional and let them take care of the headaches?

9.   Do NOT hire a property loss attorney or other professional based solely on television or billboard advertisements. Just because the law firm spends a lot of money on television or other advertisements, it does not mean they are qualified to handle your claim. Make your hiring decision based on a review of the law firm’s qualifications, experience, testimonials, and past successes in cases similar to yours.

As always, should you have any questions whatsoever with regard to the property insurance claim process, we would be happy to speak with you.  Usually with just a brief phone call, we can answer any questions you may have and provide whatever assistance you may need.

If You Have Questions Regarding Your Storm Damage Claim – Contact us at Jones Family Insurance! 

What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?

If another driver hits your vehicle, you might expect that person’s insurance to pay for your injuries. But what if they don’t have coverage?

Enter uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance — coverage that’s intended to spare you from shelling out your own money to pay medical bills for crashes you didn’t cause. In some states, it’s required, but you can get it in others. Generally, it doesn’t cost much to add to your auto policy. Here’s what else to know.

Uninsured motorist coverage at a glance

Names it goes by: Uninsured motorist coverage, UM, and uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage, or UMBI. Sometimes it’s referred to as uninsured/underinsured motorist protection because in many states, UMBI also pays if someone doesn’t have enough insurance to cover injuries they cause you or your passengers in a wreck.

When you would use it: If you or your passengers are hurt in a crash caused by an uninsured driver, or one without enough insurance to cover costs related to your injuries. Some insurers will allow you to make a claim against your UMBI if you were the victim of a hit-and-run.

What it pays for: Medical bills for injuries you or your passengers suffer. You may also be reimbursed for lost wages, pain and suffering and other damages.

Also good to know: There’s a separate option that pays for damage caused to your car or other property, called uninsured motorist property damage coverage, or UMPD. If you make a claim on that coverage, you might have to pay a deductible, depending on your state. Some states require UMBI coverage only, while UMPD is optional. In other places, both are either optional or mandatory.

Alternative: Health insurance will pay for medical treatment after a wreck. However, if the at-fault driver has auto insurance and you receive any reimbursement for injuries, your health insurer may demand a portion of it. This is true even if the claim check doesn’t cover your out-of-pocket expenses because your health insurer likely expects the person who caused your injuries to pay the resulting medical bills. If the driver is completely uninsured (and not just underinsured) you wouldn’t have to worry about your health insurer seeking a portion of your UMBI coverage.

Learn more at Jones Family Insurance. Serving Southwest Florida all their insurance needs. Offices in Punta Gorda, FL and Fort Myers, FL.

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