As Earth Day approaches, it reminds us of our collective responsibility to nurture and to protect our planet. This year, EARTHDAY.ORG champions a vital cause—ending plastic pollution, with a bold goal to cut down 60% of all plastic production by 2040. Whether you’re an individual or a business owner, there are impactful changes you can make to embrace sustainability in your daily practices. 

The Essence of Earth Day 

Earth Day is more than just a date on the calendar; it’s a global movement aimed at driving transformative changes for a healthier planet. The focus on sustainability is crucial, underscoring the need for practices that can be maintained without depleting natural resources or harming the environment. For businesses and individuals alike, adopting sustainable habits is the first step towards contributing to a larger, global effort of environmental conservation. 

Practical Steps for Everyone 

Reducing Plastic Consumption: One of the most straightforward yet significant actions we can take is reducing our reliance on plastics. For individuals, it means opting for reusable shopping bags, water bottles, and containers, thus minimizing single-use plastic waste. Businesses can contribute by revisiting packaging options, offering incentives for customers who bring their own containers, and investing in biodegradable or recyclable materials. 

Embracing a Green Mindset: Sustainability also involves thinking green—literally and figuratively. Planting trees, maintaining green spaces, and even incorporating plant life into office environments can improve air quality and contribute to a healthier planet. Businesses can take this further by adopting green energy solutions, reducing energy consumption, and supporting environmental initiatives. 

Educating and Engaging: Knowledge is power, and educating employees and communities about the importance of sustainability practices can amplify the impact of any green initiative. Workshops, seminars, and community clean-up events are great ways to engage and foster a culture of environmental responsibility. 

The Path Forward for Businesses 

For businesses, aligning with sustainability goals isn’t just about corporate social responsibility; it’s also a strategic investment in the future. Consumers are increasingly gravitating towards brands that demonstrate genuine commitment to environmental sustainability. By integrating sustainable practices, businesses not only contribute to the global effort against climate change but also build trust and loyalty among their customers. 

Innovation is key to achieving sustainability goals. From developing new, eco-friendly products to optimizing operations for energy efficiency, there’s a wealth of opportunities for businesses to innovate and make a positive environmental impact. 

A Collective Journey Towards Sustainability 

As we celebrate Earth Day, let’s remember that sustainability is a journey, not a destination. It requires ongoing commitment, innovation, and collective action. Whether you’re an individual looking to make a difference in your daily life or a business owner seeking to integrate sustainability into your operations, every effort counts. 

For more information and resources on how to participate and contribute to the goal of reducing plastic pollution, visit EARTHDAY.ORG’s Earth Day 2024 page


As we bid farewell to 2023, it’s time to reflect on the journey we’ve had together, celebrating milestones, growth, and the unwavering commitment of our independent agents. Let’s take a moment to recap the highlights of 2023, a year that brought new opportunities, faces, and achievements.

Elite Agents – January:

The year kicked off with a bang as we welcomed a new dynamic group of Elite Agents into the program. These agents exemplify excellence in their field, and their dedication has been a driving force behind our success throughout the year.

New Leadership – February to March:

In February, we were thrilled to welcome Tom Condon as our new Florida Distribution Sales Manager. Tom’s wealth of experience and industry insights have added a valuable dimension to our team, contributing to our continued growth and success.

In March, we made a strategic change in our claims process. We introduced a new Claims TPA, Gallagher Bassett, for Non-CAT claims, reaffirming our commitment to providing efficient and responsive claims services while maintaining in-house CAT claims to deliver the expertise you’ve come to expect! Additionally, Laz Herrada, our new Senior Flood Claims Examiner, joined the team, bringing expertise and dedication to our flood claims department.

Transition in Leadership – July to August:

In July, we bid farewell to our longstanding VP of Sales, Debbie Brcka, who retired after years of dedicated service. The torch was passed to Carol Miller, our newly appointed Director of Distribution. Carol’s passion for the industry and strategic vision have seamlessly aligned with our commitment to excellence, ensuring a smooth transition and continued success in our distribution initiatives.

August marked the beginning of a new era as Walt Sykes took on the role of President at Bankers Insurance Group. With a proven track record of leadership and innovation, Walt has brought fresh perspectives to guide us toward new heights.

Expanding Horizons – September:

September was a pivotal month as we expanded our offerings by launching the BankersBOP™ program in Louisiana. This program specifically caters to small to medium-sized businesses and has been successful with our Louisiana agency partners.

Ask B Launch – November to December:

We marked a significant technological advancement with the launch of Ask B, an AI-powered chatbot designed for our Florida and Louisiana BankersBOP™ program. Ask B stands as a testament to our commitment to innovation and ease of doing business by providing instant responses to eligibility questions in our quoting portal. Ask B’s bilingual (English & Spanish) capability enables our agents to navigate our quoting process more seamlessly.

