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Due to Hurricane Ian and the concern for the safety of our associates, Gulfshore Insurance’s offices will close at 3PM on Tuesday, Sept. 27. We will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Please be sure to read all of the important information linked below and print out the necessary contact information so you are prepared in the event you suffer a loss from the storm.

Hurricane Resources & Claims Information

We are here to help. To leave a message for a member of our service team click here for an online directory or call our main line at (239) 261-3646 or (800) 793-5238 and select the directory option.

Dealing with the Aftermath of the Storm 

In the event a loss occurs, you can report your claim directly to your insurance carrier. Visit the link below to obtain the necessary contact information. We recommend you print this list of claims phone numbers in advance of the storm to reference in the event you are unable to access this information electronically after the storm has passed.

Report a Claim – Homeowners

Report a Claim – Businesses

Damage Assessment & Claims Reporting Reminders 

  • Conduct an initial damage assessment
  • Take photos of any damaged property
  • Protect your property from further damage
  • Report your claim via the links above or by contacting Gulfshore Insurance with any questions
  • Maintain all receipts or bills

While forecasts may change, we want to assure you that our Claims Advocates, Client Advisors, and Service Teams will be standing by after the storm to assist you as needed. You can reach us at (800) 793-5238 or Please stay safe if you are in the projected path.

Warning! Don’t Become a Victim of Insurance Fraud! Do NOT Sign an AOB Contract!

An Assignment of Benefits is an agreement that transfers all insurance policy benefits and rights from you, the policyholder, to a third party such a contractor or repair vendor after damage has occurred to your property. An AOB is intended to help expedite the claims process and make things easier for the insured, but oftentimes, and AOB is fraudulently misused for repair vendors to seize control of the claims process with the intention of overcharging and inflating repair costs, often while keeping the insured in the dark. We recommend never signing an AOB and transferring your benefits to a vendor. If you have experienced damage from the Hurricane, please call your insurance company first or contact a member of our team. We are here to help!

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

EB 10 Open Enrollment Terms You Should Know 1 Open enrollment can be a hectic time, so it’s important to understand the terms used in your benefit descriptions.


The amount or percentage that you pay for certain covered health care services under your health plan. This is typically the amount paid after a deductible is met, and can vary based on the plan design. For example… If your plan’s coinsurance is 80%, that means the plan covers 80%of the costs after the deductible is met and you cover the other 20%.


A flat fee that you pay toward the cost of covered medical services. That means, if a doctor’s visit has a $20 copay, you’d pay $20 every time you went to the doctor, regardless of what the visit is for.


A specific dollar amount you pay out of pocket before benefits are available through a health plan. Under some plans, the deductible is waived for certain services. Pay close attention to the health plan options during open enrollment. Some plans have higher deductibles and lower monthly payments, which means you’d have to spend more to reach your deductible before your benefits kick in.


The amount you pay for a health plan in exchange for coverage. This is sometimes shown as a per-paycheck, monthly or annual amount, so pay attention to how it’s written in your benefits descriptions. Health plans with higher deductibles typically have lower premiums.

Eligible Medical Expenses

Expenses that you are allowed to spend money on, as specified by the medical plan. For example… Specific treatments and medication may qualify as eligible medical expenses, whereas rent or groceries would not. This term is commonly associated with health savings accounts and similar plan types.

Health Savings Account (HSA)

An employee-owned medical savings account used to pay for eligible medical expenses. HSAs can only be used with qualified high deductible health plans. Funds contributed to the account are not taxed and do not have to be used within a specified period.

High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

A type of health plan that has lower monthly premiums, but higher deductibles and out-of-pocket limits, than a traditional health plan. HDHPs are often coupled with an HSA.

Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

An employer-owned medical savings account in which the company deposits pre-tax dollars for each of its covered employees. You can then use this account to pay for qualified medical expenses.

In Network vs. Out of Network

  • In network: Health care received from your primary care physician or from a specialist within an outlined list of health care practitioners. Basically, this is a term used to describe a doctor whom you can visit without it costing you more money.
  • Out of network: Health care you receive without a physician referral, or services received by a non-network service provider. Out-of-network health care and plan payments are subject to higher deductibles and copays. Basically, this is a term used to describe doctors who are not pre-approved by your plan. You can still visit them, but you may have to pay more.

