Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Friday, Oct. 12

Oct 12, 2007

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Crist inks PIP bill, but road not clear
TALLAHASSEE — When Gov. Charlie Crist signed a bill Thursday to reinstate Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system, he said it would protect consumers.


Lawmakers pass $1.1 billion budget cut, tuition increase

Florida’s budget could shrink by about $1.1 billion and college students may pay higher tuition due to legislation passed Friday in response to a shortfall in tax revenue blamed mainly on a housing slump.


Insurer draws state inquiry

Many say payouts after Hurricane Charley in 2004 were insufficient.

Allegations from an Arcadia area resident that United Casualty Insurance Co. of America underpaid the claim on his home after it was severely damaged by Hurricane Charley in 2004 and then canceled his policy has drawn the attention of the Florida Department of Financial Services.


It’s getting tougher to find insurance coverage for mobile homes

Think it’s hard to find homeowners insurance for a single-family, site-built home?  Try finding coverage if you live in an older manufactured, or mobile, home.


Judge dismisses petition to close collusion probe

TALLAHASSEE – A Leon County circuit judge has dismissed a Florida property insurer’s petition to shut down the Office of Insurance Regulation’s wide-ranging collusion investigation.


DOR chief says relationship not a potential for conflict

Despite her 11-year romantic relationship with a prominent Tallahassee tax attorney and lobbyist, Florida’s newest Department of Revenue chief said her agency’s reputation won’t suffer when she takes the reins next week.


Fabulous prefab

Fast. Efficient. Strong. Precast concrete walls cut building time, offer better insulation and stand up to hurricane winds.


FEMA writing response plans for disasters in Fla., other states

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is quietly drawing up plans for a handful of disasters: devastating earthquakes beneath San Francisco and St. Louis and catastrophic storms in South Florida and Hawaii, FEMA’s chief said Thursday.


Insurer to pay up to $500,000 in probe

Insurer HealthMarkets — under investigation by 36 states and facing a lawsuit by the Massachusetts attorney general — has agreed to pay up to $500,000 to settle concerns raised about its business practices in Delaware.


Ratings firm warns of consequences of missing deadline to renew Terrorism Risk Insurance Act 

A failure to extend the federal backstop for terrorism risk would trigger a “broad reduction in lending” to the commercial real estate industry and potentially widespread defaults and downgrades in securities backed by commercial mortgages, one of the leading ratings firms, Fitch Ratings, warned on Tuesday.


Mass. AG Calls for 18% Cut in Home Insurance Rates Charged by FAIR Plan

Homeowners insurance rates for many in Massachusetts insured through the state’s secondary market insurer, the FAIR Plan, would drop 18 percent if Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley gets her way.


Home insurance relief likely to be hit-or-miss

Florida’s property insurance rate reform is shaping up to be the proverbial mixed bag and, so far, something well short of what politicians and regulators promised.


Gambling industry puts $800,000 in GOP pot

Florida’s ailing gambling industry, betting on the Republican-led Legislature to come to the rescue, has anted up $800,000 to the state party in the past three months, most of it at House-sponsored fundraisers.


Allen jury selection starts today

Judge responds to request for speedy trial

Embattled state Rep. Bob Allen may have his day in court sooner than he thought.


Eight charged in U.S. Export-Import bank fraud scheme

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Eight people have been charged in connection with an $80 million scheme to defraud the Export-Import Bank of the United States, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.


Hospital wards off fake doctor

TAMPA — At Tampa General Hospital, the tall, dark-haired man in blue hospital scrubs called himself ‘Dr. David.’ He parked and dined alongside the hospital’s physicians and once helpfully checked out a hospital employee’s aching knee at no charge.


Insurers offer in-car devices to let parents monitor teen drivers

CHICAGO – When 17-year-old Anna Kinderman takes a turn too fast in her parents’ sedan or jams the brakes too hard, she apologizes aloud even when no one else is in the car. ‘Sorry, Dad,’ she says, looking up at the camera on the rear-view mirror.


HPD raids four body shops suspected of insurance fraud

Houston police raided four area body shops this week as part of a two-year undercover investigation into auto insurance fraud.