Capitol to Courthouse Daily Florida Insurance Report: Tuesday, February 22

Feb 22, 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


  • 9:00 a.m. — Senate Committee on Judiciary
    • Discussion of Bad Faith insurance litigation.
  • 9:00 a.m. — Florida Cabinet.  To view the agenda, click here.
  • 10:00 a.m. — Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association.  Board of Governors meeting.  To view the meeting notice, click here.
  • 1:00 p.m. — Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance
    • SB 408 relating to Property and Casualty Insurance by Senator Garrett Richter
    • SB 484 relating to Discriminatory Taxes/Reinsurance by Senator Alan Hays
    • SB 634 relating to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation and Prohibited Activities by Senator David Simmons
    • SB 638 relating to (Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s) Residential Property and Evaluation Grant Program by Senator Simmons  


Daily Florida Insurance-Related Bills Filed for 2011


SB 885 relating to Residential Property Insurance by State Representative John Wood

SB 885 would authorize an insurer to use a residential rate that differs from filed rates after a specified date.  The bill specifies the maximum difference between rates; limits the percentage of rate increases; requires inclusion of a statement relating to an insurer’s current or future ability to cover specified probable maximum loss (“PML”); requires certification relating to an insurer’s ability to actually cover specified PML; provides that certain rates are void if an insurer fails to maintain sufficient funds or coverages to cover specified PML; provides refunds and credits if insurer fails to maintain sufficient funds or coverages to cover specified PML; requires acknowledgment from an applicant and certain policyholders relating to surcharges and assessments; specifies that the signed acknowledgment creates evidentiary presumption; specifies circumstances under which insurers may offer or renew residential policies; prohibits insurers from procuring coverage under the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund’s Temporary Increase in Coverage Limits option; requires specific notices to applicant or insured; requires Citizens Property Insurance Corporation premium estimates and signed acknowledgments; specifies ineligible types of policies; requires an insurer to have resources to cover specified PML in order to offer or renew certain policies.  Effective date:  upon becoming a law


SB 1252 relating to Persons Designated to Receive Insurer Notification by Senator Chris Smith

SB 1252 would change the designated person or persons who must be notified by an insurer from the “insured” to the “first-named insured” in situations involving the nonrenewal, renewal premium, cancellation or termination of workers’ compensation, employer liability, or certain property and casualty insurance coverage. The bill also would change the designated person or persons who must be notified by an insurer from the “insured” to the “first-named insured” in certain situations involving the cancellation or nonrenewal of motor vehicle insurance coverage.  Effective date: July 1, 2011


SB 1244 relating to Mold-Related Services by Senator Jim Norman

SB 1244 would repeal provisions relating to the mold-related services licensing program of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, the regulation of mold assessment and mold remediation, the examination, licensure, continuing education, discipline of mold assessors and mold remediators, and the certification of corporations and partnerships offering mold assessment or mold remediation to the public.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011


HB 849 relating to Building Construction and Inspection by State Representative Daniel Davis

HB 849 would redefine the term “sustainable building rating” to include the International Green Construction Code.  It also would expand categories of persons who may be certified as qualified for license by endorsement as home inspectors and revises continuing education requirements for licensed home inspectors.  Should it become law, the bill would require that the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation establish criteria for the approval of continuing education providers and courses and would revise conditions under which referrals by brokers or agents to home inspectors or inspection companies are prohibited.  Further, it would revise requirements for the content of written home inspection reports, as well as provide alternative licensing criteria for home inspectors for a specified period.  HB 849 would revise requirements for selecting members of the Florida Building Commission.  Finally, it would revise criteria for mitigation inspectors whose signature insurers must accept on the Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form. Effective date:  July 1, 2011



Daily Insurance-Related News


High Florida auto insurance premiums blamed on staged accidents

Several business groups urged Florida legislators Monday to change the state’s no-fault automobile insurance laws to reduce fraudulent claims

Owner of mold inspection business accused of running fraud scheme

The owner of an Orlando mold inspection and remediation business was arrested Monday on charges that he falsified testing records and defrauded customers, the Department of Environmental Protection said.


