Thursday, March 19, 2015

Your Insurance agent

The days of the harassing  insurance agent in the striped suit, briefcase, and pointexter haircut are over.  These days most insurance agents are an integral part of the community and try their best not to bring up the subject of purchasing insurance unless someone does it first.  However, that does not stop this from being funny and maybe the only thing worse would be spending an evening with Woody Allen.

Bauknight Insurance operates two Counties in Florida, Bauknight Insurance, 13041 US Hwy 19, Hudson, FL 34667 (727) 863-5641 and Bauknight Insurance of Hernando 10488 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, Fl 34607 (352)-686-0612

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Where property Insurance came from...

Someone asked me where homeowner insurance "came from" yesterday. Here is the long answer:

Property insurance as we know it today can be traced to the Great Fire of London, which in 1666 devoured more than 13,000 houses. The devastatingeffects of the fire converted the development of insurance "from a matter of convenience into one of urgency, a change of opinion reflected in Sir Christopher Wren's inclusion of a site for 'the Insurance Office' in his new plan for London in 1667".[8] A number of attempted fire insurance schemes came to nothing, but in 1681, economist Nicholas Barbon and eleven associates established the first fire insurance company, the "Insurance Office for Houses", at the back of the Royal Exchange to insure brick and frame homes. Initially, 5,000 homes were insured by his Insurance Office.[9]

In the wake of this first successful venture, many similar companies were founded in the following decades. Initially, each company employed its own fire department to prevent and minimise the damage from conflagrations on properties insured by them. They also began to issue 'Fire insurance marks' to their customers. These would be displayed prominently above the main door of the property and allowed the insurance company to positively identify properties that had taken out insurance with them. One such notable company was the Hand in Hand Fire & Life Insurance Society, founded in 1696 at Tom's Coffee House in St. Martin's Lane in London.[10] It was structured as a mutual society, and for 135 years it operated its own fire brigade and played an important part in shaping fire fighting and prevention.[10] The Sun Fire Office is the earliest still existing property insurance company, dating from 1710.[10]

This system was soon exposed as terribly flawed, as rival brigades often ignored burning buildings once they discovered that it had no insurance policy with their company. Eventually, a solution was agreed upon in which all the insurance companies would supply money and equipment to a municipal authority charged with stationing fire prevention assets and firefighters equally around the city to respond to all fires. This did not solve the problem entirely, as the brigades still tended to favour saving insured buildings to those without any insurance at all.[11]

In Colonial America, the first insurance company that underwrote fire insurance and was formed in Charles Town (modern-day Charleston), South Carolina in 1732. Benjamin Franklin helped to popularize and make standard the practice of insurance, particularly Property insurance to spread the risk of loss from fire, in the form of perpetual insurance. In 1752, he founded the Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire. Franklin's company made contributions toward fire prevention. Not only did his company warn against certain fire hazards, it refused to insure certain buildings where the risk of fire was too great, such as all wooden houses.

Most of these companies that were around in the early days of our county that still exist are marketed through the independent agency system. they represent some of the oldest corporations in existence, and some of the longest corporations to continually exist in our nation. Now that's something!

Some of them are:

Hanover Fire & Casualty Insurance , founded in 1847
Maloy Risk Services, 1872
Insurance Company of North America ((INA), 1792
Baltimore Equitable, 1787
Mutual Insurance, 1794
Providence Mutual Fire Insurance Co, 1800
The Hartford, 1810
Vermont Mutual, 1828
Frederick Mutual, 1843
Southern Mutual, 1847

These companies are still around today protecting people's houses.

Bauknight Insurance operates two Counties in Florida, Bauknight Insurance, 13041 US Hwy 19, Hudson, FL 34667 (727) 863-5641 and Bauknight Insurance of Hernando 10488 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, Fl 34607 (352-686-0612

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Car Insurance, After the accident.

Please do the following things after an auto accident to avoid unnecessary problems with your claim. almost always the process goes smooth but some of it relies on you.

1) Do not discuss the details of the accident with anyone but your Insurance company and/or attorney if you feel it necessary to contact one.

a) If you do contact an attorney you are effectively cutting your agent out of the process, so understand this when you contact the agent, he can be brought into a lawsuit if he gives you advice that goes contrary to the attorney. Follow your attorney's advice and don't double check your attorney against the agent.

2) Exchange information with the other driver including name, address, insurance company name and policy number.

3) Call your Insurance company as soon as it is reasonable and safe and give them the details of your accident. If you are injured, call both your auto insurance and health car provider and file claims with both of them. Seek medical care asap. This is important especially in Florida as you coverage can be compromised if you do not.

