Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report–Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Feb 17, 2015


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. to 12:00 p.m.–Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance meeting.  To view the agenda, click here.  To view the meeting packet, click here.

  • Agenda includes consideration of the following bills:
    • SB 258 relating to Property and Casualty Insurance
    • SB 600 relating to Insurance Guaranty Associations
    • SB 520 relating to Long-Term Care Insurance


1:00 p.m.–Florida Board of Employee Leasing Companies General Business meeting.  To view the agenda, click here.

2:00 p.m.–Florida House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee meeting.  To view the agenda, click here.

  • Agenda includes consideration of the following bill and proposed committee substitute:
    • HB 405 relating to Regulation of Not-for-profit Self-Insurance Funds  
    • PCS for HB 165 relating to Property and Casualty Insurance  


Daily Florida Insurance-Related News


Susan Patschak to Lead Safeway-Florida Specialty Holdings Venture

Susan Patschak, CEO and Rick Loden, President/COO will head up a newly acquired company in Florida. 


Your insurer is richer, are you?

For years, Florida leaders have gone out of their way to make insurance companies more profitable, almost always at your expense, says Tallahassee Democrat columnist Matt Reed.


Florida Sending Mixed Messages About Uber Insurance Requirements, Mears Executive Says

Last month, California regulators said all “peer-to-peer” taxi drivers (i.e. Uber & Lyft) were required to have “commercial” plates, stating, “Customers have inquired about this process and received inconsistent information.”  A few days later the Department of Motor Vehicles said it was reevaluating the decision.  Mears Executive Roger Chapin voices his opinion for Insurance Journal.


New Florida campaign aims at tougher penalties for hit and run suspect

The State of Florida is starting a new campaign to let everyone know that leaving the scene of a crash can end in tougher penalties, WEAR-TV reports.


“Exorbitant” Hospital Charges Rob Florida Drivers, Suit Claims

A lawsuit claims that hospitals are exhausting consumers’ PIP benefits by grossly overcharging for services — at up to 65 times what Medicare pays, the Palm Beach Post’s Charles Elmore reports via


Florida Senate panel approves “guns on campus” bill opposed by universities

Florida’s Republican-led Legislature has kept alive a controversial bill that would allow people with concealed weapons permits to bring their guns on the campuses of 12 state universities.  Tia Mitchell reports for the Florida Times-Union.


Eliminating Sales Tax on Commercial Leases Top Small-Business Priority

Cutting taxes on businesses and stopping threats to burden entrepreneurs are the main focus of NFIB/Florida’s 2015 legislative priorities for small-business owners, according to a list released Friday in Tallahassee. publisher Nancy Smith reports.


State legislators start to embrace idea Florida prisons can’t police themselves

A Senate committee gave preliminary approval Monday to a bill to create an independent commission to investigate wrongdoing in Florida’s troubled prison system and increase sanctions against prison staffers accused of crimes.  The Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas reports via the Bradenton Herald.


Florida Cabinet members kept in dark on public discussions by their own aides

A lack of transparency, possibly in violation of state law, has gone largely unnoticed in the low-profile work of Cabinet aides – until now, Tampa Bay Times’ Steve Bousquet explains in “The Buzz” blog.


Senate President not holding breath for new Seminole gambling deal

Senate President Andy Gardiner Monday said he “wouldn’t be a bit surprised” if the legislative session comes and goes without a new Seminole Compact being presented to lawmakers.  The Tampa Tribune’s James Rosica reports for Scripps’ “Political Fix Florida” blog.


Florida Democratic Party hires new deputy executive director

With an eye toward 2016, the Florida Democratic Party has hired Phillip Thompson, who served as deputy campaign manager for Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat who ran in Kentucky against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.  Matt Dixon reports on Scripps’ “Political Fix Florida” blog.


Florida became hotbed for sovereign citizens, whom FBI calls domestic terrorists

By the 1990s, the St. Petersburg-Tampa-Orlando corridor became a “hotbed” for the sovereign citizen movement, according to Mark Pitcavage, director of research for the Anti-Defamation League.  Orlando Sentinel’s Henry Pierson Curtis explains.


Canada’s Fairfax to Acquire London-Based Brit for $1.88 Billion

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., the Canadian property and casualty insurer run by contrarian investor Prem Watsa, said it would buy Brit plc for about $1.88 billion to become one of the top five underwriters in the Lloyd’s of London market.  Reuters reports via Insurance Journal.


Essary Named Executive Director of Texas Surplus Lines Stamping Office 

Norma Carabajal Essary has been appointed as executive director of the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas, effective March 1, 2015.  She succeeds Philip R. Ballinger, who retired January 2, 2015, after 22 years of distinguished service, Insurance Journal reports.


North Carolina Plans Changes to Captive Program

The first full year of North Carolina’s captive insurance program has “exceeded expectations,” according to a statement from North Carolina Insurance Commissioner Wayne Goodwin.  Amy O’Connor reports for Insurance Journal.


Reports Show Insurers Lagging Behind in Adopting Technology

At a time when the financial sector is racing to embrace digital technology to boost sales and drive profits, the traditionally staid insurance industry is in danger of falling behind, Reuters’ Carolyn Cohn reports via Insurance Journal.



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