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3 min read

What Property Insurers Should Know About the New Legislation in Florida

In an article written in collaboration with the Insurance Thought Leadership, “How to Cruise Through the New Florida Property Insurance Legislation”, Betterview co-founder and COO Dave Tobias discusses the new legislation recently passed by the Florida state government. The new law confronts challenges facing property insurers and homeowners in Florida as we are seeing worsening hurricane seasons. Read the article here to learn more about the law, its connection to increasing hurricane risk, and its implications for homeowners and insurers.  

Here, we’d like to talk about how the Betterview Property Intelligence and Risk Management platform can specifically help insurers in Florida manage risk while complying with the new legislation.

 



Components of the new Florida Legislation:

  • Earmarks $150 million for the My Safe Florida Home Program to provide grants to Florida homeowners for making homes safer and more resistant to hurricane damage, which can result in premium discounts for those who participate in the program. 
  • Prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage solely based on the age of a roof if the roof is less than 15 years old or if the roof is determined to have at least 5 years of useful life remaining. 
  • Requires insurance companies to provide policyholders with a reasonable explanation if they deny or partially deny a claim.
  • Requires insurance companies to provide consumers with greater access to information during the claim adjustment process, and to provide adjuster reports in a timely manner.

 

The new legislation – similar to the recent “Safer From Wildfire” framework in California – recognizes that hurricanes are increasing in frequency and severity, adversely affecting insurers and policyholders in coastal states. Existing tools are often insufficient to give insurers a complete view of real hurricane risk. As a result, insurers are forced to write policies blind, increasing the likelihood of paying out major claims. Otherwise, they must raise premiums dramatically or even cancel policies en-masse. Both of these options are unsustainable. Insurers need new tools to give them a comprehensive, actionable view of hurricane risk.

This is where the Betterview Property Intelligence and Risk Management Platform comes in. Our platform uses a combination of high-quality aerial imagery, computer vision detections, and third-party data to help insurers identify and manage real property risk. This combination of technologies, and the easy-to-use nature of our platform, is precisely what you need to mitigate risk, especially hurricane risk in coastal states like Florida. There are many features on our platform that are especially relevant to the situation in Florida: 

  • Our Spotlights use computer vision to transparently show the exact property attributes contributing to higher risk, as well as indicating their sizes and locations. Spotlights include ponding, staining, and missing shingles on a roof, as well as many other property-level risk drivers. Particularly relevant for hurricanes and other CAT risks is our Defensible Space detection, as well as our Roof Spotlight Index. (The latter, a 100-point numerical roof score, satisfies the new legislation’s more stringent requirements around evaluating roof age/condition.)

  • Our Flagging feature makes it easy for underwriters to take actions on properties based on their level of risk. An entire book of properties can be instantly organized to filter out properties with certain risk characteristics, such as those with a damaged roof that are also in a hurricane-prone region. Insurers can then give these problematic properties the attention they need, helping the insured to mitigate potential risk. (This could potentially help with directing funds from the My Safe Florida program, informing policyholders what actions they can take to make homes safer and more hurricane-resilient, in accordance with the program.)

  • Our new Hurricane Risk Insights, which give insurers a full view of both regional hazard and structure-specific vulnerability to hurricane damage. It includes regional hazard hurricane scores sourced from trusted data-providers such as HazardHub and FEMA, and a 1-5 Hurricane Vulnerability Score for each individual structure. The score is based on our computer vision analysis and historical data on property-level hurricane vulnerability such as roof staining, tree overhang, defensible space, and more.

  • Finally, our CAT Response System (CAT-RS), is designed for claims and CAT response teams to proactively, rapidly, and accurately respond to catastrophic weather events. Combining our computer vision and post-event imagery from the most reputable aerial imagery providers in the world, CAT-RS empowers you to better serve and protect your customers at the time they need you the most. (This also fulfills the stipulations of the new legislation to increase insurance claims transparency.) 

P&C insurers are in the business of providing peace-of-mind to their insured. In the face of increasing hurricane risk, this task has been made more difficult. Insurers must evolve to changing conditions, and to do so they need new tools and technologies. With the help of the Betterview Property Intelligence and Risk Management platform, and informed by new legislation, insurers can better protect homeowners, businesses, and communities from the effects of hurricane damage. 

 

If you want to learn how the solutions on the Betterview platform can empower insurers to predict and prevent losses – including our new Hurricane Risk Insights – head to our site to learn more, and contact us today. 

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