Capitol to Courthouse Daily Florida Insurance Report: Tuesday, February 8

Feb 7, 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


There are no insurance-related events scheduled for today.


Daily Florida Insurance-Related Bills Filed for 2011


HB 4133 relating to Professional Geology by Senator Don Gaetz

HB 4133 would repeal provisions relating to regulation, licensure and discipline of professional geologists; the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Board of Professional Geologists and practice of professional geology by firms, corporations and partnerships.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011


HB 635 relating to Group Insurance for Public Employees by State Representative Kelli Stargel 

HB 635 would require that school districts procure certain types of insurance through interlocal agreements and would establish the “School District Insurance Consortium,” which would be governed by a board of directors that would contract for such insurance based on the award of competitive bids on statewide or regional basis and the selection of multiple insurance providers.  The bill would also require that school districts engage in collective bargaining with certified bargaining agent for any unit of employees for which health, accident, or hospitalization insurance is provided.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011



Daily Insurance-Related News


Mercury General to Exit Florida Homeowners Market

Due in part to claims from California rainstorms and Florida sinkholes, Los Angeles-based Mercury Insurance reported a fourth quarter net loss of $23.6 million, compared with net income of $34.2 million for the same period in 2009.


Florida’s insurance department makes staff changes

There have been some staff changes at the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.

  • To view the Office of Insurance Regulation’s new organizational chart, click here.


Florida Senate Looking to Expand Commercial Deregulation

The Florida Senate and Banking Insurance Committee has approved a bill that would deregulate a variety of commercial lines of insurance by allowing insurers to offer the coverage without first obtaining the Office of Insurance Regulation’s approval for its rates.


Lawmakers delay action on insurance bill

A Senate committee delayed voting Monday on a proposed property Insurance bill designed to crack down on fraudulent or excessive sinkhole claims.


Blog:  Accusations fly during Senate sinkhole insurance debate

A Senate banking and insurance committee meeting got heated today during debate over sinkhole insurance reforms.


Lauderhill home first in nation to get drywall fix as part of pilot program

When work crews showed up Monday to start removing the Chinese drywall from Eleanor Aguilar’s three-story Lauderhill townhouse, she insisted on swinging the first sledgehammer.


Blog:  Susan Varela Sues Argus Fire & Casualty Insurance, Claims Company Canned Her for Blowing Whistle on Shady Operations

Anyone who has ever insured anything — a car, a house, or, if you’re J.Lo, a sumptuously rotund rump — knows that insurance companies are about as trustworthy as automobile salesmen: You had better read the fine print lest the deal come back to kick you in the junk.


Brown & Brown 2010 revenues rose less than 1%

Brown & Brown Inc.’s revenues for 2010 increased less than 1% to $973.5 million from a year earlier, the Daytona Beach, Fla.-based broker said Monday.


Florida Chief Financial Officer wants your feedback on oil spill claims process

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater wants anyone sending comments to the oil spill compensation fund to drop him a line.


Florida leads U.S. in faked car accidents

A rental truck and an SUV bumped into each other at Blue Heron Boulevard and Military Trail in Riviera Beach, causing only scratches and some chipped paint.


Trial pitting nursing home residents against Medicaid begins

Marguerite Pace, 48, has a business degree, a law degree and passes her time in a Sarasota nursing home bed.


Blue Cross, United control Florida healthcare

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and United Healthcare together controlled 65 percent of Florida’s commercial health Insurance market in 2008, up from 41 percent two years earlier, according to a new report by the American Medical Association.


Company behind drug database dispute insists it’s not a troublemaker

The head of a Ohio-based company that has delayed the creation of a new statewide prescription drug database insists that he’s not trying to be “a troublemaker.”


Governor proposes largest spending cut in state history

Governor Rick Scott proposed the largest spending cut in state history Monday, submitting a $65.9 billion budget plan that would slash expenditures by nearly $5 billion, eliminate 8,700 state jobs and deeply cut state programs ranging from schools to health care programs for the poor and disabled.


Reform of Jobless Benefits Tax Slows Down in Senate

Vote delayed to hear input, fine-tune bill

A scheduled vote on a bill that would change the rates of unemployment compensation taxes and the way jobless claims are paid out was postponed in a state Senate committee meeting Monday.


Florida should pursue sales-tax cheats, grand jury says

Comparing Florida’s tax collection apparatus to an “honor system,” a Miami-Dade grand jury has urged Tallahassee to ease budget woes by going after convenience stores, car dealers and other small businesses holding back sales tax.


Senate delays action on sweeping unemployment compensation bill

A Senate panel delayed action on a sweeping unemployment compensation bill for two weeks after the Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee spent more than an hour discussing a bill that would limit lawsuits against car manufacturers.


Legislation would relax deadlines for reducing pollution in Atlantic Ocean

Two Miami Republicans have filed bills that would allow sewage treatment plants in Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties to delay reducing their discharges into the Atlantic Ocean.


State’s top elderly advocate removed from job

After years of fighting for the protection of nursing-home residents, Florida’s top advocate for elderly people was abruptly canned Monday by Governor Rick Scott amid longstanding conflict over the group’s role in helping thousands of frail elders.


Top state lawmaker wants to limit use of union dues for politics

A leading Senate Republican has filed a bill that could strip unions of some of their political strength, barring payroll deduction for union dues and prohibiting dues from being used for political activity without written consent.


Two South Florida Legislative Seats Up in Special Elections

Four former reps spar for Frederica Wilson’s Senate seat; three Democrats for Oscar Branyon’s House seat
When Frederica Wilson won Kendrick Meek’s former congressional seat last November, she set in motion a special election for two legislative seats. 


Scott wants to reduce state planners and eliminate funding for Florida Forever

Governor Rick Scott, in his 2011-12 budget recommendations unveiled on Monday, proposed substantially reducing the number of state planners who oversee local growth management decisions and shifting them to the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.


Shark attacks up worldwide, but down in Florida

An annual shark attack study reported the number of shark attacks increased worldwide in 2010 while declining in Florida for the fourth straight year.


Republican governors take on U.S. insurance exchanges

As Republican governors take on the U.S. health care reform law in courts, they are also challenging it on the administrative side, with 21 registering their discontent for insurance exchanges in a letter to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius on Monday.


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