Out-of-pocket Maximum

The highest out-of-pocket amount paid for covered services during a benefit period. Typically, if you spend enough money in a year to reach this amount, all expenses will be covered by your plan.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in employee benefits insurance including group medical, dental, vision, life insurance, short and long term disability, voluntary life, employee assistance programs, wellness programs, individual life insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are experts can provide valuable services including benefits plan design and administration, human resources support, funding options, compliance assistance, benefit administration, and enrollment services. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines How Inflation Impacts Workers Compensation Insurance This past year has seen growing inflation concerns, impacting individuals and industries across the board. The commercial insurance market is no exception to these concerns. Similar to other goods and services, inflation can also elevate the cost of insurance.

In the scope of workers’ compensation coverage, inflation issues have become increasingly evident through various sector trends—including labor shifts, rising wages, higher medical expenses and rate adequacy challenges. With this in mind, it’s important for businesses to better understand these trends and learn what they can do to mitigate inflation concerns within their workers’ compensation programs.

This article provides more information on how inflation impacts workers’ compensation insurance, outlines key factors currently influencing coverage costs and offers best practices to help businesses keep such costs under control.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance and Inflation

The average change in expenses for consumer goods—also known as the consumer price index (CPI)—has reached 40-year highs over the past year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Although these CPI trends highlight the prevalence of inflation issues for individuals and certain industries, it’s important to note that such trends don’t directly impact workers’ compensation coverage.

Rather, this segment is primarily affected by medical inflation, which refers to rising prices for health care necessities (e.g., medical devices, treatment, supplies and pharmaceuticals). These prices are typically determined a year in advance based on projections by Medicare and private insurance contracts. Because such projections took place before inflation concerns skyrocketed last year, medical inflation has remained fairly low compared to CPI trends.

As a result, the workers’ compensation insurance sector has yet to face the full impacts of rising inflation issues. Nevertheless, the coming year’s projections could present increased medical inflation concerns, thus elevating claim costs and affecting overall coverage expenses going forward.

Fortunately, the segment is better equipped to handle inflation issues than other commercial lines of coverage. This is because the sector has stayed resilient in recent years, performing as an outlier by remaining profitable. According to the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI), the segment’s private carrier combined ratio in 2021 was 87, matching 2020’s results and marking the eighth consecutive year of underwriting profit. The sector’s net written premium also significantly declined in 2020 and remained stable in 2021.

Furthermore, many states have fee schedules in place for workers’ compensation coverage, which are predetermined expenses for different medical services. These fee schedules are intended to keep treatment costs for injured or ill employees and associated claim expenses reasonable, therefore combatting medical inflation concerns.

Factors Influencing Workers’ Compensation Insurance Costs

Although medical inflation is the main factor impacting the workers’ compensation insurance segment, there are other elements currently influencing coverage costs. Specifically, the NCCI identified the following trends as key contributors to coverage expenses:

  • Labor shifts—Over the past year, many employees have begun leaving their jobs in search of positions that offer greater work life balance, flexibility and benefits, coining a new employment trend known as the “Great Reshuffle.” This trend has led to a surge in short-tenured employees and increased labor shifts between industries. According to the NCCI, short-tenured employees have significantly higher injury frequency rates than their long-tenured counterparts, contributing to additional workers’ compensation claims and driving up coverage costs. The proportion of older employees is also on the rise, with those over the age of 55 predicted to account for nearly one-quarter of the workforce by 2024, according to BLS data. Similar to short-tenured employees, older workers are more prone to occupational injuries. What’s worse, such workers’ injuries are also usually more serious in nature, affecting claim frequency and severity and elevating coverage expenses.
  • Wage growth concerns—In efforts to attract and retain employees amid the Great Reshuffle, many businesses have increased their workers’ pay. Although this trend is happening across industry lines, it has been most prevalent in sectors with a large proportion of lower-wage positions (e.g., leisure and hospitality), according to the NCCI. Because payroll is leveraged as an exposure base to calculate workers’ compensation premiums, wage inflation could prompt increased rates. After all, higher wages are tied to greater benefits, and it’s crucial for benefits and premiums to remain in balance to ensure workers are adequately reimbursed for lost income following occupational illnesses or injuries. The NCCI also reported that the surge in employees receiving raises and moving from lower-wage positions to higher-paying roles could increase the risk of payroll miscalculations and create short-term disconnects between wages, benefits and workers’ compensation premiums. Most states have an index for wage inflation to make sure premiums and benefits keep up with each other, but it’s still possible for errors to occur.
  • Health care technology advancements—As previously mentioned, the full impacts of rising medical inflation issues within the workers’ compensation insurance segment are still on the horizon, with elevated claim and coverage costs predicted in the year ahead. Compounding concerns, various advancements in health care technology have led to growing treatment costs. These increased costs have the potential to further exacerbate overall claim severity.
  • Rate adequacy challenges—The initial onset of the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent shift in the proportion of remote employees resulted in major fluctuations in the number of workers’ compensation claims and their associated costs. While these fluctuations have led to reduced claim frequency and severity in recent years, insurance experts are unsure how long such trends will last—making it more difficult to accurately determine businesses’ workers’ compensation exposures and ensure rate adequacy.

