The agency offers all type of insurance: auto, homeowners, renters, general liability , workers compensation , life, and health insurance.
AL, FL, GA Binding Suspensions (Tropical Storm Michael)
Monday, October 8, 2018
Due to the threat to property posed by Tropical Storm Michael, effective immediately, binding authority has been suspended for property exposures including but not limited to Nationwide Mutual, Nationwide Insurance Company of Florida, Atlantic Floridian Insurance Company, Crestbrook Insurance Company, Titan Indemnity Company, Titan Insurance Company, Victoria Automobile Insurance Company, Victoria Fire and Casualty Company, Victoria National Insurance Company, Victoria Select Insurance Company, Victoria Specialty Insurance Company, Nationwide Affinity Insurance Company of America, Nationwide Assurance Company, Nationwide General Insurance Company, Nationwide Lloyds, Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company, Nationwide Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Allied Property and Casualty Insurance Company, AMCO Insurance Company, Depositors Insurance Company, Nationwide Insurance Company of America, Nationwide Agribusiness Insurance Company, Farmland Mutual Insurance Company, Harleysville Pennland Insurance Company, Harleysville Insurance Co of New York, Harleysville Lake States Insurance Co, Harleysville Insurance Co of New Jersey, Harleysville Worcester Insurance Co, Harleysville Insurance Co, and Harleysville Preferred Insurance Co in the following states and counties:
Baldwin, Barbour, Butler, Coffee, Conecuh, Covington, Crenshaw, Dale, Escambia, Geneva, Henry, Houston, Mobile and Pike
Alachua, Baker, Bay, Bradford, Calhoun, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gilchrist, Gulf, Hamilton, Hernando, Hillsborough, Holmes, Jackson, Jefferson, Lafayette, Leon, Levy, Liberty, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Okaloosa, Pasco, Pinellas, Putnam, Santa Rosa, St. John's, Sumter, Suwannee, Taylor, Union, Wakulla, Walton and Washington
Appling, Atkinson, Bacon, Baker, Ben Hill, Berrien, Brantley, Brooks, Bryan, Calhoun, Camden, Charlton, Chatham, Clay, Clinch, Coffee, Colquitt, Cook, Crisp, Decatur, Dodge, Dooly, Dougherty, Early, Echols, Evans, Glynn, Grady, Irwin, Jeff Davis, Lanier, Lee, Liberty, Long, Lowndes, McIntosh, Miller, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pierce, Pulaski, Quitman, Randolph, Seminole, Stewart, Sumter, Tattnall, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Toombs, Turner, Ware, Wayne, Webster, Wheeler, Wilcox and Worth
No new or additional insurance coverage may be bound except for coverages required by a state regulation until this suspension is removed. This rule applies to all property coverage (Personal, Farm & Commercial), auto physical damage coverage (including recreational vehicles/motorcycles), garagekeeper's coverage, boiler and machinery coverage, inland marine, and boat coverage. This suspension also applies to changes to coverages or deductibles for existing insureds and will remain in effect until further notice. In accordance with individual state statutes, reissues or reinstatements are not permitted while the binding suspension remains in effect.
You will be notified when binding authority has been restored.
If you have any questions, please contact your Regional Underwriting or Sales Leadership team.
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Avatar Is Under Binding Suspension
Tropical Storm Michael
Binding has been suspended as a result of Tropical Storm Michael as of 5 a.m., on Monday, October 8, 2018.
Avatar’s Binding Suspension Rule: No application for new coverage or endorsement for increased coverage may be bound, written or issued, or monies received, regardless of effective date, when a tropical storm or hurricane watch or warning has been issued by the National Weather Service for any part of the State of Florida.
You will receive a follow-up email notification when this suspension is lifted.
Additional information may be found at http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/.
Director of Business Development & Marketing
Avatar Property& Casualty Insurance Company
1101 E Cumberland Ave
Tampa, FL 33602
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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Michael is moving toward the north near 5 mph as it moves into the southern Gulf of Mexico.
A general northward motion with some increase in forward speed is expected over the next few days.
On the forecast track, the center of Michael will move over the Yucatan Channel on Monday, and then across the eastern Gulf of Mexico late Monday through Tuesday night, and approach the United States northeastern Gulf coast on Wednesday.
Recent data from an Air Force Reserve reconnaissance aircraft, also known as Hurricane Hunters, indicate along with satellite images indicate that maximum sustained winds have increased to near 60 mph with higher gusts. Gradual strengthening is expected during the next few days, and Michael is forecast to become a hurricane Monday night or Tuesday.
