Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Tuesday, March 20

Mar 20, 2012


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 Cabinet meeting.

  • State Board of Administration agend.  To view the agenda, click here
    • Authorize the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (“FHCF”) to file a Notice of Proposed Rule for Rule 19-8.029, F.A.C., “Insurer Reporting Requirements,” and Rule 19-8.030, F.A.C., “Insurer Responsibilities,” and to authorize filing these two proposed Rules for adoption if no member of the public timely requests a rule hearing.  To view the meeting notice, click here.

    (CANCELED) 10:00 a.m.–Florida Surplus Lines Service Office National Clearinhouse Committee meeting.  To view the meeting notice, click here.



      Daily Insurance-Related News


      Catastrophe Fund manager sees financing “tool” as potential headache

      A tax credit program for property insurers that’s designed to provide more liquidity and financing for the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund could be more trouble than it’s worth, the fund’s manager says.


      Blog:  Miami-Dade lawmakers, mayor say they worry about their own property-insurance coverage with Citizens Property Insurance

      When it comes to property insurance, at least, Miami-Dade politicians appear to have similar worries to their constituents.


      Letter to the Editor:  Floridians save 30 percent on insurance; state can earn billions, too                              

      Citizens Property is overexposed because it guarantees private insurers’ profits, and foists all of the risk onto Florida taxpayers. This is an obvious recipe for disaster.


      Florida Battles Over Beach Erosion, Costs of Replenishment

      The St. Joseph Peninsula is picture-perfect Florida: 17 miles of sugar sand beach interrupted by a few clusters of homes, each with a million-dollar view of the Gulf of Mexico.


      Moody’s:  Insurers to Benefit from Florida Personal Injury Protection Legislation

      The recent passage of legislation reforming Florida’s personal injury protection auto-insurance system should help combat rising claims costs and insurance rates in the state, and is credit-positive for insurers, according to Moody’s Investors Service.


      Senator Alan Hays Says Senate President Mike Haridopolos Blocked $62 Million Workers’ Compensation Reform

      The failure of a single bill to reach the Senate floor — a controversial one that Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty claimed would lower workers’ compensation costs for businesses — doomed the “parent trigger” for school choice in the final days of the 2012 session.


      U.S. Supreme Court to start hearing Florida’s challenge to health care reform this week

      In exactly a week, the Supreme Court of the United States will begin hearing a legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law that was signed in 2010. Leading the challenge in court is the state of Florida.


      Collier, Lee Counties join counties taking on state over Medicaid payment decision

      County governments across Florida are asking Governor Rick Scott to veto a bill that would require them to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in disputed Medicaid payments to the state.


      Florida women pay extra for health coverage, report says

      Health Insurance costs Florida women as much as 52 percent more than men – up to $1,141 more on average each year -because of a gender gap that has existed for decades, a report said.


      Insurance executive, others now running for new state seat that covers Flagler County                  

      Flagler County’s new district in the Florida House of Representatives is drawing some interest.


      THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Governor Rick Scott Signs Worker Drug Testing Bill

      In a move that likely will draw a constitutional challenge, Governor Rick Scott on Monday signed a controversial bill that would allow random drug testing of state employees.


      Blog:  Governor Rick Scott asks Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate Trayvon Martin’s shooting

      When Florida’s Legislature prepared to pass its now-infamous “Stand Your Ground” law in 2005, gun-control advocates and Democrats predicted the worst.


      2 Republican state senators file alternative Florida redistricting plans

      A pair of Republican senators filed alternative redistricting plans Monday to the one sponsored by Senate Reapportionment Chairman Don Gaetz, setting up a potential intraparty battle over the future of the chamber.


      Representative Mike Weinstein will run for Senate seat

      State Representative Mike Weinstein was dropped into a district with fellow Republican Charles McBurney in the House’s redrawing of political maps.


      New state law prohibits local governments from hiring companies doing business with Syria, Cuba

      A little-noticed piece of legislation that recently passed the state legislature will prohibit local governments from hiring companies that do business with Cuba or Syria.


      Iberiabank agrees to buy Florida Gulf Bancorp

      Regional banker Iberiabank Corp., which has been rapidly expanding across the southeastern United States, agreed Monday to acquire Florida Gulf Bancorp Inc. in a deal valued at up to $43.7 million.


      Recount shows wrong winners declared in two Wellington election races

      The Palm Beach County elections office declared the wrong winners in two of three Wellington races last week because of an error in the county’s vote-tabulating software, Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said Monday.


      Tampa’s tax fraud epidemic gets national scrutiny

      Tampa’s tax refund fraud is getting national attention this week as a city police detective is set to testify before a U.S. Senate subcommittee about what the police chief says “conservatively” amounts to hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer money being stolen in the Tampa Bay area alone.


      THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Miami-Dade Judge Faces Judicial Qualifications Commissioner Hearing  

      A Miami-Dade County judge faces an investigation from the Judicial Qualifications Commission over charges she improperly intervened with a state agency to help a friend and campaign contributor. According to a “notice of formal charges” filed Monday, Judge Ana Pando wrote the Florida Division of Corporations asking it to reinstate Florida Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, Inc., which had been closed for more than five months, in October.

      The report said none of her cases required her to write that letter, meaning Pando essentially practice law for the firm. Less than a month later, companies controlled by Mark Cereceda, the president of Florida Wellness & Rehabilitation Center, contributed a total of $2,000 to her re-election campaign.

      “The fact and the timing of the campaign contributions by Mr. Cereceda through his corporate entities, coupled with your actions on behalf of Mr. Cereceda, give the appearance of impropriety,” says the report, submitted by JQC General Counsel Michael Schneider and Special Counsel Lansing Scriven. Pando has 20 days to respond to the report.


      Florida Cabinet being asked to buy home that houses law offices of outspoken Governor Scott critic

      An attorney who sued Governor Rick Scott before he won election in 2010 and called him “the corporate spawn of Satan” says the state now is trying to buy his law offices out from under him.


      Payout of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Judgment Blocked Again

      A state appeals court has blocked policyholders of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corp. from collecting more than $100 million for the company’s failure to handle claims quickly enough following the 2005 hurricanes.


      Alabama Legislation Offers Insurers $2.5 Million to Take Wind Risk

      An Alabama representative is proposing to offer a $2.5 million incentive to insurers that remove wind risks from the state’s assigned-risk pool.


      Allstate receives state approval to raise Texas home insurance rates

      State Insurance Commissioner Eleanor Kitzman has approved Allstate Insurances increased premiums for homeowners coverage, including a hike between 3.5 percent and 7 percent in the Dallas area.


      New York Agents Tell Senate Panel of Flood Insurance Claims Hassles

      A director of the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of New York told lawmakers and regulators this week that New Yorkers are dealing with unnecessary hassles when they make flood insurance claims.



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