Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report – Thursday, February 08, 2018

Feb 8, 2018

Insurers fail to get their way on Senate claims reform bill

A Florida Senate bill aimed at curbing third-party insurance claims abuses cleared its second committee on Tuesday despite arguments by insurance lobbyists that the reforms wouldn’t stop contractors and attorneys from continuing to siphon off fat legal fees and further drive up rates for consumers.  The Sun-Sentinel’s Ron Hurtibise reports.

Post Hurricanes, State Lawmakers Lag Behind on Infrastructure Improvements

Recommendations made by a special Florida House committee on hurricane preparedness have reached a roadblock midway through the 2018 legislative session, casting doubt over whether or not the state will pass some of the recommended reform measures to make improvements for hurricane preparedness efforts.  Allison Nielsen reports for

Governor Scott Directs Department of Environmental Protection to Expedite Additional Marine Debris Clean-Up in Monroe County Waterways

Following the significant and widespread damage caused by Hurricane Irma, Monroe County expended its available funding resources for clean-up activities.

Hurricane relief workers exposed to carbon monoxide sue company

A group of workers went down to the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma to earn some money, but it ended up costing them more than they ever expected. As WSVN’s Andrew Scheinthal reports, they are “Sick of Waiting” for their bills to be paid.

Florida’s post-Irma credit rating remains strong, Moody’s says

The rating agency on Thursday cited the state’s “strong economy, growing tax base and the federal government’s ongoing resources through FEMA to help cover the costs of storm damages.” Moody’s similarly praised Texas.  Steve Bousquet reports via the Miami Herald’s “Naked Politics” blog.

Do DeBary airbag thefts foretell South Florida trend?

South Florida media reports show that the devices have been taken from cars in apartment complexes or at airports.  The burglars appear to prefer Honda Civics, Honda Accords and Acuras, reports indicate.  Patricio G. Balona reports for the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

South Florida coral reef conservation bill heads to Governor Scott

If Scott signs the bill (HB 53), it could allow the state to bring in federal money to protect the string of reefs, which encompass all of the coastline off Broward and Palm Beach counties.  The Sun-Sentinel’s Dan Sweeney reports.

Red-light camera challenge gets rough ride at state Supreme Court

The court’s ruling will likely determine the outcome in lawsuits filed by traffic attorneys seeking reimbursements for motorists caught running red lights in more than 60 communities, the Tampa Bay Times’ Christopher O’Donnell reports.

Floridians don’t have a lot to smile about; state ranks 44th for dental care

Florida ranks near the bottom, at 44 out of the 50 states plus the District of Columbia, for poor dental health, according to a study by WalletHub, an online personal finance website.  Liz Freeman reports for the Naples Daily News.

Florida legislators poised to approve rival budgets

Legislators spent most of Wednesday asking questions and make minor changes to the plan that will cover all state spending from July 2018 to June 2019, the Associated Press reports.

Rick Scott’s improving public image could make a Senate run more likely

With Democrats energized to push back against Trump, Scott’s improved image will be critical if he decides to take on Nelson. It also could help him advance his legislative agenda this year.  The Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Zac Anderson reports.

Florida’s proposed robot tax study bill a stymied harbinger of things to come?

The Florida Legislature is encouraging investment in artificial intelligence and machine-learning technologies, most notably autonomous vehicles, but a proposal to study how rapidly accelerating advances in automation could affect the state’s workforce is gaining little traction in its 2018 legislative session, reports.

PCI’s Sampson discusses tax overhaul in interview

A “real rejuvenation” of the US economy appears to be taking place amid the corporate tax overhaul and efforts toward “rationalizing the regulatory structure on business,” PCI President and CEO David Sampson told Fox Business.  The PCI SmartBrief notes the story.

Curbing prescription drug compounding in workers’ compensation

Texas is the latest state to attack the problem with regulation, Don Lipsy of National Underwriter’s reports.

When is a “named insured” singular or plural?

Complicated family relationships and vehicle ownership can have an effect on auto insurance coverage, Steven Meyerowitz writes for National Underwriter’s

Did HUD Just Restore Obama Federal Flood Rule Nixed by Trump?

On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development told states how to spend the $7.4 billion in disaster-recovery money Congress approved after Hurricane Harvey. Tucked into the document’s 101 pages is the requirement that any new structures in a floodplain be built well above projected flood levels – virtually the same requirements as those that Trump revoked last August.  Bloomberg reports via Insurance Journal.

Texas Appeals Court Says Federal Law Preempts State on Air Ambulance Fees

An appellate court in Texas has ruled that federal law, as opposed to state regulation, prevails when it comes to the amount an air ambulance service may charge insurance companies for its services, Insurance Journal reports.

Lawmakers debate repealing Michigan’s no-fault auto insurance system

A bill package was introduced in the state House this week. It would take Michigan from being a no fault state to a full tort or at-fault system. reports.

A.M. Best Calculates P/C Insurers’ Underwriting Loss for 2017

The expected net underwriting loss for 2017 of $29.3 billion – which follows a $6.5 billion loss in 2016 – will cause pre-tax operating income to decline substantially to $14.8 billion from $41.1 billion in 2016, according to the Best’s Market Segment Report, titled, “U.S. Property/Casualty 2018 Review & Preview.”  Insurance Journal reports.

The shifting role of reinsurance

As the cogs of change churn through the reinsurance industry bringing new market entrants, InsurTech, and block-chain technologies which promise to rewrite the standard modus operandi, the Reinsurance Association of America President Frank Nutter discussed the challenges of reinsurance adaptation.

Au pairs get certification in class-action suit against recruiters

US District Judge Christine Arguello has certified several classes covering more than 90,000 au pairs who are suing companies that recruited them to work for US families.  Reuters reports via the PLI SmartBrief.

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