Reports from the reconnaissance aircraft indicate that tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 170 miles to the northeast and southeast of the center.
Michael is expected to produce heavy rainfall and flash flooding over portions of western Cuba and the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico during the next couple of days.
Tropical storm conditions are expected tonight over portions of western Cuba and the northeastern Yucatan Peninsula, where tropical storm warnings are in effect.
Michael is forecast to be a hurricane when it reaches the northeastern Gulf Coast by mid-week, and the risk of dangerous storm surge, rainfall, and wind impacts continues to increase. In addition, Michael is expected to affect portions of the Florida Gulf Coast that are especially vulnerable to storm surge, regardless of the storm's exact track or intensity.
Jacksonville will experience tropical downpours, storms by midweek as system makes landfall.
Be on the Lookout for Hurricane Florence Online Donation Scams
In the wake of Hurricane Florence's impact on North and South Carolina and Virginia, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis warns Floridians to be on alert for charitable donation scams typically using reputable crowdfunding websites such as GoFundMe, RocketHub, Indiegogo, or YouCaring.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Last year a New Jersey couple made headlines for raising nearly $400,000 for a homeless veteran, and now they are accused of stealing that money to fund a lavish lifestyle. Charitable donation scams are among the most disgusting. Preying on people's emotions after a tragedy and then stealing from those who need it most, is unconscionable.
"Websites like GoFundMe have raised more than $5 billion since it first launched, with over $140 million raised each month. Most campaigns are legitimate, but Floridians should be cautious. Storms bring out the best in people but can also bring out the worst in some. Scams will show up for relief efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence and it's important to do your research before donating.
"I've directed my office to work with the appropriate state agencies overseeing charitable donations and certain types of crowdfunding in the state, to work on long-term solutions to go after these scammers and protect your money."
Tips to Avoid Hurricane Florence Online Donation Scams:
1. The More Information the Better. Stay away from donation campaigns that don't provide adequate information about the relief the money will provide.
2. Ask Questions. Typically, there are ways to comment on an online donation campaign. Use that tool to ask questions about how the money will be distributed, who the money will go to, and even how much goes to directly support hurricane relief.
3. Check Social Media & Research. If a group or individual is unfamiliar to you, research and research again. Scam artists will often times create a social media page right before they launch the donation campaign, so check to see how long they have been active. Even check the image they used for their profile to see if it's a stock image, which is a good indication the campaign is a scam. Even if the name of the group or individual sounds familiar, always do your homework.
4. Keep Records. Be sure to note exactly how much you donated, the name of the individual or group launching the donation campaign and any additional information that has been supplied. Even consider taking a screenshot of the web page.
5. Don't Feel Pressured. Those who are running online scams typically try to pressure you to donate IMMEDIATELY.
Hurricane Florence is forecast to bring torrential rains and dangerous storm surge that have the potential to create a life-threatening situation. Damaging hurricane-strength winds are also predicted. You should check your local forecast for updates, and carefully follow instructions from local authorities to protect life and property.
1. Secure trash cans, outdoor furniture and other objects from
2. Identify the safest room in your home or business, and
make sure everyone is informed.
3. Decide how and where to best protect pets.
4. Have fully charged mobile phones readily available, along
with family contact information. Alert relatives and friends
of your plans.
5. Have first aid supplies and necessary medicines nearby.
Have water and nonperishable food on hand and in
sufficient quantities (1 gallon of water per person, per day).
6. Have flashlights, extra batteries, and extra clothing on
hand. Avoid candles for light.
7. Keep your car gas tank full. Know a good escape route. If
local evacuation is announced, be smart – listen and leave.
8. Have some cash on hand. If stores do not have electricity,
charging purchases is not possible.
AOB abuse in Florida has skyrocketed over the last several years, driving up litigation costs and property insurance rates across the state. Avatar P&C Insurance amongst numerous independent agencies and insurance associations such as FAIA and PIA, actively fight AOB abuse and have been for years.
Contractors and attorneys are being blamed for abuse of AOB’s by taking control of a homeowner’s policy, inflating water or roof damage claims, and then suing the insurance company when it disputes the bill. This used to be a Southeast Florida problem – it’s not only a Southeast Florida problem anymore, its spreading across the state.
Insurance agents from across Florida marched together in the state’s capitol last Wednesday to deliver a message to Florida lawmakers: It’s time for assignment of benefits (AOB) reform.