Looking Ahead to 2024:

As we stand on the cusp of a new year, we are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead. The foundation laid in 2023, with the support of our agents, dedicated team members, and strategic leaders, positions us for continued success and growth in 2024. Over the last couple of years, we have evolved into a regional specialty carrier, concentrating on providing exceptional services in small to medium-sized BOP business, builders risk, and flood insurance. We express our deepest gratitude to our independent agents for their unwavering partnership. Together, we look forward to reaching new heights and achieving even greater milestones in the coming year. Here’s to a successful 2024!


Why Are Homeowners Insurance Rates Increasing?

With everything else happening this year, policyholders nationwide are receiving notices from their carriers and wondering, “why are homeowners insurance rates increasing?” We know it can be confusing and frustrating, so let’s walk through it together. There are a few driving forces behind the rate increase, such as claims, lawsuits, natural disasters, and the significantly increased cost of reinsurance.

 

What do Claims, Lawsuits, and Natural Disasters Have In Common?

The leading causes driving the current rate increases are a large number of lawsuits and home insurance claims being filed, whether they’re valid or not. For example, in 2019, Florida didn’t see a major storm. However, hundreds of lawsuits continue to be filed every week for Hurricane Irma, which occurred three years ago. Aside from that, the number of lawsuits against Florida insurance companies is increasing in general.

This year, around 150,000 lawsuits were filed against Florida insurers compared to 92,000 in 2019 and 45,000 in 2018. That’s a huge jump. Last year, 60 Florida property and casualty insurers reported a loss of $700 million. This year, we’re on pace to hit $1 billion (Jack Lowenstein). All of these lawsuits and losses mean insurance rates rise for everyone. Some things we can’t control, unexpected things happen, and natural disasters are… natural. 

 

However, there has been a trend of fraudulent claims and lawsuits; this is something we can try to stop together. Door to door roofers are notorious for roaming neighborhoods, luring unsuspecting consumers with the promise of a new roof and no deductible; “just sign here!” They are trying to get you to sign an AOB, a written legal contract between you and another party wherein you transfer specific rights granted to you under your policy over to the contractor.

While many reputable entities utilize AOBs, these forms are widely abused and broadly written, in some cases giving away ALL OF YOUR RIGHTS under the insurance policy. AOBs are also commonly used by unscrupulous vendors to inflate damages and the cost of a claim. Always be suspicious of anyone that offers to present a claim to your carrier on your behalf. 

 

What Is Reinsurance? Why Does It Affect My Insurance Rate?

So what is reinsurance? Reinsurance is insurance that an insurance company purchases from another insurance company to protect itself from the risk of a major claims event. This coverage must be purchased every year and helps to bear the brunt of the risk of a catastrophic event, such as a hurricane.

This year, reinsurance rates on average soared 20%-50%; this affected insurance providers nationwide. Even Bankers, with our 44-year history of timely claims handling, was not immune to the significant industry-wide reinsurance rate increases and the extraordinary weather losses from the 2020 Hurricane Season. As a result, insurance providers were forced to put these price adjustments into their products. While these price adjustments come when many are looking for ways to cut costs and expenses, market forces require insurance providers to make these adjustments quickly.

When Should I File A Home Insurance Claim?

The big question is, when should I file a home insurance claim? Insurance is purchased to help balance the cost of major expenses if something unexpected should happen. If something unexpected does happen, it’s good practice to ask yourself if the event is a standard home maintenance expense or a major event. Do you have a leak in your plumbing? Or did the pipe burst causing thousands of dollars worth of damage? If you’re unsure if you should file a claim, you can always contact your agent with any questions. Your agent is an important resource you can trust.

 

We hope we were able to explain the current climate in the insurance industry. With the new year coming up and many of us working on our homes this past year, it may be a good idea to reevaluate your current insurance policy. Check out our quick blog on when and why you may want to update your homeowners policy.


Together we are experiencing unprecedented changes in our communities and workplaces due to the developments surrounding COVID-19. Bankers Insurance Group maintains and regularly tests a comprehensive business continuity plan and we want to assure you we are able to serve our customers without interruption. 

At Bankers, we are focused on the health and safety of our employees, agency partners, and communities. Our employees have transitioned seamlessly to a work from home environment. We have suspended face-to-face marketing visits to all offices. All meetings will take place via phone calls and video conferencing.

We understand your customers may not want inspectors coming into their homes during this time. We are encouraging our agents to recommend Bankers’ self-inspection (SMS text messaging) program to their customers, when necessary. Our self-inspection program is an excellent alternative to an in-person inspection.

Here at Bankers, we are committed to being your partner. Together, we will get through these trying times. Please reach out to us if you have any questions.