It was a busy year in the Southeast with two major hurricanes that wreaked havoc on the region, an escalating insurance crisis in Florida, and a new industry-specific cybersecurity law in South Carolina that takes effect Jan. 1, 2019.
Here are some of the Southeast topics and stories that were popular with our readers in 2018.
Two peak-hurricane season storms brought much destruction to several Southeast states. In September, Hurricane Florence caused heavy rain and flooding in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina as it lingered over the area for a few days.
- Florence Impact on Insurers Tempered by Mostly Uninsured Flood Losses
- Insurers Forecasting Significant Claims from Businesses from Hurricane Florence
But Hurricane Michael, which hit the Florida Panhandle with winds just 2 mph short of a Category 5 storm, will go down in history as the largest hurricane to ever make landfall in the region.
- Hurricane Michael’s Destruction in Photos
- CoreLogic Estimates Hurricane Michael Losses Could Top $4.5B; Top 10 Insurers Affected
- Hurricane Michael Death Toll Now at 35 in Florida, 45 Total
- Florida Picks Up the Pieces from Powerful Hurricane Michael
- Florida Death Toll From Hurricane Michael Climbs to 29
- Florida Orders Insurers to Halt Rate Hikes; Sets Up Hurricane Michael Claims Village
- Florida CFO: Insurers Must Step Up Response to Hurricane Michael Claims
Florida AOB Abuse
Florida’s assignment of benefits insurance crisis was a top topic throughout 2018. From a full-court press by the insurance industry for legislative changes early in the year, to insurer attempts to mitigate abuse, to regulator and court rejections of policy language changes, there was no shortage of stories on the issue currently plaguing the state.
- How the Florida Insurance Industry Hopes to Rein In AOB Crisis
- Florida Appeals Court, Regulator Reject Policy Language Aimed at Curbing AOB Abuse
- Florida Agents March on State Capitol in Lawmaker Push to Reform AOB
Florida’s Citizens Approves Changes to Managed Repair Program to Stem AOB Abuse
- Report Shows Florida AOB Abuse Worsening as Lawmakers Consider Reforms
The issue of insurance fraud is always a big one, particularly in the Southeast, and 2018 was no exception. Florida earning the top spot on the “Judicial Hellhole” list due to fraud and lawsuit abuse was a big story this year, as was a story about the state’s most wanted insurance fraudsters. Other top fraud stories came out of Georgia, North Carolina, and Florida.
- Fraud, Lawsuit Abuse Earns Florida No. 1 Spot on ‘Judicial Hellhole’ List
- Florida CFO Releases List of Top 10 Most Wanted Insurance Fraudsters
- Florida Restoration Contractor Arrested Over $140K AOB Fraud Scheme
- Georgia Insurance Agent Faces 28 Counts of Insurance Fraud
- New York Life Sues North Carolina Woman For Insurance Fraud
- Former Jacksonville Jaguar Player Arrested in $78K Insurance Fraud Scheme
- Florida Woman Arrested Over $50K Workers’ Comp Fraud Scheme
- Florida Construction Company Owner Arrested For $1.8 Million Workers’ Comp Scam
Insurance Industry’s First State Data Security Law
South Carolina became the first state to pass a cybersecurity bill requiring any insurance entity operating in the state to establish and implement a cybersecurity program protecting their business and their customers from a data breach. The law was adopted from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) “model law” and takes effect Jan. 1, 2019. Insurers are required to develop, implement and maintain a comprehensive written information security program and report it to SCDOI by July 1, 2019. Licensees must require their third-party service providers to implement security measures to protect and secure any information systems and personal information by July 1, 2020.
The law could be followed by other states looking to enact similar rules around data privacy.
- South Carolina Passes First Insurance Industry Cybersecurity Law
- South Carolina Insurer Data Security Law Should Be Nationwide Role Model
Hub International South Carolina Lawsuit
A lawsuit against insurance brokerage Hub International by a South Carolina school district topped the list of most popular stories in the Southeast this year. The suit involved Berkley County School District, which sought more than $42 million from its former CFO, a local insurance agency and Chicago-based Hub.
Other popular stories this year:
- Florida Could Be Close to a Real Estate Reckoning
- Ex-AIG Execs Kick-Off New High Net Worth Insurer Vault in Florida
- Marriott Sued Over Florida Hotel Valet Giving $300K Ferrari to Wrong Owner
- 2 Recent Florida Supreme Court Rulings Could Impact Insurance Industry
- Ratings Agency Ignites Controversy Over Financial Strength of Florida Insurers
- 120K Gallons of Whiskey Spill After Kentucky Storage Warehouse Completely Collapses
- Pork Giant Smithfield Foods Ordered to Pay $25M in Nuisance Lawsuit
- Georgia-Based Auto Insurer Access Insurance To Be Liquidated
- Laws, Beck Face Off in Georgia Insurance Commissioner Race
- Court Approves Patriot National Bankruptcy, Reorganization
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