Capitol to Courthouse Daily Florida Insurance Report: Thursday, February 10

Feb 10, 2011



To go directly to the section of your choice, click on a hyperlink below.   Other hyperlinks to meeting information, bills and news are noted in bold type.


Daily Florida Insurance-Related Events


2:00 p.m.  National Association of Insurance Commissioners Surplus Lines Implementation Task Force Clearinghouse Plan of Operation Subgroup meeting.  To participate in the teleconference, call 201-689-8535.



Daily Florida Insurance-Related Bills Filed for 2011




SB 938 relating to Insurance by Senator Rhonda Storms 

SB 938 would prohibit an insurer that issues motor vehicle insurance from using a rate, rating schedule, rating manual, or an underwriting rule that is not contained in a rating manual and is determined in whole or in part on the basis of certain characteristics of an insured.  The bill would also prohibit insurers from using credit reports and credit scores in making rating determinations.   Further, it would delete provisions limiting and regulating the use of credit scores by insurers when making rating determinations.   Effective date:  July 1, 2011


SB 926 relating to Liability/Employers of Developmentally Disabled by Senator Rhonda Storms 

SB 926 would provide that an employer, under certain circumstances, is not liable for the acts or omissions of an employee who is a person with a developmental disability.  It also would provide that a not-for-profit supported employment service provider that provides or has provided supported employment services to an employee with a developmental disability is not liable for the actions or conduct of the employee occurring within the scope of the employee’s employment.  The bill defines the term “person with a developmental disability.”  Effective date:  July 1, 2011


HB 689 Relating to Driver Improvement Schools and Education Programs by State Representative Lori  Berman 

HB 689 would require the curricula of driver improvement schools and education programs to include instruction on risks associated with using a handheld electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011



Daily Insurance-Related News


Blog:  Insurers can raise rates before regulators approve it

Two mobile home insurers will raise rates before getting approval from regulators this year.


Broward County cracks down on car insurance fraud                        

Representatives from 17 auto Insurance companies joined forces with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office during a one-day crackdown on motorists who drive without insurance.


Evidence of Abuse Found in Growing Percentage of Florida No-Fault Insurance Claims

Insurance Research Council Analysis Also Finds Growing Utilization of Expensive Diagnostic Procedures and Chiropractic Treatment

Almost one in every three no-fault auto insurance claims closed in Florida in 2007 appeared to involve the exaggeration of an injury or to be inflated by unnecessary or excessive medical treatment, according to a new study from the Insurance Research Council.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  House Panel Passes Crash Bill

A controversial measure insulating Ford Motor Company and other automakers in product liability cases passed its first House panel on Wednesday, but not before being changed to blunt its impact on crash cases in which a jury determines the automobile defect was the cause of injury.


Bills change rules for how Florida’s vulnerable file lawsuits

Nursing homes and group homes push for lawsuit limitations.


Florida Governor Scott opposes Obama offer on jobless funds

The president suggests allowing states more time to repay billions borrowed for unemployment benefits.

Florida Governor Rick Scott overstated budget cuts, legislators say  

Governor Rick Scott made a campaign-like splash this week, proclaiming to national cable news audiences and tea partiers that his $65.9-billion budget proposal to lawmakers would cut government spending by around $5 billion.


New Florida governor fires 15 corrections officials

Fifteen high-ranking officials of Florida’s corrections system are being let go as new Governor Rick Scott, and his new corrections chief put their team in place.


Scott won’t push for voucher expansion this year

Governor Rick Scott on the campaign trail — and again shortly after he was elected — vowed to push for one of the nation’s most expansive school voucher programs.


Blog:  Mica hires former Florida Department of Transportation Secretary to work in Washington DC

New House Transportation Chairman John Mica told a high speed rail conference today that’s he hired former Florida Transportation Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos to serve as the committee’s special counsel.


Blog:  New Department of Community Affairs chief, Billy Buzzett, calls for refocus on growth management

The new chief of Florida’s growth management agency on Tuesday made some suggestions that sound like what some statewide environmental groups have been advocating – an increased focus on long-range planning and less oversight of growth in urban areas.

Charlie Crist, Alex Sink Team up Against Offshore Oil Drilling

The Florida Capitol saw a political flashback on Wednesday when former Gov. Charlie Crist teamed up with former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink to call on Floridians to support a constitutional ban on oil drilling off the state’s coast.


State not interested in running Silver Springs

Some critics of Marion County’s proposed takeover of the Silver Springs attraction have instead suggested that the site’s actual owner – the state of Florida – could bring Florida’s oldest tourist attraction into the fold of the state park system.


Florida cities, counties can’t afford retirement benefits they’ve promised employees, study finds

Cities and counties throughout Florida have promised more than they can afford in retirement benefits to their employees – a “ticking time bomb” for local governments, a study released Wednesday concludes.


Blog:  Florida Chamber outlines 2011 legislative agenda

The Florida Chamber of Commerce today announced its 2011 legislative priorities a jobs creating agenda designed to reset Floridas economy and help create at least 135,000 net new jobs by years end.


Senator Storms hammers lax oversight of sex at group home

State senators on Tuesday called for the closure of a home for developmentally disabled men in Seffner that permitted sex between its residents, and demanded greater accountability from the state agency that oversees the facility.


Fifteen bids received for Florida’s 2 state aircraft

Fifteen bids have been submitted on Florida’s two remaining state planes.


Marsh:  Spur Egypt-Related Coverage Debate With Interim Payment Request

Broker and risk adviser Marsh is advising clients affected by the unrest in Egypt to file an interim payment request-but not exactly to obtain money.


Special report:  Extreme weather batters the insurance industry

In Chester County, South Carolina, off a dirt road in the middle of a field, insurance companies are literally unleashing a storm.


Blog:  New Alabama Legislature to consider old coastal insurance bills

Senator Ben Brooks, R-Mobile, has introduced more than a half dozen coastal insurance proposals for this year’s upcoming legislative session.


Utah becomes second-largest domestic captive domicile

Utah licensed 54 new captives in 2010, bringing the state’s year-end total to 188 and catapulting Utah over South Carolina and Hawaii to become the second-largest domestic domicile.


Mississippi Bill Lets Employers Buy Health Policies from Other States

The Mississippi House has approved a plan that would allow employers to buy group health insurance policies anywhere in the country, not just from Mississippi insurers.


Costa Continues Fight to Protect insurance Consumers Reintroduces Bill to Beef Up Pennsylvania Insurance Adjuster Regulations

The following information was released by Pennsylvania House of Representatives, Democratic Caucus:

State Representative Dom Costa has reintroduced his bill that would protect the public from unscrupulous insurance adjusters by strengthening state regulations.



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