recent articles regarding the newly adopted OIR-B1-1802

From Wayne Bertsch

5:02 PM (3 hours ago)

Below are some recent articles regarding the newly adopted OIR-B1-1802 Form by the Florida Financial Services Commission.

No opposition to hurricane insurance discounts - a coincidence?
By Julie Patel December 8, 2011

Have you ever been chatted up at an inopportune time?

That happened Tuesday to Wayne Bertsch, a lobbyist who was in the state Capitol getting ready to speak out against changes proposed by regulators for hurricane insurance discounts.

Another lobbyist who represents the regulators stopped him to ask questions.

By the time the two went back to the meeting, state officials already voted.


Maybe, said Bertsch. Absolutely, said the regulators.

“Just a confluence of events – nothing more,” said Office of Insurance Regulation Spokesman Jack McDermott, adding that Bertsch and his group “were allowed input into this process.”

Bertsch, who represents the Florida Home Inspectors Council, said the input didn’t make a difference with regulators. That’s why his group wanted to have their say before the Cabinet’s decision: “We’ve attended four public hearings [but] none of our concerns have been addressed."

Inspectors have said most of the changes approved will cause people to lose discounts they’re getting for home upgrades that protect against hurricanes. Documents such as permits are now required for each upgrade and most need photos, a requirement added last year.

The inspectors said it’s sometimes impossible to get the documentation but that’s why they’re trained professionals who put their licenses at risk and face penalties when verifying home upgrades.

McDermott said people may lose discounts, but that’s the point: Insurers are trying to ensure they’re not being shortchanged out of premiums and their customers aren’t being rewarded for improvements that don’t really make a home safer. “The purpose of the documentation and photo requirements is to prevent…rampant fraud,” he wrote in an email. “The industry has already tried the alternative approach of not requiring this, which resulted in rampant fraud.”

Some homeowners who spent thousands of dollars on improvements to protect their homes against hurricanes and qualify for insurance discounts – only to have them revoked – may score discounts once again.

You may get some hurricane insurance discounts back
State changes could cause some to lose discounts
By Julie Patel, Sun Sentinel

December 7, 2011

Some homeowners who spent thousands on home improvements to guard against hurricanes and to qualify for insurance discounts lost them because of changes made last year by the state.

New revisions approved Tuesday by the state Financial Services Commission — made up of Cabinet members — may help some people get the credits back.

Others could lose discounts because of other changes, according to local home inspectors.

The changes were made to an Office of Insurance Regulation form that insurance companies use to verify discounts.

The state changed the form last year because insurers and regulators reported that some homeowners were fraudulently claiming discounts they didn’t deserve. Some insurers went back to verify the discounts using the new form, and many homeowners lost their discounts.

For instance, state-backed Citizens Property Insurance reported this summer that it collected 18 percent, or $476, more in premiums for an average policyholder after processing more than 32,000 inspections to verify discounts.

Complaints from inspectors and the construction industry led regulators to change the form again.

Parts of the form are “going to be very explicit so it doesn’t leave any room for guessing. So it’s very good,” said Amir Kanel, a homeowner in Palm Beach Gardens who had to fight earlier this year to get a discount for his new concrete tile roof, in part because the form didn’t include a place for inspectors to report that a roof was made of tiles.

It does now.

Another change is expected to allow more discounts for roof decks attached firmly to the main part of a roof.

More discounts also are expected for strong walls. A section in the old form asked what percentage of a home’s walls are made of wood versus concrete or reinforced masonry. Some homeowners were losing discounts if their insurers or inspectors considered wood gables part of the walls. That section is now gone.

Inspectors said some parts of the form that created problems weren’t fixed. Photos are still required for most hurricane-proofing features. Inspectors said they often can’t take photos of all parts of an attic or of the protective layer of a roof beneath the main layer.

“Someone is going to die…trying to take pictures,” Mike Meeker, an inspector and licensed general contractor in Dania Beach, wrote to Cabinet members this week.

Carol Pearce, a nurse in Oakland Park, said her windstorm insurance premium with Citizens doubled to about $2,000 after she lost three discounts, including two that required photos. She said the contractor who installed her roof in 2006 wrote a letter saying her roof has a secondary water resistant barrier – which all newer roofs are required to have – but that wasn’t enough.

The new form also requires documents to prove each discount.

Larry Smith, an inspector in Port St. Lucie, said there usually isn’t enough time to get copies of permits for inspection reports.

“When you call the counties …they want to mail it to you or ask you to call back in two or three days” or they say it will take weeks, he said. “The insurance company wants the [inspection] report back the next day…That’s the trouble I think we’re going to run into.”

You may get some hurricane insurance discounts reinstated
By Julie Patel December 5, 2011 12:45 PM

Some homeowners who spent thousands of dollars on improvements to protect their homes against hurricanes and qualify for insurance discounts – only to have them revoked – may score discounts once again.

That’s because the Office of Insurance Regulation has clarified a form home inspectors and insurers use to verify discounts after construction industry officials complained there were too many gray areas that caused homeowners to lose legitimate discounts.