Steps Businesses Can Take

Amid growing inflation concerns in the workers’ compensation insurance segment, there are measures that businesses can implement to help mitigate their coverage costs. Here are some best practices for businesses to consider:

  • Ensure accurate payroll projections. Having correct wage information is critical for conducting accurate premium calculations. Errors in payroll projections could present serious consequences, such as inadequate rates, insufficient benefits or a lack of ample coverage following costly claims. As wage inflation concerns continue, it may be beneficial to consult a trusted insurance professional for further assistance with payroll projections.
  • Review fee schedules. Pay close attention to applicable state-regulated and carrier negotiated fee schedules for workers’ compensation coverage. These fee schedules can help maintain reasonable treatment expenses by establishing set rates for various medical services. Through the utilization of fee schedules, employees can receive much-needed health care for work related illnesses and injuries without significantly driving up claim costs—even with medical inflation issues on the rise.
  • Promote a safe work environment. To reduce the risk of potential claims and related workers’ compensation costs, it’s important to utilize effective health and safety initiatives on-site (e.g., employee training and personal protective equipment). Additionally, having a return-to-work program in place can help employees safely and successfully resume their job duties following occupational illnesses or injuries, therefore keeping claim costs at bay and limiting the likelihood of further incidents.
  • Manage claims effectively. Lastly, it’s vital to have clear processes established for handling workers’ compensation claims as diligently and efficiently as possible. Effective claim management protocols can often help mitigate claim severity and prevent similar losses from occurring in the future.


Overall, it’s evident that inflation is a rising issue within the workers’ compensation insurance sector. By gaining a better understanding of inflation trends and implementing measures to mitigate coverage costs, businesses can maintain effective workers’ compensation programs amid this shifting risk landscape. Contact us today for additional workers’ compensation resources.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines 2023 Insurance Market Update for Community Associations 2


For many community associations, insurance premiums are the largest overhead cost, so it’s very important to accurately forecast any changes for the coming year. Each year, we review market conditions and trends that may impact your insurance renewal premiums, providing you with an educated look at how they may impact your association’s budget. Below, we are breaking down what you can anticipate for 2023.

The insurance market for community associations in Florida continues to deteriorate.  All lines of coverage are being affected, not just property. Fraudulent or inflated roof damage claims are a significant source of the litigation that is plaguing our industry.  This is compounded by the plethora of public adjusters, unscrupulous contractors, and other storm-chasing enterprises, that have been permitted to swarm Florida, post-catastrophe. Reduced capacity, increased insurance replacement cost valuations, continued litigation, and numerous carrier insolvencies further harden the Florida CAT Property Market.  Market improvement is not anticipated in the short-term and we have entered peak hurricane season.

Issues contributing to the capacity crisis include:

  • Continued litigation that fosters property claims abuse
  • Escalation and frequency of named storms and other domestic weather events
  • Inflation and increased insurance replacement cost valuations
  • Numerous carrier insolvencies

Even amidst these challenging market conditions, opportunities still exist. Associations should continue to take proactive measures to become a better overall risk. The association specialists at Gulfshore Insurance have been successfully protecting community associations throughout Florida for more than 50 years. As an Acrisure Agency Partner, we use our global leverage in the marketplace to secure additional markets on our clients’ behalf, and we have been successful in identifying the very best available combination of pricing, terms, and conditions for our clients despite these challenges in the marketplace.


  • Market instability continues as more domestic Florida insurance carriers fail. This is particularly prevalent in difficult geographies, as carriers continue to reevaluate and de-risk their portfolios by limiting high-risk exposures.
  • Reinsurance renewals are affecting carriers’ ability and willingness to take on additional risk. In summary, capacity is down and rates per unit are higher.
  • Carrier participation in Florida continues to decline with Weston Property & Casualty, being the most recent carrier to enter receivership. All Weston policies will be cancelled effective 9/7/2022.
  • In general, rates are up 25 to 30% on average accounts. For more difficult risks and/or if an incumbent market is not offering renewal, 30 to 100%+ can be expected.
  • Certain accounts are being non-renewed due to underwriting and capacity restrictions.
  • Carriers are being highly selective with regard to new business placement, which is impacting client’s ability to obtain coverage at a reasonable cost.
  • Citizens is becoming the only option for some clients, and they are also declining some business, which is adding additional stress on stakeholders. The policy count with Citizens has exceeded 1M, for the first time since 2011.
  • Citizens has introduced a Temporary Market Stabilization Arrangement, to combat the multitude of carriers that are entering liquidation/receivership. This will hopefully eliminate some of the stress stakeholders experience when a carrier enters receivership.
  • Most carriers have added Post-Loss Assignment limitations or exclusionary policy forms to their policies. There is disparity form to form so it is important to understand how these forms can limit or exclude coverage.

