Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report – Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Nov 7, 2017

Hurricane Irma Claims Reach $5.5 Billion

In the eight weeks since Irma rampaged through the State, the estimated Insured Losses from Property Owners now stands at $5.55 Billion, according to an updated Report Monday from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.  John Hielscher reports for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Florida Lawmakers Announce Legislation Targeting “Modern-Day Piracy” by Bringing Price Transparency for Florida Boaters

The related Bills, SB 664 and HB 469, would require Maritime Salvage and Towing Companies to provide Boaters with the option of a Written Cost Estimate before rendering Assistance on the water.

To Fight Opioid Crisis, Florida’s Largest Insurer Stops Covering OxyContin

Florida Blue is taking the action because the abundance of Opioids Prescribed to its more than 5 Million Members represents a risk for abuse and provides evidence that Doctors are doling out more than Patients need of the powerful but addictive drug.  The Miami Herald’s Dan Chang reports.

Sarasota Memorial Declares Impasse In Insurer Contract

In yet another Standoff between Health Care Providers and a Major Insurance Company, Sarasota Memorial Hospital announced Thursday that the Health Care System has “Not Yet been able to Renew” its Contract with UnitedHealthcare.  Barbara Peters Smith reports for the Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

Combee Chosen as New USDA State Director, Will Leave Florida House

State Representative Neil Combee, R-Polk City, has been Appointed as State Director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency.  John Chambliss reports for the Lakeland Ledger.

Governor Sets Date For Clemens Seat Elections

The Election Dates were suggested by Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher, who took into consideration Requirements such as a State Law that Mandates at least 45 Days before an Election to mail Ballots to Military Personnel and Overseas Voters.  The Palm Beach Post’s George Bennett reports.

·         Shocker! Governor Rejects Dem Chair’s Plea On Special Election Date

·         Representative David Silvers Will Not Run In Special Senate Election To Replace Clemens


Sexual Harassment Allegations Create “Awkward” Mood In Senate

Senator Rob Bradley, a Fleming Island Republican, took over as the upper Chamber’s Powerful Budget Chief Monday after Senate President Joe Negron told Senator Jack Latvala to step aside, at least for now.  THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA’s Dara Kam reports for the “Truth or Dara” blog.

·         Latvala Steps Aside As Senate Budget Chief, Postpones Campaign Event

·         Can Florida Senate Fairly Judge Sexual Harassment Claims Against Its Members, Staff?

Governor Rick Scott Proposes $180 Million In Tax Cuts

The Proposed Fee and Tax Cuts come as the Legislature faces a tight Budget for the upcoming Fiscal Year.  THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA’s Jim Turner reports via the Florida Times-Union.

Florida State Suspends All Greek Life After Pledge’s Death, Cocaine Arrest

Florida State is at least the third University this year to Suspend Greek Life because of Alcohol-Related Tragedies.  Joe Reedy reports for the Orlando Sentinel.

Francis Rooney Named Vice-Chair Of House Foreign Affairs Committee

Freshman U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney of Florida has been named Vice Chairman of the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee.  Scott Powers reports for

Global Re/Insurers Lobby Against “Unfathomable” House Tax Bill

Global Insurers would incur a Levy on the Cost of “Reinsurance” they Buy from Foreign Affiliates.  Bloomberg’s Lynnley Browning reports via Insurance Journal.

Auto Insurance Reform Bill Defeated In Michigan House

A Bill to Reduce Auto Insurance Premiums was defeated late on November 2 by the Michigan House, another blow for longstanding efforts to rein in Medical Costs contributing to the Highest Average Rates in the Country.  The Associated Press’ David Eggert reports via Insurance Journal.

Rebirth Of The Great American Shipyard

Jones Act Defenders argue that the Protected Domestic Shipping Lines sustain a cohort of Commercial Seafarers ready to serve the Country in case of National Emergency.  But in just such an Emergency – the Devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria – the limited supply of Jones Act-Eligible Vessels artificially inflated Operating Costs.  Texas candidate for U.S. Senate Stefano de Stefano explains in

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