4) If your car is damaged and you have collision Insurance and it is your fault, file a claim for damage with your own Insurance Company. If it isn't your fault, talk to your agent about filing the claim with the other parties' Insurance carrier (if they have coverage). This way you avoid deductibles and also may get other uncovered benefits (like a rental car if you do have not purchased the coverage on your own policy).

a) Do NOT authorize work on the car, and Do NOT sign any form that allows the shop to begin work until your claim is formally approved. You have a duty to allow the Insurance company to inspect the damage.

b) Do not sign any form the body shop presents to you that allows them to proceed without an estimate or to begin work prior to claim authorization. This is a recipe for disaster.

c) Trust the process, it usually goes very smooth. If it doesn't, contact your agent and have them intervene on your behalf.

d) The insurance adjuster will prepare an estimate. Oftentimes the body shop will prepare one that is much higher. Do not be alarmed. Let the body shop have the estimate and they will usually agree to do the work based on this estimate. IF they will not, tell them to negotiate the fee directly with the carrier. IF they won't, CONSIDER HAVING YOUR CAR TOWED SOMEWHERE ELSE. Since you were smart and didn't sign anything about daily fees and/or other nonsense up front, the body shop will have to release your car.

e) Most shops are Insurance friendly. Some are not. This can be important when picking a shop. Some company's will attempt to direct you to a repair shop that is on their approved list. Consider this, but also consider using the dealer you bought you car from. They have great incentive to keep you happy, and almost always have a good relationship with the insurance carrier.

f) Rarely something goes wrong and it ends up with a disagreement between you and the insurance company. If this happens, ask your agent to intervene and/or get his opinion on the dispute. If the problem persists, you have other options. ask for a second opinion from another agent. You can also take your car to another shop for a post-repair inspection and bolster your case this way. Another way would be to get legal counsel.

g) If you have filed a claim with the other driver's carrier and you can't come to terms with their settlement, as long as you didn't authorize work you can switch back to your company and settle it through your own collisiion coverage. However you will be responsible for the deductible up front. Once it is settled, your company will negotiate with the other carrier, and when (if) they get paid they will refund your deductible. This applies only when the accident is not your fault.

h) Do not assign payment direct to the body shop because You lose control over the work this way. Wait until the work is done and you are happy, then pay the shop directly.

I have been in the insurance industry for over 30 years and been in accidents myself where I needed repairs. Only one time did I have a problem and it was a dispute over whether a window was already broke when I brought it in, and this was with a claim against a company that did not insure my car. Both the body shop and the insurance company have an incentive to get the job done quickly and correctly. time=Money and time=bad customer relations for both of them. No business in their right mind wants uphappy customers. However there are a few bad actors on both sides and there are situations that just go bad. this is when a friend in the industry comes in. I am that friend, call me.

Bauknight Insurance operates two Counties in Florida, Bauknight Insurance, 13041 US Hwy 19, Hudson, FL 34667 (727) 863-5641 and Bauknight Insurance of Hernando 10488 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, Fl 34607 (352-686-0612

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Citizens Property and Casualty is the largest property Insuror in Florida

Initially conceived as the insuror of last resort, Citizens property and Casualty has become the largest insuror by far of homes in Florida.

The facts:

As of 9/30/2010, Citizens Insures 1,185,513 Personal lines policies (Home Insurance and wind Insurance combined for residential occupancy)

The next largest Insuror, State Farm Florida Insurance Company, is actively non-renewing policies to reduce their exposure to about 1/2 that of Citizens  and has been currently downgraded to a B- rating.

In spite of a Mandate to reduce policies in Florida, Citizens continues to grow.

Allstate, Nationwide, Hartford, Geico, Travelers, and other major insurance companies have reduced their exposures to a fraction of what Citizens has.

"Take out Companies", Usually small newer companies with small histories and Assetts, are the only Companies that are growing their number of homeowner policies in Florida.

Take out company bankruptcys are on the rise, and serious questions about their ability to respond to claims.

The news is even worse for the policyholders in "sinkhole alley", Pasco, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough.  These counties have virtually seen the Property Insurance marketplace be turned over in total to Citizens.

What happened?

This question is complex, but started with Insurance companies not properly modeling the risk of hurricaine in Florida and by violating a principle of Insurance called "spreading the Risk", often concentrating their policies in certain areas and/or overselling homeowner Insurance with the desire to cross sell other lines of Insurance.  Prior to Hurricaine Andrew, The Insurance Companies also reserved inadequately, grossly underestimating their worse case exposure. As an example, State Farm lost every dime they ever made in Florida in this one storm AND exposed the Mutual Company to possible liquidation if the Hurricaine had only hit 10 miles north and damaged the more populous areas of Dade and Broward County. Another example is Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Company. While largely left untouched by Andrew, The multi-billion dollar loss forced the Company to face facts. The vast majority of their business was written in the Tampa Bay area, and if Andrew would have come up through the Bay and landed in Pinellas or Hillsborough County, this A+ rated company founded in 1881 would be foreced to  expose their Mid west clients and their entire company to the possibility of bankrupty.