Crime/Employee Dishonesty:

  • Having proper controls in place is fundamental, not only for securing proper coverage, but also to protect the assets of the community.
  • Clients, Board Members, and Property Managers should consult with their agent on best practices for this exposure to ensure there is proper coverage at the time of loss.
  • Rates are up 10 to 25%. Carriers are tightening underwriting in light of recent losses and general insurance market conditions.

Directors & Officers Liability:

  • Now more than ever it is important for Board Members to understand their responsibilities and take the appropriate actions when making decisions on behalf of their members.
  • Carriers are reviewing their books and acting on marginal accounts (i.e.. those with losses, high rises, older communities lacking fire protection and/or updates).
  • The tower collapse along with property market instability has generated renewed concern for directors and officers who are responsible for making decisions about the inspection, maintenance, and welfare of the association’s buildings and equipment.
  • D&O rates are up 10 to 25% on clean, desirable accounts. If an incumbent is non-renewing for any reason, increases of over 25%, and in some case 100%+ can be anticipated. Certain risks will also require a higher Self-Insured Retention. In general, underwriters are tightening guidelines & requiring compliance with state and local statues as regards inspections and maintenance.

CGL/Primary Casualty:

  • Most carriers in this space have tightened underwriting or are exiting the class of business.
  • There are very few Admitted carrier options for many accounts.
  • The Excess & Surplus markets are taking on many risks, with exclusions, restrictions, and limitations in coverage.
  • The market is limited for high-rise structures in general and older, multi-story buildings, lacking updates and/or fire protection.
  • Rates are up 25 to 30% on average and, on challenging accounts, with loss history or otherwise less desirable, can see 100%+. Obtaining the proper coverage has become a high priority when choosing a carrier, rather than the premium charged.  We are seeing some carriers including high deductibles, water damage exclusions, and other limiting and restrictive policy forms. Reviewing policy form schedules year over year with your agent is recommended.

Excess Casualty:

  • Most markets have lost all or most of their capacity.
  • A few years ago, many programs were offering limits to $50M or even $100M. Some of the few remaining markets can offer a maximum of $5M or $10M. Layering is becoming necessary to achieve higher limits.
  • Excess D&O is becoming increasingly more difficult for certain risks.
  • The market is currently inundated with non-renewals.
  • Older coastal, high-rise structures lacking sprinklers and/or updates are outside of most underwriting guidelines.
  • Short-term rentals are viewed unfavorably and many of the remaining umbrella programs will not entertain this exposure.
  • Excess Casualty rates are up. Obtaining high limits ($15M+) may require layering or may be unavailable in some circumstances.
  • Working with the right agent is becoming imperative. It is important for board members and property managers to employ proper risk management with the assistance of their agent. Carriers that remain in this space are requiring strict risk transfer mechanisms, such as:
  1. Obtaining written contracts from all third-party tenants and service providers.
  2. Requiring third parties to carry at least $1M/$2M in General Liability limits.
  3. Requiring condo be named as ‘additional insured’ on third party’s liability.
  4. Containing language that indemnifies and holds harmless the condo association.
  5. Containing Waiver of Subrogation in favor of the condo association.
  6. Specifying that the third party’s insurance is primary to the condo association.

Flood Insurance:

  • FEMA Risk Rating 2.0 is in full effect with the Statutory Premium Increase capped at 18%.
  • There are cases where the 18% CAP increase will be removed. According to the NFIP Flood Insurance Manual 2.0 Equity in Action Edition; “most premiums may not increase by more than 18%, each year, whether at renewal or by endorsement EXCEPT when:”
  1. Increasing coverage
  2. Decreasing the amount of the deductible
  3. Reflecting a change in the CRS discount
  4. Policy Form change
  5. Completed construction
  6. Property address correction (if keyed incorrectly)
  7. Certain premium bearing changes that are similar to writing a new policy

Florida called a Special Legislative session in May in an attempt to address and combat some of the ongoing insurance market issues. Senate Bills 2D was passed. Some of the key components of the legislation that passed include:

