Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Monday, April 18

Apr 18, 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


Florida’s 2011 Regular Legislative Session

  • Click here for today’s Senate block calendar
  • Click here for today’s House of Representatives block calendar


10:30 a.m.–Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (“FSLSO”) Audit Committee meeting.  Agenda includes a review of the FSLSO 2010 financial audit.  To view the meeting notice, click here.

11:00 a.m.–FSLSO Compensation Committee meeting.  Agenda includes a review of the FSLSO Performance Management Program.  To view the meeting notice, click here.

1:00 p.m.–FSLSO Board of Governors meeting.  To view the meeting notice, click here.



Daily Insurance-Related News

Insurance Bills Delayed in Senate Committee

Time running out for insurance reform bills

Various bills designed to shore up the private insurance market and lure more companies to Florida are on shaky ground.


Sinkholes spur debate in Legislature

Complaining about fraud, frivolous claims and people who spend Insurance payouts on items other than home repairs, insurance companies have convinced lawmakers to free them from providing comprehensive sinkhole coverage.


Sinkhole claims skyrocketing? Well, so are numbers of sinkholes

Complaining about fraud, frivolous claims and people who spend Insurance payouts on items other than home repairs, insurance companies have persuaded lawmakers to free them from providing comprehensive sinkhole coverage.

Editorial:  Sunset for Citizens

Citizens Property Insurance Corp., a state-run company, is the largest insurer of homes and other property in Florida at 1.3 million policies in 2010.

Septic tank, environmental bills move through committees and House floor despite opposition

HB 13, repealing the statewide inspection tank requirement, is now set for final approval.


Arizona drywall suit is dismissed, moved to Florida

A lawsuit filed by an Arizona homeowner against one of the nation’s largest drywall manufacturers was voluntarily dismissed, National Gypsum said this week.

Letter to the Editor:  Costs to Florida homeowners

It’s too burdensome financially for someone with a septic tank to pay $250 to $500 every 5 years to have the tank inspected, but it’s OK to pass an Insurance bill that will raise all Floridians’ insurance rates to a level that will financially burden them.

Volunteers help keep insurance costs down

How do you thank a small group of residents who get it? On April 12, Trish Hintze, Ava Bianchino, Stacie Kidwell, Brigid Moyer and Laura Hutt held a charitable event to help fund Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe, the only nonprofit, grassroots organization in Monroe County that has been fighting windstorm legislation since 2006.

Personal Injury Protection bill gains traction

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee passed a bill this week targeting fraud in Florida’s automotive personal injury protection insurance industry.

Part 1:  Writing tickets for slow drivers creates a big reaction

A bill in the Legislature would allow police to write tickets for drivers who drive too slowly for  traffic in the left, passing lane.


Bills limiting Floridians’ ability to sue are progressing

Doctors, trial lawyers, nursing homes and Insurance companies are all vying for influence over an issue that will be decided as the Legislature moves toward its scheduled May 6 adjournment.

Theft of Trucks Causes Price of Florida Tomatoes to Rise

The high price of produce, especially for tomatoes after the deep winter freezes, has attracted more than heightened attention from consumers. A ring of sophisticated vegetable bandits was watching, too.

Travel insurance claim denied for fare paid on a credit

Q:   I recently booked a trip to Colorado Springs on American Airlines. I paid for the tickets with a credit I’d received after canceling a previous flight, plus $350 in fees. I bought travel insurance from Access America, which is offered through the American Airlines website.


Daytona-based Brown & Brown lawsuit against ex-executives proceeds

Brown & Brown is proceeding with its lawsuit against a team of former executives.

Brown & Brown regional Vice President named

A longtime Brown & Brown employee has been named regional vice president.


Lawmaker asks House speaker to consider impeachment judges for roles in ‘Taj Mahal’ courthouse

A House Committee should consider impeaching 1st District Court Judges Paul Hawkes and Brad Thomas for their role in building a new courthouse critics call a “Taj Mahal,” says Rep. Franklin Sands, D-Plantation.

