Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Thursday, May 30

May 30, 2013



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


    9:00 a.m.–Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Public Rate Hearing.  Fidelity National Property and Casualty Insurance Company has requested an average statewide increase of 28.1 percent for its homeowners program, effective August 1, 2013 for new business and September 25, 2013 for renewal business.  The requested rate change is not uniform and some areas would be subject to higher rates.  To view the meeting notice, click here.



      Daily Florida Insurance-Related News


      Scott signs Citizens reform bill

      Homeowners will be steered away from state-run Citizens Property Insurance under legislation signed by Gov. Rick Scott Wednesday that seeks to boost Florida’s private insurance market, Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Zac Anderson reports.


      2013 Hurricane Season Guide–from A (Andrea) to Z (Zoloft)

      After seven years without a hit, South Florida hopes lucky streak holds

      The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season begins Saturday. Palm Beach County got flooded by a spinoff of Tropical Storm Isaac (Esau? Jacob?) last August, but South Florida hasn’t had a direct hit since Wilma in 2005. Here, as a public disservice, the Sun-Sentinel’s Mike Mayo presents his annual A-to-Z hurricane guide.


      Texas Windstorm Insurance laden with Florida-style problems

      In Florida, prices continue to rise, as large, solvent insurers abandon the market to the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and its heavily subsidized premiums. At the same time, taxpayers are now exposed to $429 billion through Citizens, enough to bankrupt the state. The good news is that in Texas, the state’s exposure is only about the size of the state budget, blogs Jon Cassidy on Texas


      Florida municipalities rush to start red-light camera appeals

      Little more than a month before a new red-light camera law comes into effect, Florida cities are scrambling to set up new appeals systems for motorists who want to contest their tickets, the Tampa Tribune’s Christopher O’Donnell reports.


      Security First Insurance Social Media Tool Wins IBM Service Award

      SMC4 Recognized As Top Customer Service Technology Platform

      Security First Insurance Company, the fourth largest homeowners insurance provider in Florida, was recently presented with the 2013 IBM Smarter Commerce Award for its newly launched Social Media Capture, Control, Communication and Compliance (SMC4) technology at the IBM Smarter Commerce Global Summit held in Nashville, Tenn.


      Brightway Insurance Opens Newest Franchise in Panama City Beach

      Brightway Insurance, a leading national independent insurance retailer, recently opened its newest franchise store in Panama City Beach, the company reports in a new release.


      Federal Appeals Court rejects Florida worker drug tests

      A highly skeptical federal appeals panel on Wednesday refused to approve the “unprecedented scope” of Florida Governor Rick Scott’s order for random drug-testing of about 85,000 state employees, but said he can justify urinalysis on a job-by-job basis for government workers whose drug use might endanger coworkers or the public they serve, The Florida Current’s Bill Cotterell reports.


      Petition Drive Started for State Representative Doug Holder as Lieutenant Governor

      Sarasota GOP chairman Joe Gruters announced a petition drive this week to push Scott to select state Rep. Doug Holder as his second-in-command. Gruters’ announcement came shortly after Scott left after speaking at an event in Venice Monday, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Jeremy Wallace reports.


      Florida bank profits grow with national trend

      Banks and savings institutions in Florida reported combined net income of $250 million in the first quarter of 2013, a 47.9 percent increase from $169 million in Q1 profit in 2012, reports Tampa Bay Business Journal’s Margie Manning.


      Florida Affordable Housing Shortage Growing

      In a trend that is almost certain to resurrect the same complication that affected Southwest Florida during the mid-2000s real estate boom, affordable housing is once again becoming increasingly difficult to find, Sarasota Herald-Tribune’s Josh Salman reports.


      RMS Says Oklahoma Tornado Cost Insurers as Much as $3.5 Billion

      The tornado that leveled an Oklahoma City suburb last week probably cost insurers $2 billion to $3.5 billion in claims, according to catastrophe modeler Risk Management Solutions Inc., Bloomberg’s Noah Buhayar reports.


      EQECAT and RMS will share exposure data

      EQECAT and Risk Management Solutions have completed a multi-year agreement to share exposure data schemas, reports


      Allstate, Citigroup Settle Mortgage-Backed Securities Lawsuit

      Allstate Corp. and Citigroup Inc. agreed to settle a lawsuit filed by the insurer in New York state court accusing the bank of fraudulently selling hundreds of millions of dollars of mortgage-backed securities, Bloomberg’s Chris Dolmetsch reports.


      New York Wants Details on Insurers’ Cyber Security Preparedness

      New York’s top financial regulator has asked some of the largest U.S. insurance companies to disclose details on their preparedness for cyber attacks, following a similar request to major banks earlier this year, Reuters reports via Insurance Journal.


      Immigrants Contribute Medicare Surplus, Harvard Study Finds

      Immigrants have contributed billions of dollars more to Medicare in recent years than the program has paid out on their behalf, according to a new study, a pattern that goes against the notion that immigrants are a drain on federal health care spending, The New York Times’ Sabrina Tavernise reports.


      Insurance Broker Jailed in FBI Investigation of Annuity Elder Fraud 

      William Edward Lowder, age 57, of Williamsburg, Michigan, was sentenced today to serve 60 months in prison for defrauding several clients, many who were elderly, of significant investment funds as part of a wire fraud scheme that he committed while he operated Lowder Insurance and Ash Brokerage. 



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