Panama City Awards Emergency Contract To Repair Roadway Sinkhole

The City Manager of Panama City has authorized emergency work to repair a sinkhole at a busy intersection.


Home-builders are concerned draft septic tank legislation could go too far

Draft bill that would repeal state inspection requirement would allow local governments to create their own programs.


New judges welcomed to Jacksonville District Compensation Claims court

The legal community welcomed two new judges to the Jacksonville District Compensation Claims Court Wednesday with a reception at Florida Coastal School of Law.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Governor Rick Scott stands firm against rail as veto-proof goes proof

While backers rallied Monday in Tampa and officials in Washington continued working on plans that did not involve state approval, Governor Rick Scott reiterated his objection to accepting federal money for high speed rail in central Florida, even if the state is not involved, reports Keith Laing of the News Service of Florida.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Contentious Expedia Bill Passes Senate Panel

With cass pending in courts around the state and federal officials also looking into the issue, a Senate proposal approved in its first committee stop Monday would insulate Orbitz, Expedia and other online booking companies from paying higher local option tourism taxes.


4th District Court of Appeals to decide whether attorney general can subpoena records from firm

Facing a split decision from two separate courts, the 4th District Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday on whether Florida’s Attorney General can subpoena records from a law firm being investigated for foreclosure fraud.


Rather than face sex-scandal questions, Rick Scott appointee quits

Carl Littlefield, tapped by Governor Rick Scott to lead the Agency for Person’s with Disabilities, unexpectedly withdrew his name from consideration and said he wasn’t seeking the post.


Governor Scott gets tough questioning during visit to Department of Corrections

Governor Rick Scott has proposed major cuts to the Department of Corrections, but on Monday he told department staff he is right there behind them, offering his support.


Florida grapples with its penal costs

Some state laws are more equal than others.


Blog:  Fasano pens an almost-apology to Rick Scott’s prison chief

The so-called No Fasano Zone at the Criminal & Justice budget subcommittee of the Florida Senate could soon end.


Scott hopes to slash agency others say has minimized sprawl

“Job killer,” is how Governor Rick Scott described the Florida Department of Community Affairs.


Cuba’s plans to drill for oil south of Florida Keys has lawmakers scrambling

Florida was on edge last summer as oil spewed from the blown out Deepwater Horizon well in the northern Gulf of Mexico.


Two lawmakers hope to loosen Florida’s gift ban law

After six years of being able to accept unlimited amounts of campaign cash but not a cup of coffee from lobbyists, two legislators are hoping to loosen the state law that bars lawmakers from receiving gifts from the public.


Statewide Florida pension protest planned for March 8

Thousands of protesters on both sides of an epic budget standoff in Wisconsin faced off over the weekend in Madison.  


Florida exports up by nearly 18 percent

Florida’s 18 percent increase in exports in 2010 allowed it to move up a spot to become the nation’s fourth largest exporting state, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.


Florida gets a few more jobs, but their salaries are lower

Everybody knows Florida isn’t creating enough jobs to dent its double-digit unemployment.


Alabama Governor Vows Special Session on Coastal Insurance

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley has renewed a campaign pledge to call a special session of the state legislature to find a solution for coastal residents seeking homeowners insurance.


Louisiana Attorney General: Relief soon for tainted drywall homes

Louisiana’s attorney general says about 109 state residents, whose homes have defective drywall, will soon see relief as plans are finalized to start the first home repairs.


Consumer Price Index Indicates Premium Increases On Homeowners Slowing

Premium increases on homeowners insurance may be slowing while personal auto continues steady gains, according to a government survey.


Government Accountability Office Blasts National Flood Insurance Program Shortcomings; Calls On Congress To Reform ‘High-Risk’ Program

The Government Accountability Office has sounded the alarm on National Flood Insurance Program shortcomings and has called on Congress to restructure the program.



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