Industry Press Releases

Florida Workers' Comp Compliance Required

The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation is conducting an outreach campaign to educate interested parties about the workers’ compensation coverage and compliance requirements for out-of-state contractors coming to Florida to assist in the recovery efforts due to Hurricane Irma. Out-of-state contractors must adhere to the following Florida’s workers’ compensation requirements and understand the consequences for failing to meet those requirements.

  1. Out-of-state contractors can secure a Florida workers’ compensation insurance policy from a Florida-licensed insurance company; OR
  2. If an out-of-state contractor has a workers’ compensation policy for its home state, immediately contact the insurance agent and/or the insurance company and request “Florida” be added to “Section 3.A.” of the home state’s policy. Refer to Administrative Rule 69L-6.019: Policies and Endorsements Covering Employees Engaged in Work in Florida
  3. If an out-of-state contractor’s home state’s workers’ compensation insurance policy is from a state listed below, the out-of-state contractor can only work in Florida for no more than 10 consecutive days, or no more than 25 total days, during a calendar year; unless it complies with requirement #1 or requirement #2. Refer to Section 440.094, F.S. - Extraterritorial Reciprocity

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Failure to meet these requirements will result in the Division issuing the out-of-state contractor a Stop-Work Order, requiring the cessation of all its Florida business operations and penalizing the business two times the amount it would have paid in workers’ compensation premium during the time it was out of compliance in Florida, for up to two years.

A coverage and compliance informational notice for contractors is attached to this email. The Division encourages all parties to read it. If you have any questions, please visit our website, email us at workers.compservice@fldfs.com, or call us at 850-413-1609. For more information, click here.

The Florida Division of Workers’ Compensation


Consumer Protection Coalition Urges Homeowners to Beware of AOB Scams

The Consumer Protection Coalition urges Florida homeowners to take precautions in advance of Hurricane Irma and beware of Assignment of Benefit (AOB) scams after the storm.
    Damage from Hurricane Irma could create new opportunities for unscrupulous home repair vendors and trial attorneys to profit off the disaster by asking homeowners to sign an AOB to start repair work. In doing so, the homeowners lose control of their insurance policy, allowing a vendor to inflate the cost of claims and file lawsuits against insurance companies that dispute the amount. What results are increased insurance costs that put the dream of home ownership out of reach for many Floridians.
     “Unfortunately, hurricanes often attract scam artists seeking to profit off people in times of crisis,’’ said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which spearheads the coalition. “Consumers who sustain damage during the storm should call their insurance company first before signing over the rights of their insurance policy to someone else.’’
     Consumers do not need to sign an AOB to initiate storm-related repairs and should be cautious of vendors who pressure them or refuse to do the work unless they sign one.
     Here are some tips to protect consumers against fraud:
• Call your insurance company first to report losses.
• Hire only licensed, reputable companies and be wary of strangers who call or knock on your door asking for personal information.
• Review all documents before signing, and ask questions so you know exactly what you are signing. Ask who is responsible for paying the vendor – you (the consumer), or your insurance company.
National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies
• If you suspect fraud or suspicious activity, call the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
     The Consumer Protection Coalition has been urging state lawmakers to enact meaningful AOB reform, warning that AOB abuse hurts homeowners, erodes Florida’s business-friendly environment and threatens the stability of the state’s insurance market. AOB abuse was nonexistent 15 years ago, but over the past several years has become widespread in South Florida and is quickly spreading statewide.
     During a 2018 rate hearing last month, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. proposed double-digit premium increases for many South Florida homeowners due to water claims abuse and resulting litigation. Without reform to rein in abusive practices, AOB scams will continue to drive premiums higher for years to come.
 The Consumer Protection Coalition is a broad-based group of business leaders, consumer advocates, real estate agents, construction contractors, insurance agents and insurance trade groups pushing for reforms to end Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse. Learn more about the Coalition at FightFraudToday follow the Coalition on Twitter @CPC_FL and “like” our page at www.FB.com/ConsumerProtectionCoalition


