FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

This portion of our website is devoted to the routine questions that we get asked most often.  However, insurance is a highly technical business and many questions can only be answered based on your individual circumstances. We encourage you to call us on more complex issues and questions so that we may give you full and complete answers. This section will be continuously updated to provide you with the latest and best information.

Q. What are your office hours?  

A. Our regular office hours are 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, however, you may leave after-hours messages for any of our associates using our voicemail system.

Q. Are there any special things I need to know in case of a hurricane?      

A. It is difficult to predict what might occur if a hurricane were to hit Florida. However, if you were to incur property damage, here is some useful information: 1) In the event of property damage, you do not have to wait for a claims adjustor to visit you to make temporary repairs that will reduce further damage. 2) Statewide Insurance will make every effort to assist you with your claim.

Q. How can I obtain a Certificate of insurance?  

A. Statewide Condominium Insurance realizes that Certificates of Insurance are an annual requirement for many lenders of condo units.  We try to make the process of obtaining a certificate as easy as possible for everyone involved. Unit-Owners may complete a C O I request on-line and we will forward a completed certificate of insurance back to you or send it to your lender. Unit owners should ask for a copy of the certificate of insurance for possible future reference. Property Managers may either complete our e-mail request on-line or we can provide you with a master certificate for your association(s) upon request.  You can then have the ability to complete the unit-owner and lender information and hand them out to unit-owners or lenders. Lenders will automatically receive from us a certificate of insurance if we have prior year information.  This eliminates a large number of requests by providing the lender the certificate before the request is made.  

CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR ONLINE COI REQUEST PAGE

You may also fax us at 772-562-7100 – include your contact info and lender letter and loan info needed. You may email a request to  coi@statewidecondo.com

You also have the option of calling us at (800) 260-5252 with the required information and we will send the certificate to the requested destination within 2 business days. Please be advised that Certificates of Insurance cannot be sent out blank, as the mortgagees find this unacceptable.

Q. What is the insurance market doing?  

A. The insurance market has continued to change over the last several years. Pricing is currently lower than what we’ve seen in the past. However, this could change rapidly depending on our windstorm season. Contact your agent for a current update on market conditions.

Q. Why does the neighbor association pay less for their insurance?  

A. Type of construction, year built, loss history and mitigation credits are the primary reasons for premium variations.

Q. What is an admitted carrier or standard lines carrier?

A.   An admitted carrier or standard carrier is an insurance company that has received a license from the state department of insurance for the authority to write specific lines of insurance. These companies are also bound by rate and form regulations, and are strictly regulated to protect policy holders from a variety of illegal and unethical practices, including fraud. Admitted carriers are also required to financially contribute to the state guarantee fund, which is used to pay for losses if an insurance carrier becomes insolvent or unable to pay the losses due to their policyholders.

Q. What is an excess and surplus (E&S) lines carrier and how is it different from an admitted carrier?

A. An E&S carrier is not required to be licensed by the state, but is allowed to do business in that state. Sometimes, E&S carriers are  also referred to as non-admitted or unlicensed carriers; however, E&S carriers are financially stable companies that are regulated in other ways. Most states require that E&S carriers submit financial information, articles of incorporation, list of officers, and other general details. They also cannot write insurance that is typically available in the admitted market, they are not protected by the state guarantee fund, may pay higher taxes, may only write a policy if it has been rejected by three different admitted carriers, and only when the agent placing the business has a surplus lines license. AAMGA member State Surplus Line and Stamping Offices, as well as insurance departments in the states maintain a list of approved surplus lines insurance companies. Policies can only be written by companies on this approved list. Excess and Surplus line carriers are not bound by most of the rate and form regulations imposed on standard market companies, allowing them the flexibility to change the coverage offered and the rate charged without time constraints and financial costs associated with the filing process. This is good for both the company and the policyholder.

Q.  Why am I insured by an E &S company?

A. Most likely, your policy is written by an E&S carrier because the standard carriers have elected not to cover your insurance needs. The reasons for this vary, but could include the following:

  • The risk does not meet the guidelines of the standard market due to age, location, loss history or cancellation;
  • The policy limits exceed the guidelines for the standard market;
  • The risk is “outside the box” of what the standard carriers are comfortable writing. Sometimes, this is referred to as an “unusual risk”.
  • The risk is “extraordinary” and the standard carriers may not be comfortable covering such a risk. Usually these are very large exposures with equally high potential for loss such as aviation liability insurance, protection for a demolition business, etc.

Q. Why does the disclosure on my policy state that the policy is written by a non-licensed or non-admitted insurance carrier and what does that mean?

A. When your policy is written by an Excess & Surplus line insurance carrier, a disclosure of that is required by law. What it means to the policyholder is that if the carrier were to become insolvent, the policyholder is not eligible for recourse through the state guarantee fund. However, studies including those by the respected A.M. Best organization, which monitors and reports on insurance company solvencies and other important issues, show that the percentage of excess and surplus line carriers that become insolvent is lower than the percentage of admitted carriers that suffer the same fate. The key consideration is to do business with those insurance organizations that are financially strong and have the ability to pay claims when a covered loss occurs, whether the company is an E&S carrier or not.

Q.  Why can’t coverage be placed with Citizens when an admitted carrier is offering a quote?

A. In 2002, the Florida Legislature passed a law creating Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens), which provides insurance to and serves the needs of homeowners in high-risk areas and others who cannot find coverage in the open, private insurance market. An applicant for new Citizens coverage will be ineligible if he receives an offer of coverage from a private sector company.

Q. What is covered under a flood policy?

A. Link to NFIP:  go to www.floodsmart.gov website

Q.  Do I need a HO-6 or flood policy?

A. Yes. An HO-6 policy is now required under Florida Statute for all condominium  unit owners. Some lenders do require a flood policy for a unit, while others do  not. Please ask your personal lines agent if flood coverage is required for your  unit.

Q. What is a Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy?

A. A Difference in Conditions (DIC) policy is designed to fill in gaps in a policyholder’s commercial property insurance coverage.  It is an “all risks”  policy that covers other perils not insured by basic property policies.

Q. Is insurance rebating legal?

A. Yes. If it is done in accordance with Florida Statute 626.572. click here for FL Statute

Q.  What is the difference between Basic Form and Special Form property policy?

A. Refer to link: click to go to www.roughnotes.com