Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report – Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Feb 14, 2018
Click on the hyperlinks below to read headlines from Florida insurance, political, legislative and national insurance news today, February 14, 2018:
For the third Florida bellwether election in a row, the Republican candidate lost to the Democrat, giving activists and elites in both parties a sense that the GOP’s political grip is slipping in the nation’s largest swing state heading into President Donald Trump’s first midterm election. Marc Caputo reports for Politico Florida.
- CNN: Democrats flip 36th GOP-held state legislative seat with Florida win
- Democrat wins Florida House seat in Republican district
Three employees of a Hollywood-based water restoration contractor were ordered to turn over three years of cellphone records and texts in a lawsuit accusing the contractor of illegally obtaining information from a “mole” inside a Florida insurance company, the Sun-Sentinel reports.
Insurance claims due to the impact of hurricane Irma are rising above $10.2 billion, with the total reported by the regulator in Florida having now neared $8 billion, while a French insurance association reports claims in the Caribbean are now expected to reach $2.26 billion. Artemis.bm reports.
Policyholders would see a bold 18-point type warning when their hurricane coverage won’t pay for flood damage, FloridaPolitics.com’s Michael Moline reports.
Committee Chairman Representative Travis Cummings, R-Orange Park, told The News Service of Florida that it is the first of two hurricane-related bills that will be unveiled in the next two weeks. It will be carried by Representative Ralph Massullo, a Lecanto Republican who is a physician.
Shawn Harrison’s legislation would help shut down a predatory and scammy practice in Florida where some maritime salvage and towing companies will provide assistance on the water to recreational boaters without disclosing the potential costs beforehand. FloridaPolitics.com Publisher Peter Schorsch notes the pending HB 469.
Legislation to bar health insurers from retroactively denying claims passed the House Appropriations Committee Wednesday, after the sponsor promised to keep massaging language allowing insurers to tip off providers that a patient might not be covered. Michael Moline reports for FloridaPolitics.com.
With temporary hotel vouchers set to expire — potentially leaving without homes 79 families who fled Puerto Rico for Florida after Hurricane Maria — the Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has not yet decided whether to approve a housing program requested by the island’s leaders. Bianca Padró Ocasio and Jennifer A. Marcial Ocasio report for the Orlando Sentinel.
“The effects of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria appear clearly in our mortgage delinquency report,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. Florida Trend notes the story.
Shareholders of a corporation doing business in the United States and Canada were successfully represented by the Florida law firm of Colodny Fass in navigating the complexities of a sophisticated cross-border corporate acquisition involving multiple law and accounting firms in Canada and nationwide.
Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, a Republican who hasn’t announced whether he’s in the gubernatorial race, came out slugging during the 45-minute debate, aired live on both men’s Facebook pages. THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA’s Dara Kam reports via the Gainesville Sun.
Sparks fly on repeal of fireworks restrictions
A proposal to repeal Florida’s longstanding restrictions on the sale of fireworks remains alive in the House after lawmakers Tuesday addressed some safety concerns raised by industry giants fighting the change. THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA’s Jim Turner reports via the Palm Beach Post.
The Senate is typically on the floor for the majority of Week 8 and Week 9, but the time remaining for bills to advance through committees is limited. THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA reports via FloridaPolitics.com.
Under the compromise reached between the long-term care industry and the governor’s office, nursing homes and assisted living facilities would be required to have generators, but the generators wouldn’t have to be installed, which means they can be portable. THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA reports via FloridaPolitics.com.
The federal South Florida court district that includes jurisdiction over President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort is closer to getting three new judges, including a surprise African-American candidate pushed by Senator Marco Rubio. Marc Caputo reports for Politico Florida.
Trump’s plan requires major state investments to draw down federal money, but state officials are limiting the ability for local and state government to raise new revenue, the Tampa Bay Times’ Steve Bousquet and Elizabeth Koh report for “The Buzz” blog.
The lawsuit also claims the Department of Transportation illegally approved financing for All Aboard Florida — in the form of $1.15 billion of private-activity bonds — and that the bonds lacked the approval of Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River counties, as required by federal law. Arnie Rosenberg reports for TCPalm.com.
A bill that would change the rules for franchise agreements was temporarily postponed by the Senate Judiciary Committee FloridaPolitics.com’s Drew Wilson reports.
Insurer Kemper Corp (KMPR.N) will acquire Infinity Property and Casualty Corp (IPCC.O) for about $1.3 billion in cash and stock to boost its nonstandard auto insurance business, the two companies said on Tuesday.
Hurricane Harvey resulted in nearly 670,000 in combined personal and commercial property insurance claims to private insurers, Insurance Journal reports.