Governor Scott's Executive Order

On September 15, 2017, the Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR) issued an emergency rule (DBPR Number 2017-07396) based on Governor Scott’s declaration of emergency (Order 17-235). This emergency rule allows all types of re-roofing to be done by general, building, or residential contractors (Division I contractors) for the duration of the emergency or until the rule is rescinded.
     This emergency rule also allows (does not require) building departments to accept county competency-based roofing licenses from outside their jurisdiction to perform re-roofing for the duration of the governor’s emergency order or until the emergency rule is rescinded.  
     Division I contractors are not tested or required to have continuing education in roofing to the specific degree needed to ensure that their work meets the Florida Building Code, especially wind mitigation requirements.  The specific roofing license exists for this very reason. What’s more, Division I contractors are not by their license qualified to install metal or tile roofing.
     While this step may be an effort to get more storm-related roofing repairs done sooner, allowing contractors to pull permits does not instantly create more workforce or ensure materials are here or able to get to the affected areas throughout Florida.  The only thing it really does is create unforeseen business for a group of contractors whose license does not genuinely meet Florida’s needs or who will simply subcontract out the work to licensed roofing contractors, increasing the price to the consumer and insurance industry.
     This was a step taken to protect Florida’s consumers who have suffered roof damage as a result of Hurricane Irma, but we question whether this was a good idea before there is any real knowledge as to the extent of damage.  The effects of this emergency rule could be detrimental far longer than Hurricane Irma’s damage.
     Know that FRSA – in particular, Cam Fentrissand Charlie Kennedy are working diligently to get the order rescinded.
     In the meantime, FRSA staff has input all FRSA contractor members into the Disaster Contractors Network (DCN), a state website working in cooperation with DBPR, for consumers to access when looking for a roofing professional. Once you have the opportunity to update your profile, please visit, www.dcnonline.org and enter your email address (of FRSA primary contact person – license holder) and the password “FRSA2017” to modify your record. If you have any question on accessing the site, please contact Maria at FRSA – maria@floridaroof.com or 800-767-3772 ext. 142.

View Governor's Order


Miami-Dade to Increase Permit Impact Fees October 1

Effective October 1, 2017, due to the Present Day Multiplier and Consumer Price Index adjustments, all impact fees will increase. The Impact Fee increase will apply to all permit applications submitted on/or after October 1, 2017.

The new impact fee rates are available online at:
http://www.miamidade.gov/zoning/impact-fees.asp
If you have any questions, please visit or contact the Impact Fees Section at (786) 315-2660 or via bldgdept@miamidade.gov. 



Nail Supply Update - Continental Materials

CMI is committed to keeping our customers informed with accurate information on the steel and galvanizing plant closures in China that effect the production of roofing nails and associated products.
     CMI IS OPEN FOR BUSINESS AND TAKING NAIL ORDERS TO SUPPORT OUR REGULAR CUSTOMERS.
     Please click here for an article and map of the primary areas affected by the mandated strict environmental regulatory hurdles. The largest circle on the map with Shandong Province in the center is where 80% of the estimated coil roofing production is. The other 3 circled areas are manufacturing areas but not nail producing or steel production areas.
     A combination of Chinese Federal, Regional and local EPA agencies mandated the galvanizing plant shutdowns, and were involved with the re-opening process. Lines are now operational and  production is once again resumed. Now the catch up period is here and for CMI it will take us through October to work through the backlog if no additional Governmental delays occur.
     The time surrounding October 18 is of critical importance as China has their annual Politburo Communist Party meetings in Beijing. They have mandated their “ Blue Skies” initiative, targeting polluting factories, to be shut down during this time frame. This could potentially cause additional delays during that timeframe that are unknown at point. We will be monitoring this routinely.
     Here are important facts for your reference;
• Most plants lost 6 weeks of production time caused by the galvanizing shutdowns.
• We see most plants are fully booked through November.
• Costs since June are up 30% due to currency devaluation, steel, cardboard boxes, freight and additional galvanizing fees.
• Many plants are financially below water on current shipments and possibly wont ship all orders?

