Capitol to Courthouse Florida Insurance Report: Wednesday, December 28

Dec 28, 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


There are no Florida insurance-related events scheduled today.



Daily Florida Insurance-Related Bills Filed for 2012


SB 1372 Relating to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund by Senator J.D. Alexander

SB 1372 would provide for the calculation of an insurer’s reimbursement premium and retention under the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (“FHCF”) Reimbursement Contract.  It also would revise coverage levels available under the FHCF Reimbursement Contract, as well as revise aggregate coverage limits and providing for the phase-in of changes to coverage levels and limits.  The FHCF cash build-up factor included in reimbursement premiums would be revised under SB 1372, which also would establish a phase-in and reduce maximum allowable emergency assessments.  The name of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Finance Corporation would be changed by the bill.  Further, provisions of law relating to temporary emergency options for additional coverage would be repealed.  Effective Date:  Upon becoming a law.



Daily Insurance-Related News


Blog:  Florida State University report — Citizens insurance should raise rates and reduce coverage

Citizens Property Insurance should raise rates by more than the 10 percent allowed under state law and it should reduce coverage, according to a recent report from Florida State University’s storm risk management center.


Thousands of South Floridians lose insurance discounts after Citizens’ inspections

Some firms that granted discounts for policyholders now take them away for insurers

Citizens Property Insurance recently sent an inspector to verify that Sandy Teich was entitled to the discounts she had obtained for protecting her Coconut Creek home against hurricanes.


Palm Beach Gardens considers season-long hurricane shutters

Hurricane shutters are practically a necessity in south Florida. Palm Beach Gardens is thinking of allowing people to close them up all summer. Under the plan, it would be legal to close your shutters from June through November.


Blog:  Mind if your hurricane insurance rates increase now to avoid possible rate hikes later?

Lawmakers want to shrink a state program that sells cheap catastrophe back up coverage to insurers.


Florida Wildlife Federation:  Spread the risk in storm-prone Florida

We concur with the Dec. 1 editorial Hot and hotter and believe that the United States should lead the way on international climate policy. The piece convincingly argues that Florida’s leaders should implement changes to address the state’s current and increasing vulnerability to storms, flooding and rise in sea level.


Blog:  Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate — Insurer-backed reforms should require lower premiums

Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Wescott backed insurers’ calls for changing personal injury protection insurance laws to fight fraud and abuse in a report she released last week.


Former Florida Director of Insurance Fraud:  Personal Injury Protection fraud is a billion-dollar industry

With the possibility of real and much needed reform proposed by Gov. Rick Scott and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, members of the Florida Justice Association (formerly the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers) are predictably becoming vocal in an attempt to downplay the magnitude of “PIP” (personal injury protection) fraud that is victimizing honest citizens in Florida.


Editorial:  Sworn testimony needed at insurance hearings

A new study by the Americans for Insurance Reform should reverberate in Tallahassee as Gov. Rick Scott and state lawmakers prepare to reform no-fault auto insurance, including personal injury protection, or PIP.


Measure filed in Florida House to curb claims bills

A South Florida Republican has proposed placing new restrictions on claims bills, limiting which lawmakers can file the bills and barring lobbyists from collecting contingency fees for getting the measures passed.


General revenue figures expected the first week of session

The state’s Office of Economic and Demographic Research on Tuesday scheduled a Jan. 12 general revenue estimating conference, which will guide state budget-writers during the regularly scheduled session, which starts Jan. 10.


Florida Legislators Likely to Cut Budget Again; No Raise in Taxes

Lawmakers head into the annual session facing a nearly $2 billion gap

It’s almost becoming an annual rite each year in Tallahassee: Another year, another billion-dollar plus budget shortfall.


Florida Bar withdraws complaint against foreclosure attorney

The Bar had filed its complaint with the Florida Supreme Court in June asking that David J. Stern be disciplined for ignoring a 5th District Court of Appeal order in a foreclosure case where his firm represented SunTrust Bank.


Florida to share in $538 million electronics price-fixing settlement

The complaint alleged the defendants conspired to prevent competition and to increase prices for TFT-LCD panels used in such devices as desktop monitors, laptop screens, and flat panel televisions.


National Public Radio on the effect of moving up the Florida primary

As early absentee ballots start going out for the Jan. 31 presidential primary in Florida, NPR has a story about what, if anything, moving it up to that date has done.


Q&A with Speaker Designate Will Weatherford

The future speaker will likely be presiding over a major debate over higher education in the years to come. But he says that tenure for professors is near the bottom of his list of issues worth addressing.


Florida Department of Juvenile Justice targets six employees for dismissal over teen’s death in lockup

Florida juvenile justice administrators have fired two detention center employees from West Palm Beach – and initiated actions to fire four others – five months after they were linked to the death of an 18-year-old youth at the lockup.


Mississippi Court Overturns Insurer’s Win in Katrina Wind vs. Water Case

The Mississippi Supreme Court has overturned a judgment for an insurance company in a wind vs. water case involving a Pascagoula home hit by 6.3 feet of storm surge during Hurricane Katrina in 2005.


Court OKs AIG’s $450 million workers compensation settlement  

A federal judge has approved American International Group Inc’s $450 million settlement with rival insurers to end litigation accusing AIG of underreporting premiums on workers’ compensation policies.


Obama Administration Decides Against Lowering Trucker Daily Hours

The Obama administration decided against a cut in truckers’ daily hours behind the wheel, to the dismay of safety advocates, but made other changes aimed at fighting driver fatigue.




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