July 16, 2020
Protecting Tomorrow, Today
13907 Carrollwood Vlg Run, Tampa FL 33618
Welcome to the summer edition of the Professional Insurance Newsletter!

We are happy to report that our entire staff is back to working in the office and we have all stayed healthy. Our unique office setup of individual office spaces has given us this opportunity to successfully work together, while apart, in the office. We are allowing clients to come into the office if an appointment is necessary, however we do request that you wear a mask while in our building.

In the middle of this pandemic, as Floridians, we have to remember that we are also in the middle of Hurricane Season. As we move further into the summer, we are approaching what tends to be the more active part of Hurricane Season. We encourage you to make sure your hurricane supplies are ready, make sure your family has a hurricane plan in place, and double-check that your Flood and Home Insurance policies are paid for! This is a perfect time to review your coverage and secure flood insurance; when a storm is approaching, it’s too late.

At Professional Insurance Services, we would like to remind you that our office provides the full spectrum of commercial and personal lines insurance policies. As an independent agency, we have access to many carriers, and that enables us to seek competitive pricing and terms. Please keep us in mind for any of your insurance needs!

We hope you all continue to stay safe and healthy!
Assignment of Benefits- what you should know
Assignment of Benefits (AOB) has become a vastly growing trend and major issue within the insurance industry. What is an Assignment of Benefit? This is a contract that, once signed, transfers your claim rights to a third party. An AOB allows a third-party to stand in your shoes, as the insured, and request direct payment from your insurance company. This even gives them the ability to sue your insurance company, which, in turn, makes you party to a lawsuit against your insurance company.

According to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, litigated AOB claims for non-weather water damages cost six-times more than claims without litigation or an AOB. Considering that 56,000 more AOB-related lawsuits were filed against Citizens in 2018 than in 2013, the insurer had to charge $1.4 billion more in premiums than if the amount of AOB litigation had remained constant. [1]

This trend isn’t specific to Citizens, it’s consistent across almost all of our Florida home insurance carriers. And homeowners are footing the bill for this. How does this impact you? Well, if you’re a homeowner, you may notice your insurance premiums increasing, coverage being limited or not available to you, and more inspections being requested. The massive increase in AOB claim abuse, fraud and unnecessary litigation costs has played a significant role in home insurance premiums.

If you have unknowingly signed in to an AOB contract, you may still have options! Based on the legislation that went into effect on July 1 st , 2019, there are three parameters that allow you to rescind your AOB contract: 1) there is a 14-day rescission period, free of penalty, 2) rescind after a 30-day period if the contracted work has not been substantially performed, and 3) rescind after a 30-day period if the agreement does not have a commencement date and the contracted vendor has not performed substantial work. It’s important to know your rights if you are looking to get out of an AOB contract.

Not all AOB contracts are with fault, but make sure you do your due diligence on who you’re hiring and their history on AOB claims. At Professional Insurance Services, we always encourage you to call your insurance company to file a claim first, and let them advise you on the next steps.

Want to know more about Assignment of Benefits? Check out the two links below for useful information.

Martinis for Moffitt
As many of you may know, Jason Levy is a founding member of Bay Area Advisors here in Tampa Bay. Their flagship event is the annual Martinis for Moffitt that supports Moffitt’s Cancer Center’s critical cancer research. Unfortunately, due to the on-going covid-19 pandemic, this is the first year that this event has been cancelled. The good news is that space is already being held in anticipation for an epic 2021 Martinis for Moffitt celebration.

If you want to enjoy an amazing night out with martinis, food, networking, live music, along with a raffle and silent auction, all while knowing you’re contributing to raise money to fight a devastating disease, then we invite you to join us at the event! Bay Area Advisors has proudly donated over $1.8 million to Moffitt Cancer Center initiatives.

We hope to see you at the 2021 Martinis for Moffitt event!
Location: Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino

Event Date: July 17th, 2021

Time: 7:00 PM – 11:00 PM

Attire: Cocktail

Does your Business need Cyber Liability Insurance?
The short answer: yes.

If your business engages in electronic activities, be it internet sales or collecting and sharing data within a network, then you’re at risk for data breach where information can be exposed or stolen. Cyber liability can cover you for monetary losses from a breach and provide legal protection, it is the most comprehensive coverage a business can have in the event of a cyberattack.

What are your cyber liability risks? Your business could be liable for costs incurred by customers or other third-parties because of a cyberattack. Your business could be liable for the expense of replacing lost data. Your business could be required to notify all customers of a data breach. These are just a few of the costs your business could be at risk for in the event of a cyberattack.

Given current circumstances with most business operating remotely, a substantial employee shift to work from home, businesses have opened themselves up to even more vulnerabilities with protecting their cyber-security. This is a crucial time to make sure your business has cyber liability coverage in place.

Want to know more or get a quote for your business? Just give us a call and someone in our commercial lines team will be happy to help!

Meet Shawn Heuton
Shawn is the Director of New Business Development at Professional Insurance Services. He holds a 220 General Lines agent license and earned his Certified Insurance Counselor designation in 2014. Fun fact: Shawn originally worked here from 2008-2012 and decided to re-join the team in 2019!

When Shawn isn’t busy securing valuable coverage for his clients, he can be found spending time with his wife and their daughter, Lily. He’s a self-proclaimed sports fanatic, plays in local softball leagues, and is a regular weekend golfer.