It was another busy year in the Southeast with storms, workers’ comp, and carrier insolvencies dominating the headlines. Here’s a look back at some of the stories that attracted the most readers in 2017.
The first major hurricane to hit Florida in 11 years, Irma was a big story for the Southeast in 2017. From damage predictions to industry preparation and recovery, it is not a storm that will soon be forgotten.
- Here’s What a Category 5 Hurricane Could Do to Florida
- As Irma Looms, This Small Insurer Has an Outsized Bet on Florida
- Florida on Alert for AOB Abuse as Irma Recovery Begins
- Florida Insurance Regulator Issues Irma-Related Emergency Order
- Update: Insurance Industry Preparation for Hurricane Irma in Full Swing in Florida
- Expert’s Advice to Florida Agents: Report Claims That Fall Below Hurricane Deductible
- A.M. Best: Hurricane Irma to Test Florida Market Newbies
The insurance industry’s hopes for a fix to decisions that upended the Florida workers’ compensation system were dashed this year, just as they were for assignment of benefits reform. The Florida Legislature failed to pass legislation in 2017 addressing 2016 decisions by the Florida Supreme Court that sent the state’s workers’ comp system into disarray and led to a rate increase of 14.5 percent.
- Florida Fails to Pass Workers’ Compensation Reform
- Florida Launches Online Workers’ Comp Insurer Database for Employers
Later in the year, workers’ compensation carrier Guarantee Insurance was placed in receivership by state regulators.
Company Failures, Acquisitions
In addition to the folding of Guarantee Insurance, two other companies domiciled in Florida reached the end of the line this year. Readers flocked to stories about Patriot National shuttering its subsidiary companies and announcing its reorganization. The demise of domestic homeowners insurer Sawgrass Mutual and an acquisition of a Southeast agency by Marsh & McLennan were also hot topics.
- Florida Domestic Insurer Sawgrass Mutual to Wind Down Operations
- Marsh & McLennan Acquires Southeast Brokerage J. Smith Lanier & Co.
- Florida Domestic Insurer Sawgrass Mutual to ‘Wind Down’ Operations
Flood, Fraud & Medical Marijuana
Fraud is always a favorite topic of Insurance Journal readers, and this year was no exception. The Florida flood market and medical marijuana also kept captivated our insurance industry audience.
- Florida Insurance Agency Employee Accused of Stealing $1M From Employer
- Florida Man Steals $150K Maserati During Test Drive
- Florida Keys Insurance Agent Accused of Defrauding Citizens Insurance
- Florida Medical Marijuana Law Signed by Scott
- Florida Starts Issuing Medical Marijuana ID Cards
- Private Insurers Cautiously Dip Toes Into Florida Flood Market Waters
- Climate Change And The Nightmare Scenario for Florida’s Coastal Homeowners
Other Southeast News
While Florida stories dominated the popular Southeast headlines this year, other state insurance issues were also important to readers.
- Crumbling South Carolina Roads Cost State Nearly $50M in Driver Claims Since 2010
- North Carolina Auto Rates Going Up? Rate Bureau Files for 13.8% Rate Increase
- South Carolina Couple Sues Amazon Over Faulty Eclipse Glasses