Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Tuesday, November 15

Nov 15, 2011


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.  To view the complete agenda, click here

  • Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund presentation

10:00 a.m.–Florida Division of Agent and Agency Services Proposed Rule Hearing.  The Rules below pertaining to long-term care insurance are being proposed for repeal since they are duplicative of their corresponding Rule in Chapter 69O-157. To view the hearing notice, click here.

(CANCELED) 10:00 a.m.–Florida Surplus Lines Service Office (“FSLSO”) meeting.  A meeting of either the FSLSO Board of Governors or National Clearinghouse Committee is scheduled to occur.  To view the meeting notice, click here.


    Daily Florida Insurance-Related Bills Filed for 2012


    SB 938 relating to Insurance Agents and Adjusters by Senator Garrett Richter

    SB 938 would delete a requirement that an insurer pay an agent tax for each county in which an agent represents the insurer and has a place of business.  It would revise the definitions of “adjuster” and “home state,” as well as provisions relating to who may bind insurance coverage. Continuing education requirements would be addressed, as would the ability for persons on active military duty to seek a waiver from these requirements.  Further, SB 938 would revise provisions relating to the purpose of the general lines and personal lines license and certain requirements related to general lines and personal lines agents.  Persons transacting mortgage guaranty insurance would be required to be licensed and appointed as a credit insurance agent.  Effective Date:  October 1, 2012, except as otherwise provided.


    HB 645 relating to Public Records/Title Insurance Data/Florida Department of Financial Services by State Representative George Moraitis Jr.

    Linked to HB 643, HB 645 would provide exemption from public records requirements for specified financial information supplied periodically by a licensed title insurance agency to the Florida Department of Financial Services (“DFS”) in order to assist the agency in certain analysis with respect to the title insurance industry.  Effective Date: On the same date that HB 643 or similar legislation takes effect, if such legislation is adopted in the same legislative session, or an extension thereof, and becomes law.


    HB 643 relating to Title Insurance by State Representative George Moraitis Jr.

    HB 643 specifies continuing education requirements for title insurance agents and authorizes the DFS to contract with a private entity for services related to such continuing education.  The bill would require attorney-owned entities that engage in business as a title insurance agency to be licensed as a title insurance agency with a designated agent in charge.  The bill would delete specified financial security and bond requirements, as well as increase the amount of a fidelity bond, and the amount of the applicable deductible.  Requirements applicable to the designation of an agent in charge are specified, along with a penalty for failing to designate an agent in charge.  HB 643 specifies additional grounds to deny, suspend, revoke, or refuse to renew or continue the license or appointment of a title insurance agent or agency.  The bill also would require an attorney serving as a title or real estate settlement agent to deposit and maintain certain funds in a separate trust account, which would be permitted to be audited by the applicable title insurer, unless prohibited by the rules of the Florida Bar. Procedures and requirements relating to approval or disapproval of title insurance forms by the DFS are provided within the bill, which specifies requirements for the submission of documents or information to the DFS in order for a person to claim a document is a trade secret.  HB 643 requires title insurance agencies and certain insurers to submit specified information to the DFS to assist in analysis of title insurance premium rates, title search costs and condition of the title insurance industry.  Finally, the bill authorizes the DFS to adopt specified rules relating to title insurance, such as penalties for willful violation of such rules.  Requirements that title insurance agents or agencies must meet in order to distribute funds relating to certain real estate sales or purchases are specified.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2012



    Daily Insurance-Related News


    Florida Last-Resort Insurer Takes List of Changes to Lawmakers

    Florida’s largest property insurer wants sweeping changes, including the ability to charge higher rates, in the coming year.


    At urging of Governor Rick Scott, Citizens Property Insurance Board considers reforms

    At its meeting Monday, the board of Citizens Property Insurance looked at past years’ legislation as they examined how to reduce the number of the state-backed insurer’s 1.4 million policies.


    THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Citizens Property Insurance Board backs redux of 2011 bill

    Pressured by the Governor and Cabinet to come up with specific fixes, governing board members of the state-backed insurance pool on Monday said they’ll resurrect a legislative proposal that died  earlier this year with the hope it will be considered more favorably during a redistricting and election year session.


    Florida’s HomeWise Continues in Run-Off; Sells Louisiana Policies

    Florida-based HomeWise Insurance Co. is now is full run-off mode as it attempts to pay all outstanding claims and other debts in order to avoid being taken over by Florida regulators.


    Florida’s fight against automobile insurance fraud

    Fighting automobile insurance fraud is a top priority for Governor Rick Scott, key legislators, regulators and the insurance industry this year because they say it’s driving up premiums.


    U.S. Supreme Court takes on Florida challenge to federal health-care overhaul

    Florida’s high-stakes legal challenge to the the federal health care overhaul will be decided by the U.S Supreme Court.


    Merck Settles Vioxx Suits from New York, Florida, South Carolina

    Merck & Co. has reached settlements to resolve lawsuits from the states of New York, Florida and South Carolina alleging the company misled state regulators about the dangers of the painkiller Vioxx, according to court filings.


    Florida’s push for specific waiver in health-care law could have big implications

    A seemingly obscure regulatory battle in Florida could upend efforts to implement health-care reform nationwide.


    Panel:  Florida pension chief had no conflict of interest

    State pension chief Ash Williams did not have a conflict of interest when he approved a $125 million investment in a hedge fund managed by a private sector colleague, an advisory panel for the State Board of Administration said Monday.


    Florida one of first states to seek waiver on No Child Left Behind law

    Florida is among the first states to seek a waiver from the federal No Child Left Behind law.


    Senate revisits proposed caps on property taxes

    Senator David Simmons is proposing SJR 314, which would replace Amendment 4, last session’s effort at limiting property taxes, on the ballot in 2012.


    Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam warns of pest, disease problems

    The 78th annual meeting of Citrus World Inc. on Monday at Lake Wales Country Club proceeded like one of those good news/bad news stories.


    More changes could be coming for Texas windstorm insurance

    Lawmakers have been making changes in the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association since Hurricane Ike devastated the state’s upper Gulf Coast three years ago.


    U.S. House Subcommittee to Address Bills to Roll Back Federal Oversight

    A House subcommittee will hold a hearing Wednesday and the main subject will be three pieces of legislation sought by state regulators seeking to severely roll back federal authority to oversee insurance companies gained in the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial services reform law.



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