Hurricane Season is Around the Corner - Don’t be Fooled by Insurance-Like Products

With the holidays deep in our rear view mirror and the summer hurricane season just around the corner, now is a really good time to take stock of your home, its contents and the insurance policies and coverage you have in place. While a regular review of the type and amount of insurance you carry is considered a best practice, when was the last time you actually looked at the stability of your carrier and its most basic compliance with insurance statutes and regulations?

Far too often we have seen people that assume that the insurance they’ve purchased is in compliance with the law. This stems from the ongoing perception that since the insurance industry is so highly regulated, any insurance we purchase must be within the parameters of the law. Thankfully in a majority of instances, this is true. However, there are still companies out there in South Florida that appear to be insurance companies selling insurance, or insurance-like products, in violation of the law.

The way they do this is by claiming to be exempt from the Florida state licensing agreements that most insurance companies are subject to. These licensing agreements are put in place as a consumer safeguard to make sure that the companies selling insurance are financially stable and not engaged in any fraudulent activities. Where it gets tricky is there are some insurers that are exempt from this licensing requirement, but still permitted to sell insurance, because they have demonstrated their financial stability to the state. In the insurance world, these carriers are often referred to as “alien carriers, eligible excess, surplus lines or qualified unauthorized.”

What you need to pay attention to is the fact that all companies licensed to sell insurance in Florida or have qualified as a “surplus line” are included on lists maintained by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. However, despite these lists and the best efforts of both state and federal authorities, there are companies and people out there still selling insurance and insurance-like products without be properly licensed and qualified to do so.

So what do you need to do? Our best piece of advice is to watch out for things that seem to good to be true. Be wary of companies claiming to be exempt from licensing requirements that are offering basic property insurance well below what licensed carriers would typically charge for the same kind of property. While the lower premiums may seem like a great deal, you may be faced with serious issues once a major loss has occurred.

To sum it up, just make sure the insurance you have is from a reputable and licensed company that is included on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and/or Florida Office of Insurance Regulation lists. And with hurricane season around the corner, now more than ever is the right time to make sure.

If you have sustained damage and losses in your home or business, or are currently involved in a claim that is being denied, underpaid or delayed, contact the Acle Law Firm today at 305-447-4667 or visit for a free consultation.