Insurers will draw on international resources to pay Irma claims – Florida Politics (blog)
You probably don’t have to worry about your insurance company’s ability to pay claims arising from Hurricane Irma.
Do worry about a shortage of adjusters to help them calculate your losses. That could inflate the cost of managing claims.
Fred Karlinsky, co-chairman of the insurance regulatory and transactions practice at Greenberg Traurig, said Florida insurers can draw on robust reserves and an international reinsurance market to pay claims.
“The losses are not borne just in Florida. They’re borne in Bermuda; they’re borne in London,” Karlinsky said during an interview in Tallahassee Friday. “Those insurers retrocede reinsurance out to other people. It really is worldwide support for the state of Florida.”
On the other hand, there’s an adjuster deficit — despite the Department of Financial Services’ efforts to streamline the licensure process. “That’s just the graying workforce,” Karlinksy said.
“What we have here — no pun intended — is the perfect storm,” he said.
“You have a storm that hit Texas, in Harvey. And you have an already-stressed system in the lack of adjusters. Then you have a storm in Florida, and you see a bidding war for these adjusters. So the expenses for adjusters have gone up significantly. That, in and of itself, creates a problem for the insurance marketplace.”
Karlinsky surveyed that market one week after Irma made landfall in Florida.
As bad as the storm was, it easily could have been much worse.
“Fortunately, Irma’s path took it to the west, so it didn’t go right up the spine of the state. The physical damage was not nearly what it could have been as a category 4 coming on land in some of the more populous areas,” Karlinsky said.
“If the worst-case scenario would have happened last week, it would have been a challenging event for the marketplace