JUDGE UPHOLDS GALLAGHER’S PLAN TO SMOOTHLY TRANSITION POE
Tom Gallagher, Florida’s chief financial officer, said that a judge
reaffirmed her approval of the Department of Financial Services’ plan to
protect and to smoothly transition nearly 330,000 policyholders with
Atlantic Preferred, Southern Family and Florida Preferred insurance
companies to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation on July 1. The three
insurers are subsidiaries of the Tampa-based Poe Financial Group.
“We remain focused on protecting policyholders and ensuring they have
continuous coverage this hurricane season,” Gallagher said. “Tropical Storm
Alberto was an important reminder of the need to protect our homes and our
families, and our transition plan was developed with this in mind.”
At a hearing in Tallahassee, Leon County Circuit Judge Janet Ferris heard a
recent emergency motion filed by Poe officials regarding the three insurers
they formerly managed. Filed last week, Poe’s motion alleged the
department’s transition plan should have required Citizens to use Poe’s
affiliates – Poe & Associates, Poe Managers, and Mariah – and pay fees to
service policies being assumed by Citizens.
In response, the department refuted Poe’s assertion because Poe’s affiliates
had long provided the employees, facilities and equipment necessary to
operate the three insurance companies the judge had ordered into
liquidation. The department’s response is attached.
On May 30, Judge Ferris signed orders directing the department to take
control of the three insurance companies’ operations and to liquidate the
companies’ assets to pay outstanding claims. On June 1, the judge approved a
transition plan to help homeowners who were covered by one of the three Poe
companies to automatically transition to Citizens Property Insurance
Corporation on July 1.
For more information, policyholders can contact the Department of Financial
Services at 1-800-342-2762 or log onto www.MyFloridaCFO.com.
STAND DOWN FOR FIRE SAFETY THIS
Please join thousands of fire departments across Florida, the United States
and Canada for the 2006 International Fire Fighter Safety Stand Down.
Starting on June 21, and continuing until all members have participated, the
stand down will suspend all non-emergency activity to focus on fire fighter
Departments will respond to all emergency calls as normal but between calls
fire fighters, officers and chiefs will take the time to conduct safety
training and drills, review our safety-related standard operating
procedures, discuss accident reports and have open conversations about fire
fighter safety in the department. The focus of the stand down is on
emergency vehicle safety—in particular, on seatbelt use and driving safely
“The State Fire Marshal is committed to serving the residents of Florida.
Keeping our fire fighters safe and healthy helps us respond effectively to
keep our community protected,” said Tom Gallagher. “While fire fighter
safety is always a priority, the Stand Down is an opportunity to dedicate a
significant amount of time to the safety of our personnel.”
The stand down also serves to remind the citizens of Florida to do their
part in keeping fire fighters safe. Remember to pull to the right when fire
trucks or ambulances are responding, and use caution when driving by
emergency scenes where fire fighters or paramedics are helping accident
Last year, 106 fire fighters died in the line of duty in the United States;
26 of these deaths occurred in emergency vehicle-related accidents.
Thousands more were injured while on duty. The purpose of the stand down is
to call international attention to these unacceptable numbers of
line-of-duty deaths and injuries and devote an entire day to the critical
issue of fire fighter safety.
The stand down is sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs
(IAFC), International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF) and the IAFC’s
Volunteer and Combination Officers’ Section in partnership with nearly 20
national fire service organizations. For more information, visit
BUSINESS INTERRUPTION INSURANCE IS VITAL TO BUSINESS SURVIVAL
In today’s global economy, a business owner needs to know what can happen to
all the hard work if the business is not correctly insured against the
destructive force of a natural disaster such as a fire, tornado or
hurricane. If the business does not reopen soon after a disaster, customers
cab be lost to a competitor across town or to others halfway around the
world. Skilled employees might have to leave to gain employment elsewhere. A
fast resumption of business after a disaster is essential to the owner, the
employees and the local economy. There is an applicable saying that a
community does not recover from a disaster until local businesses recover.
While most business have insurance to cover their buildings and equipment,
many business having to shut down following a disaster do not survive
because they have no income for days, weeks or even months. Frequently, the
businesses that do survive the disaster are the ones that have business
Business interruption insurance compensates for lost income if a company has
to vacate the premises due to disaster-related damage that is covered under
the property insurance policy. Business interruption insurance covers the
profits that would have been earned, based on financial records, income tax
returns and recent operating statements had the disaster not occurred.
Business interruption coverage is typically not sold separately; it is
either an endorsement to a property insurance policy or included in a
package policy. Many options are available that can be purchased and may
include lower coinsurance requirements (deductibles), payroll coverage for
employees and officers and an anticipated return time to normal operations.
Other options may include income lost from renting space to another business
or extra contingency expense to cover higher prices paid to an alternate
supplier when the original supplier is shut down and cannot deliver
materials Make sure the waiting period in your policy is known that is
applicable to the business.
It is recommended that a business eliminate any waiting period provision for
any type of business income coverage, and instead have a known dollar
deductible based the business's own level of risk tolerance. If there is a
dollar deductible instead of a waiting period, the business won't be covered
for the first losses up to that amount, but will immediately be covered in
full for any amount above the deductible.
Services Interruption/Off Premises Power coverage can help with losses
suffered from loss/damage to the property of any service provider including
electrical equipment & systems, fuel, water, gas, feedstock, pulp, liquid
gases, sewage, steam, telephone, fiber optic cable, telecommunications,
heating, refrigeration and/or air conditioning systems, or utility plants.
For example, this could include spoiled food at restaurants and supermarkets
from interruption of power or telemarketers unable to communicate because of
the disruption of phone lines.
The need for insurance is a fact of life in today’s business environment.
Knowing how the insurance policy works, what the options are, what types of
deductibles are involved and how related costs are set up are essential to
the survival of the business. Business owners must meet with their Florida
licensed insurance agents and review business needs on a routine basis.
Schedule a meeting at least annually with the agent, financial advisor and
CPA to make sure business goals are understood and that the team is working
toward those goals.
FRAUDULENT E-MAILS ASK
FOR PERSONAL INFORMATION
E-mails to financial
institution customers that fraudulently claim to be from the FDIC attempt to
obtain highly sensitive personal information, including bank account
information. These e-mails falsely indicate that FDIC deposit insurance is
suspended until the requested customer information is provided.
FDIC Consumer Call Centers in Kansas City, Missouri, and Washington, D.C.,
have begun receiving a large number of complaints by consumers who received
an e-mail that has the appearance of being sent from the FDIC. The e-mail
informs the recipient that Department of Homeland Security Director Tom
Ridge has advised the FDIC to suspend all deposit insurance on the
recipient’s bank account due to suspected violations of the USA PATRIOT Act.
The e-mail further indicates that deposit insurance will be suspended until
personal identity, including bank account information, can be verified.
This e-mail was not
sent by the FDIC and is a fraudulent attempt to obtain personal information
from consumers. Financial institutions and consumers should NOT access the
link provided within the body of the e-mail and should NOT under any
circumstances provide any personal information through this media.
The FDIC is attempting
to identify the source of the e-mails and disrupt the transmission. Until
this is achieved, consumers are asked to report any similar attempts to
obtain this information to the FDIC by sending information to