These scenarios caused the major companies to form Florida Only Insurance Companies and the regional Carriers to Leave the State entirely.

Enter Citizens Property and Casualty Company.  This quasi governmental company was founded to fill the void.

2014 hurricane season

The weather is getting bearable, and we are halfway through hurricane season with no storms. Go Florida! 

According to The Weather Channel, this season predicted 11 named storms, 5 hurricanes, and 2 major hurricanes. We have been fortunate here in Hurricane alley to miss pretty much any of this activity in any meaningful way. Stay tuned.

Bauknight Insurance operates two Counties in Florida, Bauknight Insurance, 13041 US Hwy 19, Hudson, FL 34667 (727) 863-5641 and Bauknight Insurance of Hernando 10488 Spring Hill Drive, Spring Hill, Fl 34607 (352-686-0612

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Heritage Insurance Company to "Transition" 35,000 policies out of another take out company.

Troubled Florida based Insurance company, Sunshine State Insurance Company, a fledging Florida based Insurance Company that has struck deals with Citizen's Insurance Company to "take out" thousands of policies, is in serious trouble.

What kind of trouble?  Well, there is more here...

In February, the Florida FLOIR (Florida's Insurance regulatory Agency) took This action, effectively banging the doors shut on Sunshine State.

Insurance companies are organizations that rely on strict accounting of funds.  Things like missing or inadequate financial statements, suspended Ceo's, and so forth are a BIG DEAL.

So what does this mean to the 35,000 or so Florida Sunshine State policyholders?  Well in rides the Calvary in the form of another Florida Based Insurance Company, Heritage Insurance Company.  Below is a blurb that briefly explains what is going on...

CLEARWATER, Fla., June 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Heritage Insurance Holdings, Inc. HRTG +2.26%announced that on June 13, 2014, it received a court order to  transition approximately 35,000 policies of Sunshine State Property & Casualty Insurance Company ("SSIC") which is in liquidation.

If you are insured now with Sunshine State, very soon you will be receiving paperwork from Heritage Insurance Company 'transitioning" your policy over to them.

Welcome to Florida, home of the most convulted homeowner insurance market in the Country.

about the author:  Greg Bauknight is president of Bauknight Agencies, with office in both pasco (Bauknight Insurance (727) 863-5641 and Hernando (352)-686-06. For more information you can call their office at either location or visit their website at

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Citizen's property & casualty Insurance Company current homeowner and Dwelling fire sinkhole guidelines.

Florida residents with Citizens Homeowner Insurance or those that wish to purchase homeowner Insurance throught Citizens may wish to familiarize themselves with Citizens current stance on sinkhole coverage and cataststrophic ground collapse.

From Citizen's website as of 6/3/2014:

"Sinkhole Coverage and Claims
Citizens offers Sinkhole Loss coverage as an optional endorsement for Homeowners 3 - Special Form (CIT HO-3), Homeowners 8 - Modified Coverage Form (CIT HO-8) policies, and Dwelling Property 1 - Basic Form (CIT DP-1) and Dwelling Property 3 - Special Form (CIT DP-3) policies with Building coverage. Tenant contents, condominium and mobile home policies automatically include Sinkhole Loss coverage.

Sinkhole Loss coverage protects homeowners from structural damage to their home resulting from confirmed sinkhole activity. Sinkhole Loss coverage is different from Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse coverage, which automatically is included in most Citizens policies. Catastrophic Ground Cover Collapse coverage applies only when geological activity results in all of the following conditions:

Abrupt collapse of ground cover
A depression in the ground cover that is clearly visible to the naked eye
Structural damage to the building, including the foundation
Condemnation of the structure and order by government authorities that it be vacated

Since 2006, more than 15,000 sinkhole-related claims have been reported to Citizens. To protect our policyholders from the rising costs of Sinkhole Loss coverage, Citizens requires sinkhole inspections when policyholders add Sinkhole Loss coverage to their policy if the covered building is located in one of 16 sinkhole-prone counties or if the coverage application indicates that there have been prior sinkhole claims or activity on the property.

The cost of sinkhole inspections is split evenly between Citizens and the policyholder. Upon completion of the inspection, Citizens' underwriting team will review the results and issue a decision on eligibility for Sinkhole Loss coverage. Policies that do not qualify for Sinkhole Loss coverage still may be eligible for regular Citizens coverage, which includes coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse.

For more information, call Bauknight Insurance in hudson at 727-863-5641 or Bauknight Insurance of Hernando in Spring Hill, FL at 352-686-0612 or visit our website at

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