Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report–Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Jan 13, 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


10:00 a.m.–Florida Division of Consumer Services Rule Development Workshop; Tallahassee.  Proposed rulemaking relating to neutral evaluation of disputed sinkhole insurance claims in Florida would repeal Rule 69J-8.004, which is un-needed, since the standards for neutral evaluators are now in Section 627.7074, F.S.  Subsection 69J-8.008(2) would be amended to require insurers to contact claimants within three business days of Notice of Request for neutral evaluation, and to copy the Florida Department of Financial Services on the correspondence to the claimant.  Subsection (9) of Rule 69J-8.008 would be added to impose a duty on neutral evaluators to disclose conflicts of interest within three business days of assignment.  Subsection (5) would be added to Rule 69J-8.009 to require disclosure of professionals used by a neutral evaluator and conflicts of interest associated with those professionals.  To view the Workshop notice, click here.



Daily Florida Insurance-Related News


With no word from Governor Scott, State Representative Adkins moves forward with pension fixes

Governor Rick Scott still has not said whether he will grant a state legislator’s request to investigate the Jacksonville Police and Fire Pension Fund, Tia Mitchell reports for the Florida Times-Union’s “Politijax” blog.


Florida lawmakers propose measures to strengthen texting while driving ban

It’s been on the books since 2013, but some lawmakers are hopeful this will be the year to strengthen a state law prohibiting texting while driving.  Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster reports for Scripps’ “Political Fix Florida” blog.


Rick Scott proposes more money for public schools

Relying on continued growth in property values around the state, Florida Governor Rick Scott has proposed increasing the amount of money for the state’s public schools, the Associated Press’ Gary Fineout reports via


Names emerging for 2018 Florida governor’s race

With another four years till the next election for governor, it’s a little awkward being a political heir apparent, explains James Rosica for Scripps’ “Political Fix Florida” blog.


Many Florida House Members Want a Senate Move in 2016

Familiar faces stayed in the Florida Senate in 2014 but that will change considerably over the next two years. Many of the new senators won’t be strangers to Tallahassee since plenty of them are veterans of the Florida House.’s Jeff Henderson reports.


Georgia Could Join Texas, Florida in Early 2016 Primary

A Southern Super Tuesday could emerge as seven states are considering aligning voting dates in the 2016 presidential primary calendar,’s Phil Ammann reports.


Florida lawmakers want federal Everglades funding

Funding for an Everglades restoration project hit a snag in April when the Army Corps of Engineers wasn’t ready to approve it in time for a bill appropriating money for water projects.  James Call reports for


Disney closing resort game arcades, Internet cafe ban may be to blame

Walt Disney World hotels will no longer offer prizes at video game arcades, where children redeem points for toys, candy, and other rewards.  The company says it is also dropping joystick-controlled claw games inspired by the one in “Toy Story.”’s Phil Ammann reports.


Trump sues for $100 million over flights above ritzy Florida club

Donald Trump, no stranger to noisy publicity, is complaining again about the roar of jets in a $100 million lawsuit over air traffic he says is purposely being directed to fly over his ritzy Palm Beach club.  The Associated Press reports via


Obama Signs Terrorism Insurance Renewal

President Barack Obama has signed into law a renewal of a federal program credited with reviving the market for insurance against terrorist attacks after its collapse in the aftermath of 9/11, ABC News reports.


MetLife to Sue to Overturn Systemically Risky Designation

MetLife Inc. said it will sue in federal court as part of Chief Executive Officer Steve Kandarian’s effort to overturn a finding that the insurer is systemically important.  Bloomberg’s Zachary Tracer, Andrew Zajac and Ian Katz report via Insurance Journal.


Vermont’s Donegan to Be Re-Appointed as Financial Regulation Commissioner

Vermont’s Democratic Governor Peter Shumlin, who was sworn in to a third two-year term last Thursday, will reappoint Susan L. Donegan as commissioner of the Department of Financial Regulation, Insurance Journal reports.


Ex-Abbott deputy named Texas insurance commissioner

Outgoing Governor Rick Perry announced Monday afternoon he has appointed David Mattax, former deputy attorney general for defense litigation, to serve through Feb. 1 at the helm of the Texas Department of Insurance. Shortly after Perry’s announcement, Abbott said he plans to re-name Mattax to the post after his swearing-in next week.  Patrick Svitek reports for the Houston Chronicle’s “Texas Politics” blog.


Former Texas insurance commissioner returns to South Carolina pending Senate confirm as environmental chief

Former state insurance chief Eleanor Kitzman was picked Monday as director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, but the quick decision to hire her drew immediate questions from senators who must confirm the nomination.  Sammy Fretwell reports for “The State.”


Mercury Insurance faces $27.6 million fine for wrongful fees

California’s insurance commissioner is ordering Mercury Insurance to pay a $27.6 million fine for charging wrongful fees to its auto customers, reports.


Texas Sees Record $5 Billion in Surplus Lines Premium in 2014

For the first time, premium on policies reported to the Surplus Lines Stamping Office of Texas totaled more than $5 billion last year, Insurance Journal reports.





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