  • Clarifying options for roof repair & replacement
  1. Allows insurers to offer policies that include a roof deductible, which would be provided for a premium discount.
  2. Exempts roofs built to 2007 standards from a law that currently requires an entire roof be replaced when 25% is damaged.
  3. Insurers may not refuse to write or renew policies on homes with roofs that are less than 15 years old only because of the roof’s age. This aspect has drawn some criticism of the bill.
  • Funding matching grants for home hardening
  1. Extends My Safe Florida Home Program, tax incentives directed at strengthening homes against storm damage, to include Hurricane Mitigation Inspections and matching grants for retrofitting on homesteaded single-family homes with a value of $500,000 or less.
  • Reducing frivolous litigation
  1. Restricts the application of the attorney fee contingency risk multiplier to rare and exceptional circumstances.
  2. Allows insurers to seek attorney fees in cases where a claimant files a lawsuit without first filing a required notice of intent to initiate litigation.
  3. Clarifies when a bad faith suit may arise.
  4. Preventing AOB assignees from receiving attorney fees.
  • Enhancing insurer access to the Florida Hurricane Cat Fund (FHCF)
  1. Authorizes $2 billion below the FHCF attachment go to the new Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders Program (RAP). The program is for hurricane losses for one year only, to help reduce the cost of reinsurance.
  2. Allow insurers to obtain reimbursement for hurricane losses earlier than they typically would under the FHCF.
  3. Requires participating carriers to reduce their rates in a rate filing by 6/30/22. For carriers who have already secured reinsurance for 2022, they may defer using the RAP fund until 2023.
Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in business insurance including liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, and more. Our insurance and risk management advisors are industry specialists for condominium associations, golf and country clubs, oil and petroleum marketers, construction, landscaping, churches and non-profits, and work comp. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

Commercial Lines Mission Trip Safety 3

Although mission trips can be valuable experiences, there are potential challenges and risks involved that church leaders need to be prepared for. Consider the following recommendations to make your trips safer.

The first step is to get a committee together to evaluate opportunities and begin planning the trip. There are many details to keep in mind when traveling with a group, particularly overseas. Therefore, it is helpful for your organization to have written guidelines that church leaders can follow. The more time spent planning, the less chance there will be of avoidable issues. Click here to download a mission trip checklist.

Create concrete guidelines for who can participate in mission trips. This includes age, health, and experience. The committee should also outline the expectations of the participants during the trip. Click here to download free templates of a domestic travel Code of Conduct and an international travel Code of Conduct.

Additionally, it’s imperative that all participants get a physical exam at least six weeks before departure. This may include immunizations or vaccinations depending on where you’re traveling to. If any volunteers take prescription medication, they should ensure they have enough to last the entirety of the trip. Prior to departure, each volunteer should sign a consent and release form, click here to download free templates of the domestic and international travel consent and release form templates.

Traveling to an unfamiliar location always comes with risks. When selecting a destination, it is important to do your research. Consider health risks, cultural norms, economic and political dangers, immunizations, and laws and customs. If traveling abroad, find the location of the U.S. Embassy, and speak to a representative about safety concerns. In addition, check the State Department Travel Advisories, which provide information on terrorism, crime, civil unrest, health, natural disasters, and more.

Another factor to consider is mode of transportation. All drivers must have a current drivers license and clean motor vehicle record. Overseas, license requirements, driving rules and customs may vary, so research must be done ahead of time. Additionally, you must decide what type of vehicle will be utilized; personal vehicles, a church owned van, a mini-bus, or a coach bus? If driving for an extended period of time, ensure the driver has time to rest or have another driver takeover. When taking a flight, book non-stop if possible.

Have a solid emergency plan in place. Designate a point person who is not on the trip who can be contacted in the case of an emergency. This person will communicate between the church, the volunteers, and their family members. Make sure you’re prepared for natural disasters, security or terrorism, medical emergencies, missing participants, etc. Each volunteer should create an emergency ID kit incase their passport is lost or stolen during travel. To do this, gather a photocopy of the data page of your passport, two recent passport photos, and the U.S. embassy information in a safe location.

Consider purchasing short-term travel insurance to cover your mission team during trips, since many domestic insurance coverages do not apply in foreign countries. This will ensure you have proper coverage from any potential accidents, medical emergencies, and other events that may occur.

To view our complete risk management library of articles for churches and non-profits, click here.

John Keller, CRM ARM CIC AAI is Client Advisor & Risk Manager at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in non-profit and religious organizations. John works with a wide range of business clients to deliver strategic risk analysis and guidance. Comments and questions are welcome at