Carrying signs that read “STOP AOB ABUSE,” about 125 members of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents (FAIA) were accompanied by representatives from the Florida Consumer Protection Coalition (CPC) as they carried their message from downtown Tallahassee to the Florida Capitol building.
The use of AOB’s on water claims has increased from 12.8 percent in 2015 to 17 percent in 2017, OIR said. According to the Florida Justice Reform Institute, there has been a 300 percent increase in AOB lawsuits since 2010.
Avatar Insurance along with all our partners calls all agents to action to keep the consumer number one in our mind and fight this serious problem.
Southern Fidelity Insurance
Due to Tropical Storm Nate, we have suspended binding as of 8 AM EST on 10/06/2017 for all of Louisiana and the following counties in Florida: Gulf, Calhoun, Jackson, Bay, Washington, Holmes, Walton, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, and Escambia.
Due to Tropical Storm Nate, binding will be suspended for counties west of Tallahassee (not including Tallahassee) as of 12:00 p.m. EST, on Friday, October 6, 2017. These suspended counties include: Bay, Calhoun, Escambia, Franklin, Gadsden, Gulf, Holmes, Jackson, Liberty, Okaloosa, Santa Rosa, Walton, and Washington.
Prepared Insurance Company cannot accept new policies or endorsements for additional or increased coverage for the above listed counties. A follow-up alert will be emailed and the agent portal will be updated when this suspension is lifted.
Due to Hurricane Irma, the office will be closed, today, September 11, 2017. We will reopen on tomorrow September 12,2017, if the systems are up and running.
The internet and phone lines in the office are down.
If you need immediate assistance please
contact customer service/claims.
Hurricane Irma has strengthened to a Category 5 hurricane and is projected to impact the northern Caribbean over the next few days. The latest advisory at 8 a.m. has Hurricane Irma at 175 mph winds and moving west at 13 mph. The hurricane models we use to monitor storm activity and projected landfall are constantly shifting so it is still too early to determine a clear point of impact. Nearly all models show the storm passing near the tip of south Florida late Saturday night and early Sunday morning.
9/5/2017 Effective Immediatly
Due to impending Hurricane Irma, Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company and American Platinum Property & Casualty Insurance Company will be under a Binding Suspension until further notice.
No Policies may be Bound in the following Florida Counties*:
*This includes quotes/applications that exist in the system that have not been bound as of the time the suspension went into effect.
Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach
Please note that in addition to the new business binding suspension that coverage and/or deductible change requests submitted for properties located within the restricted counties will not be honored at this time. This includes effective date changes. Reinstatement requests due to payment related cancellation or mid-term cancellations will not be offered during the binding suspension.
On behalf of UPCIC, please be careful and safe during these current storm conditions. We will notify the agency force when binding authority has been reinstated.
Universal Property & Casualty Insurance Company
American Platinum Property and Casualty Insurance Company
Understanding How Fraud Costs Consumers
Dear Fellow Floridians:
Last week, we announced two South Florida fraud cases that outline the fantastic work our investigators perform every day. In each case, individuals chose to lie and cheat their way to a cheaper insurance policy premium. By doing so, their scams cause insurance costs to rise for law-abiding families in Florida who pay their fair share for insurance.
In the first case, an insurance agent trusted to assist Floridians make important insurance decisions, helped an individual attain a less expensive but inadequate insurance policy for an assisted living facility in Miami. The business owner applied for a residential homeowner's policy, claiming that the building was used only for personal purposes. Therefore, the policy he ultimately obtained did not cover the business, leaving potential residents liable for any accidents that could have happened.
When individuals lie on insurance applications, the underlying insurance company oftentimes reserves the right to deny all claims because the policy was sold under false pretenses. The ramifications of this activity can be astronomical.
The second case involved an intricate web of lies, during which a South Florida construction company owner used check cashing stores to conceal the number of people he employed and his total payroll amount -- two figures that are key to calculating workers' compensation premiums. Investigators proved an annual payroll of $8.2 million, far more than the $112,000 the owner claimed. Because of his lies, he evaded paying more than $300,000 in workers' compensation premiums, and left his entire workforce vulnerable in the event of an on-the-job injury.
As we debate big insurance issues in our state, such as AOB, PIP and the cost of flood insurance, we cannot overlook the overall cost of fraud within the insurance industry. While looking at ways to drive down the cost of insurance in Florida, I'll keep my eye on continuing to aggressively fight fraud, too.
If you'd like to learn more about these two cases, look for stories in our "News of Interest" section .
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
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