Florida House Forwards Dramatic Supreme Court Reform

House backs it on 79-38 party-lines vote, but bill’s fate uncertain in Senate

After two hours of contentious debate, the Florida House voted on Friday to approve forwarding a proposed constitutional amendment to the voters. The proposal passed on a vote that mirrored party lines, with 79 Republicans backing the controversial measure and 38 Democrats voting against it.

Senate panel clears changes to election laws

A Florida Senate panel approved a sweeping set of changes to an election bill that bring it more in line with a House measure that has good-government groups up in arms over provisions they say would suppress voters’ access to the polls.

Senate committee weakens ‘paycheck protection’ legislation

A key Senate committee weakened a “paycheck protection” bill Friday, allowing unions to continue automatic deductions from earnings of member public employees but making them pass the hat separately for political campaigning.

Florida lawmakers try to resolve $3 billion difference in House, Senate budgets

Southwest Florida college students can expect to pay more for school.

Florida unemployment drops in March

Proclaiming “a great day for Florida,” Governor Rick Scott said Friday the state’s unemployment rate for March was 11.1 percent – down nearly a full percent since he took office at the start of the year.


Florida Legislature Considers Property Tax Cuts

A break for first-time homebuyers.

Development Bill Would Give Choices to Local Governments

A sweeping rewrite of 26 years of growth management law received swift approval from the Senate Environmental Conservation Committee on Thursday, opening the way for the most substantial change in Florida development law in decades.

Transocean lawsuit deadline looms for Florida

Wednesday’s anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill finds Governor Rick Scott, a health care mogul and one of the most business-friendly chief executives Florida has ever known, at a critical juncture.

Superior Bank one of 6 failed banks this week

Federal regulators Friday shut down the Birmingham, Ala.-based Superior Bank, including three offices in Tallahassee. The 73 branches of Superior Bank re-opened Saturday as branches of Superior Bank, N.A.

Regulators close Superior Bank

Superior Bank — a $3 billion Birmingham, Ala.-based institution that absorbed People’s Community Bank of Sarasota just before the onset of the Great Recession — was shuttered by regulators late Friday.

Holidays mean slow week for Legislature

As budget negotiations between the House and Senate appear stalled, and with just three weeks left until the scheduled end of the 60-day annual session, the Legislature shuts down Monday in observance of the Passover holiday.

Corporate millions have paid off in ‘pro-business’ legislative agenda

With a former corporate executive in Governor Rick Scott and growing Republican supermajorities controlling the Legislature, Florida is poised to enact sweeping “pro-business” and deregulatory changes in the next three weeks.


One hike dies; others coming:  Senator wanted to end discount for using SunPass.

Don’t think that because tax-hating Republicans dominate the Legislature that your wallet is safe. Legislators are likely to tell property Insurance companies to raise your rates big-time.


Clinton is next Michigan state insurance overseer

Kevin Clinton, an experienced Michigan Insurance executive, is the state’s new commissioner overseeing health insurance, banking and securities issues for the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.

Winslow:  Let’s clean up TWIA’s mess and preserve the rights of policyholders

Texas Windstorm Insurance Association is in a condition that makes its continuation in business hazardous to the public or to its policyholders, as it appears that its management does not have the experience, competence, or trustworthiness to operate TWIA in a safe and sound manner.

North Carolina Insurance Chief Battles Auto Rate Deregulation Bills

Auto insurers are looking to change the way rates are set in North Carolina but that’s not going to happen if Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin has his way.


Limits of Property and Casualty Catastrophe Models

Catastrophe models are a great tool but even the person who created the first one is worried that they are being given more influence than they deserve.

State Farm Plans Mileage-Based Premiums in Illinois

State Farm plans to begin increasing or lowering some of its Illinois policy holders’ rates next year based on how far they drive.



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