Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report – Friday, April 8, 2016

Apr 8, 2016


New Law Allows Florida Insurers to Offer Limited Sinkhole Coverage

Legislation introduced this year by Republican Senator Jack Latvala and passed into law today, gives insurers in Florida the ability to offer a new type of personal lines residential sinkhole insurance coverage, Claims Journal reports.


What’s next in Florida’s search for next insurance commissioner?

Interviews with candidates to become Florida’s first new insurance commissioner since 2003 have been officially reopened through April 15, though there were no new names on the Florida Cabinet website as of early Wednesday afternoon, the Palm Beach Post’s Charles Elmore reports via the “Protecting Your Pocket” blog.


Lawyers in “worst case of greed” insurance case question Florida Bar’s ethics

In an attorney disciplinary case, a judge serving as a referee concluded that an attorney was guilty of several violations of the ethical standards for lawyers, including deceiving clients in insurance cases so as to enrich himself with the bulk of the settlement, deceiving co-counsel in an effort to keep from paying their fees and trying to deceive bankruptcy courts in an effort to avoid paying the other lawyers, who had successfully sued for their fees, the Miami Herald’s Michael Auslen reports via the “Naked Politics” blog.


Florida Business Owner Arrested for $1.8M Workers’ Comp Fraud Scheme

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the arrest of Maira Chirinos, owner of Pompano Beach construction company Tocoa Builders, Inc., Insurance Journal reports.


Governor Scott Signs 20 More Bills into Law

Governor Rick Scott signed into law Wednesday a mixed bag of 20 bills, from a pilot program to locate special needs persons to a bill protecting Florida’s shellfish beds, reports.


Governor Scott signs repeal of 148-year-old ban on cohabitation in Florida

Governor Rick Scott made shacking up a little easier – or at least legal – by erasing a 148-year-old Florida law on Wednesday that outlawed unmarried men and women from living together.  John Kennedy and Wayne Washington report for the Palm Beach Post.


Use of Retired Judges Draws Constitutional Questions

As Florida courts have struggled in recent years with a flood of foreclosure cases, retired judges have played a key role in reducing backlogs.  THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA’s Jim Saunders reports via


Prominent Tampa lawyer will run for Dana Young’s state House seat

Prominent land use lawyer David Singer says he’s filing paperwork to run as a Democrat for the state House District 60 seat being vacated by State Representative Dana Young.  Tampa Bay Times’ William March reports.


Moraitis faces challenge from ex-Broward commissioner

Former Broward County Commissioner Ken Keechl announced Wednesday that he plans to run this year in state House District 93, setting up a potential battle with three-term State Representative George Moraitis, R-Fort Lauderdale, THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA reports via


Woman from Gainesville Starbucks explains what went on before she started shouting at Governor Rick Scott

Before a camera started filming that now-viral video of Governor Rick Scott getting the what-for from a woman at a Gainesville Starbucks, the woman doing the yelling, Cara Jennings, said the interaction was fairly civil.  The Tampa Bay Times’ Katie Mettler reports.


Addiction Epidemic Fuels Runaway Demand for Sober Homes

The nation’s epidemic of addiction to painkillers and heroin is fueling runaway demand for a once-obscure form of housing known as “sober homes,” where recovering addicts live together in a supervised, substance-free setting to ease their transition back to independence, Health News Florida reports.


Deadly fentanyl-laced pills emerge in Central Florida, agents say 

For the first time in Central Florida, drug agents are seeing counterfeit pain and anxiety medications infused with a synthetic opioid that is linked to scores of fatal overdoses across the country and at least one in Central Florida, the Orlando Sentinel reports via


Government to appeal MetLife decision

The federal government plans to appeal a recent court ruling that barred the use of a significant new financial regulatory power, Peter Schroeder reports for


Mississippi Governor Signs Bill Regulating Ridesharing Services

Mississippi will regulate Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing services on a statewide basis, the Associated Press reports via Insurance Journal.


A.M. Best TV:  Brazil’s Reinsurers Look for Growth Amid “Perfect Storm”

In this A.M.BestTV episode, from the CNSeg Fifth Annual Rio de Janeiro Reinsurance Meeting in Brazil, reinsurance industry leaders said that they still see great potential in Brazil’s insurance market, but the country faces a range of economic and political challenges.


Pilots:  Don’t Underestimate Drone Threat

Pilots and traffic controllers report more than 100 drone sightings every month, Insurance Journal reports.





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