But some inspectors say the new form is worse, and could lead to more discounts being revoked. For instance, they said homeowners would have a harder time qualifying for discounts for hurricane shutters. They said the new form also didn’t eliminate a requirement that inspectors include photos and permits for most upgrades, which inspectors say is difficult and in some cases, impossible.

For instance, it would be impossible in most cases to photograph the secondary water barrier under a roof between it’s under the top layer of the roof.

The Florida Cabinet will consider approving the new form Tuesday.

Several changes to the form are expected to help homeowners qualify for discounts. The new form would effectively:

Allow discounts for tile roofs. For years, insurance companies gave homeowners discounts on their premiums for installing tile roofs but some revoked the discounts in recent years after regulators made changes to the form last year. Some inspectors said the form didn’t include a place for them to report tile roofs were installed on some homes.

Allow more discounts for how a roof deck is attached to the main part of a roof. A roof deck is the layer of roofing material between the main roof and other insulating and weatherproofing layers. The new form would simplify and broaden what qualifies for discounts.

Allow discounts for strong wall materials, even if the home has wood gables. The new from would remove a section on wall construction. Since the section asked inspectors what percentage of the wall was made of wood versus concrete or reinforced masonry, some homeowners were losing their discounts if their insurers or inspectors included wood gables as part of the walls.

Check out bills propaganda post for more. this is what I posted there.

I guess a little birdie whispered in her ear :smile: He He He

About how Wayne and us got screwed.

William so far she seems to be one of the good ones :smile:…icane_ins.html

I would suggest anyone with any info about how the homeowners and clients get screwed in this state contact her anytime something comes up.

I did hear from a source that she is out of D.C. now but that does not matter to me.

She was polite, concerned and responsive. Anyone ever need her email just drop me an email.

Seems odd that they would mention the SWR in these articles - Does anyone really have that much difficulty seeing and getting a photo of the underlayment between the plywood or dimensional lumber?

I never do.

I never have clients that have it.

Never? Or never looked?

I have only had about two or three. Extremely rare in my area as is written on the form.

It is not allowed by code where Mike works.(well anywhere south anyway of where he lives)

I wonder how you would get a picture of it?

Sealed roof deck

Like this


Could be hot tar.

Could be - but it’s not - Mostly you can see that it is a sheet with stick material on the bottom

Wouldn’t you think that hot tar would leak through, at least somewhere?

could be be someone’s black laffy taffy.

Pictures are useless, asinine, dangerous and prove nothing :slight_smile:

You and I may be able to determine if it is, but, do you think an underwriter will be able to?:mrgreen:

The picture with the roof permit showing installation date should make it easy, even for the pickiest underwriter. :roll:

Why is that?

Think before you write you do not wish to appear not to know then you may catch hell here. :slight_smile: Not from me of course because there is a lot I do not know.

Many here like to pretend they know everything.

What if there is no permit?

If the sole goal is to let the underwriter determine what is or is not present by the review of the pictures why should you need to have any qualifications at all to perform the inspection? Anyone can take pictures.

I think that by stating the existence of a feature and then proving it by documentation or photographic evidence is the goal - not to have some clerk that has never been in an attic make the determination.

Now before you all go ballistic - YES - I DO live in a dream world!

You goal is admirable, however unrealistic!:smiley:

We have had pictures for over a year now. How many here have had to talk, much less argue with, agents, underwriters, etc.?

It has been my experience, that the pictures are being used to take away discounts, not to verify anything.

About six months ago, there was a discussion with regards to single wraps with 2 nails on one side and one on the other. The discussion was, should it be marked other, single wrap with two nails on one side and one on the other, or, was it a clip?
The Mighty Don Myler said it was a clip. Is he now going to reimburse all of his clients for mislabeling an item on the form?

Now, by magic, it is what it should have been in the first place, a single wrap.

The agents were using the pictures to say that it was a clip, to remove discounts. If you marked other, even more discounts were lost.

Now, if the picture of a black substance in between two pieces of plywood is going to be proof of a peel and stick application, I’d be very surprised.
What will happen next is the agent or underwriter will say, “we need more documentation”. So, you get the permit, you get the roofers proposal and contract. Will that be enough or will the homeowner have to pull off part of the roof to prove it?

So far I have not had any blowbacks by documenting Peel and Stick in this manner (knock on wood), But I don’t put it beyond the realm of possibility.

Now, the new form states that “Any documentation used in validating the compliance or existense of each construction ir nutugatuib attrubyre must accompany this form”

What do you think the chances are the underwriter will focus on the “Any”? Since I am not using documentation to verify the existance of Peel and Stick, but visual and photographic evidence than I don’t need documentation to accompany the form, right?

Strange on how the underwriters have a perculiar way in understanding their own requirements…Take the Citizen’s Roof Condition Certification…Their own documents state that if a ROOF is over 25 years old, then you need an inspection report stating the life expectancy of the roof. But they don’t seem willing to take anything proving the roof is not 25 years old - (Receipts, permits, etc…) They seem to intrepret this to mean if your HOUSE is over 25 years old you need an inspection stating the life expectancy of the roof. Go figure!!