     While it is not the new norm, you need to plan on 150 days at best for arrival of new containers. Some of our competitors may not tell you this but we would rather be transparent so you can manage your business; we owe you this as your partners. This current situation will bump up against the Chinese Lunar New Year Holiday when we will see plants take scheduled holiday shutdowns of 2 to 3 weeks, losing most of February production.  We are now soliciting orders for delivery through March of 2018; and our supply is steady.
     Outlook: we think there is a lot of panic buying currently, that’s not necessarily demand driven. As the pipeline gets full this could cause downward pressure on pricing in early 2018, and we want our customers to be aware of this.
     Please feel free to call with any questions you may have.

 

PrimeSource Building Products, Inc.

The Wire Rod Index has seen inflation over 80% in the last 13 months, and since the beginning of the year, this adjustment has related to prices increasing in some cases over 30% in finished goods.
     As we move forward into the second half of 2017, several trends continue to impact the price of Wire Rod and galvanization processes. The U.S. construction market continues to stay strong, and with an increase in demand and production cuts in Asia, supply is at a premium. The Chinese government has imposed stricter environmental controls across all manufacturing segments. These mandates have increased costs and contributed to the closing of over 2,400 companies who were not able to adjust to the stricter approach in their operations and to the new pollution standards. All of the aforementioned, has directly resulting to increased production costs and reduction in production output. Further external factors that are affecting prices are, antidumping legislation and additional tariffs. 
    These impacts will be felt across all steel categories. No company nor supply base are exempt from these market factors, and as such, they will affect our entire industry. PrimeSource will continue to work with our manufacturing partners and supply chain to ensure we can offer the most complete and industry leading programs. As always, we strive to offer the best value proposition to every single one of our customers.
     We will always be sensitive to our customers, and the industry needs, to remain in stock and to stay market competitive. PrimeSource will continue to minimize this and any future pricing implications through effective purchasing and sourcing strategies. Thank you, in advance, for your support during this time period.

 

Trent Cotney P.A. Construction Law Group Offers Hurricane Support Legal Help Line

Tampa, FL, September 20, 2017 –  Trent Cotney P.A. Construction Law Group, a leading national law firm for construction, specialty trades and OSHA law, is offering a free, legal help line to help contractors in hurricane stricken areas with legal questions or needs. Contractors can call 1-866-303-5868 for legal advice concerning hurricane restoration efforts.
     “We are receiving a number of calls daily asking how to handle warranties, claims and legal situations created from the recent storms,” stated Trent Cotney, President of the firm. “Our law firm started in Florida and our offices survived Irma as it hit Tampa. It is time for all of us to help each other. We know there are a lot of questions that contractors have concerning legal issues after the storms. Warranties and claims are on the top of the list along with normal safety and legal concerns. We want to help.”
     Trent Cotney construction law firm is made up over 15 lawyers who specialize in construction law, safety, employment, immigration and building code expertise. The firm has been an integral part of the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractor Associations on state and local levels. “On a volunteer basis, we have provided general counsel for the roofing contractor and HVAC associations of Florida for many years. The contractors of Florida have the highest integrity and will be the ones to get our state functioning again,” continued Cotney. “I want to be sure that our construction industry has the legal support they need so they can do their jobs for the citizens of Florida and Texas.”
     Licensed contractors (where applicable) from hurricane affected areas can immediately call 866-303-5868 help line for advice and additional information regarding the free consultation.
     Trent Cotney, P.A. is a construction law firm currently with offices in TampaOrlando, Tallahassee, Jacksonville, Ft. Lauderdale, Nashville and Mobile. They provide national representation for general, roofing, HVAC and specialty contractors. Specializing in the representation of businesses and professionals in construction disputes and transactions throughout the nation and with a proven track record in the State of Florida, Cotney is a well-known advisor and legal counsel in the roofing industry. The firm’s practice areas include construction law, litigation, arbitration, contract review, immigration, employment, drafting, OSHA defense, licensing defense, bid protests, lien law, bond law and alternative dispute resolution. For more information, visit www.trentcotney.com.