Don’t miss the Halloween Family Movie Night 2015, presenting Tim Burton’s Corpse Bride with Johnny Depp. Join us on during the October’s Food Truck Night — bring your chairs or blankets, get your favorite food and enjoy a movie under the stars and oak trees behind Town Hall. Also FREE face painting for the kids! Sponsored by Real Property International. For more information call 407-909-8000.
Friday, October 23, 7 pm 520 Main Street, Downtown Windermere
Sign-up to get a Certificate to a 5 Days/4 Nights Cancun Vacation!
Upcoming movie nights:
Holiday Movie Under the Stars – December 12th
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with Chevy Chase
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A number of bills passed by the 2014 Florida Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott become effective July 1.
They include benefits for:
New legislation provides housing aid for extremely low-income and homeless people through local homeless coalition funding. HB 979 establishes challenge grants for local homeless coalitions, nonprofits and other agencies that assist the homeless, and it provides training and technical assistance. More information: HB 979.
Vacation rental owners
In 2011, a law prohibited local governments from regulating, banning or creating new rules specific to short-term rentals, though they could keep ones already on the books. However, in some communities, large homes with many bedrooms were rented to multiple families, creating a hotel-like atmosphere. SB 356 by Sen. John Thrasher (R-St. Augustine) empowers local governments to enact ordinances specific to vacation rentals, such as noise, parking and garbage. However, local governments may not pass ordinances that prohibit vacation rentals or regulate their duration or frequency. More information: SB 356.
Homeowners with Citizens Property Insurance policies
Effective tomorrow, Citizens will stop writing new multi-peril policies on condo buildings. It will, however, offer new wind-only policies. Another provision in the bill, SB 1672, prevents contractors from rebating all or a portion of the deductible to the policyholder as a way to stop fraud, which is a felony. More information: SB 1672.
All homeowners with property insurance
SB 708 created a “Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights” to help protect policyholders from having policies canceled and claims denied illegally. The legislation is a response to “post-claim underwriting,” which a large Florida insurer used. Under post-claim underwriting, an insurer would accept premiums perhaps for years. But when a homeowner put in a claim, the insurer would refuse to reimburse the owner based on some mistake the owner made when he initially applied for coverage.
The Bill of Rights also explains the claim-filing process and informs policyholders of possible unscrupulous practices used to deny claims. Insurers will be required to complete the underwriting process in 90 days and may not deny a claim and/or cancel a policy based on the insured’s credit information after their policy has been in force for 90 days or longer. More information: SB 708.
Community Association Managers (CAM)
Despite opposition from the Florida Bar, which petitioned the courts in 2012 to define many CAM activities as the unauthorized practice of law – a third-degree felony – lawmakers approved a bill, HB 7037, that allows CAMs to complete certain association forms created by statute or a state agency, calculate and prepare assessment and estoppel certificates, negotiate financial terms of a contract on behalf of a Homeowners’ Association and draft pre-arbitration demands. More information: HB 7037.
The Casualty Actuarial Society (CAS) says that it created a “Task Force on Cyber Risk” to analyze the risk of cyber terrorism to businesses. While the threat of viruses, hacking, etc., has been on the national radar for a while, it grew in importance following the high-profile Target data breach last fall.
According to CAS, the task force will do research with a focus on contingent events and the financial implications. A single hack, for example, can shut down a company until the problem is fixed, and it can damage clients’ financial profile; a problem could also entail legal fees and technology costs. If a transaction is in progress, a credit score problem caused by cyber hacking could upend a deal.
Some companies that already offer cyber insurance use security scores for businesses, which operate similar to a credit score. However, it’s difficult to weigh all the variables if trying to gauge a potential loss.
“This is one of the brightest areas of [insurance] growth for many years to come,” Robert Hartwig, president and economist at the Insurance Information Institute, said in a CNBC article. “It’s quickly becoming a must-have product for not only large businesses, but smaller business, who have customer data they need to protect.”
While the overall cost of cyber insurance has gone down as more insurers enter the market, it bumped up some for retailers following the high-profile Target attack late last year. Just as a hurricane increases concern about property insurance, Hartwig says, the Target cyber attack increased focus on cyber insurance.
Many aspects of cyber risk remain poorly understood, CAS says, and unscientific qualitative methods are often used. While there’s research on some specific technology aspects of the risk, it’s “particularly difficult to tie that research to financial outcomes and insurance coverage.”
Like all insurance, cyber coverage costs can vary depending on the level of coverage a business selects, along with the type and size of the business itself. However, it does not generally cover intellectual property because insurers haven’t found a way to account for the cost of that type of loss.
Cyber insurance “started out geared towards online companies,” David Navetta, a founding partner at Information Law Group, told CNBC. “Then more industries, like retailers, wanted it, and now it’s going down to the local laundromat. A lot of smaller players are jumping in.”