Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Thursday, December 22

Dec 22, 2011


Daily Florida Insurance-Related Events


(CANCELED) 10:00 a.m.–Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (“FSLSO”) meeting.  A meeting of either the FSLSO Board of Governors or National Clearinghouse Committee is scheduled.  To view the meeting notice, click here.



Daily Florida Insurance-Related Bills Filed for 2012


SB 1346 Relating to Citizens Property Insurance Corporation by Senator Steve Oelrich

SB 1346 would reduce to two percent from six percent the amount of the projected deficit in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s (“Citizens”) Coastal Account for the prior calendar year, which is recovered through regular assessments.  It also would require that remaining projected deficits in Citizens’ Personal and Commercial lines accounts be recovered through emergency assessments after accounting for the Citizens’ policyholder surcharge.  The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation would be required to notify assessable insurers and the Florida Surplus Lines Service Office of the dates assessable insurers shall collect and pay emergency assessments.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2012


HB 1101 Relating to Insurance by State Representative Mike Horner

HB 1101 would exempt salvage motor vehicle dealers from having to carry certain types of insurance coverage, as well as revise provisions of law specifying which insurers are not subject to certain filing requirements relating to reinsurance.  The bill would authorize the Florida Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) to provide examinations in Spanish.  Provisions relating to limited licenses for travel insurance would be revised.  A full-time salaried employee of a licensed general lines agent or business entity that offers travel planning services may be issued a license under the legislation, while certain employees who conduct data entry from licensure as insurance adjusters would be exempted.  Further, HB 1101 defines the term “automated claims adjudication system” with respect to the application of such an exemption.  It would also prohibit residents of Canada from licensure as nonresident independent adjusters.  Disclosure statements signed by an insured placing coverage in surplus lines market would be revised.  The bill provides additional factors that an insurer may include in a residential property insurance rate filing and also increases the amount of surplus as to policyholders that certain insurers that are members of a plan to equitably apportion or share windstorm coverage may have in order to petition the DFS to qualify as a limited apportionment company.  HB 1101 would increase the prior notice period for nonrenewal, cancellation or termination of a personal lines or commercial insurance policy covering a residential structure or its contents.  It would also limit the mandatory health benefits to certain health benefit plans.  Under the legislation, alternative procedures for the resolution of disputed property insurance claims would be revised, as would provisions relating to cancellation for nonpayment of premiums for motor vehicle insurance.  Finally, the bill specifies the interest rate applicable to the accrual of interest on overdue payments of Personal Injury Protection Insurance benefits.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2012



Daily Insurance-Related News


Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s house replacement cost estimates rising

Joe Freitas thought $109,000 was a good deal on his new home. His insurance agent recommended a $139,000 policy – enough to give him a cushion in case of a disaster.


Proposed Chinese drywall settlement to help thousands of Floridians

As many as 3,000 Florida homes should be relieved of smelly, corrosive Chinese drywall as a result a settlement this week with one of the largest makers of the building material.


For Florida Governor Scott, Insurance Fixes Are Legislative Priority

Gov. Rick Scott wants lawmakers to fix a pair of auto and property insurance issues that are costing Floridians hundreds of millions of dollars but have eluded resolution for more than a decade.


The Florida Current’s 2012 Session Outook on Insurance

Three major areas will come under the scrutiny of legislators during the coming session. Changes have been proposed to personal injury protection for motorist, workers’ compensation insurance and the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corp., especially its exposure in hurricane


Gear Up Florida News Release:  Efforts to lower auto insurance premiums and fraud increase in Florida

Florida’s no-fault accident laws have caused costs to skyrocket for personal injury protection. Florida auto insurance fraud is at all-time highs, and staged accidents, bogus pain clinics, and excessive claims are causing auto insurance premiums to go higher and higher. A new campaign called “Gear Up Florida” has begun to fight against these types of fraudulent activities to ultimately protect consumers and their wallets


The Florida Current’s 2012 Session Outlook on Health Care

The Florida Legislature in 2011 accomplished what some deemed impossible: remodel the state’s $22 billion Medicaid program into a mandatory managed care system.


Florida House Speaker Cannon:  Don’t expect ‘major floor action’ early in the session

The House Speaker says that during this coming session that he intends to stick to the committee process from the 2011 session and not take up any Senate bills “whose House companion had not reached the House Calendar.”


Florida tallies third largest population increase

Florida now has 19.1 million residents, making it the nation’s fourth most populous state.


Florida Governor Scott says he would sign Internet sales tax bill, with caveat

The governor says he doesn’t want to increase taxes but says the playing field should be level between traditional retailers and those based on the Internet.


Governor Scott says he’s still working on energy issues and isn’t deferring to Agriculture Commissioner Putnam

“We are still working on what is a logical [energy] policy for the state,” Rick Scott told The Florida Current. “What I’m not interested in is raising the cost of living in the state.”


Governor Scott smacks down proposal to move education commissioner to Cabinet

The governor says putting the Education Commissioner in the Cabinet as a statewide elected position would make the post too political and hurt education outcomes.


Betting on barrel racing in Panhandle causing rift in Florida Capitol and horse industry

The rhinestones sparkled, the belt buckles flashed and the red dirt flew as hundreds of spectators on metal bleachers cheered for the cow girls Saturday as the sun set over a remote race track in this rural community.


New bill calls for another hike to Florida cigarette tax

If you’re a smoker, you know it is a costly habit in Florida.  Some lawmakers are pushing to make the high cost even higher, citing a goal of cutting down on teen smoking.

Federal Insurance Office Hears Industry Arguments For and Against State-Based Regulation

Comments provided to the Federal Insurance Office on how insurance should be regulated in the future ranged from strong support of the current state-regulatory system to calls for the federal government to play a lead role “if uniformity and consistency of regulation is to be achieved.”


State Insurance Regulators Name 28 Consumer Representatives

State insurance regulators have named 28 consumer representatives to advise them on insurance issues during 2012.


Gas tubing fires linked to lightning spark concern

Reports of lightning-related fires and gas leaks in at least a dozen states have sparked concerns about the use of flexible gas lines made of corrugated stainless steel tubing.