Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, April 11

Apr 14, 2008


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State Farm to cut Florida home insurance rates by 9 percent, pay rebates

State Farm bowed to pressure from Florida officials by agreeing Tuesday to cut customers’ home insurance prices.

Allstate Releases Claims-Handling Documents, But Keeps Some Under Wraps

Allstate’s reluctant release of some 150,000 pages of documentation—including a consultant’s controversial recommendations on claims-handling long sought by insurance departments, courts and consumer advocates—does not satisfy Florida regulators, with the company still fighting to keep certain documents from public view.

Allstate’s Surrender May Give State Long-Awaited Answers

Charlie Crist ran for governor promising his election would bring lower property insurance rates.

Federal regulation could be an option for property insurers

At a recent insurance conference, Allstate Corp.’s investor relations chief was giving a rundown of how many states sell certain products.

Not all windstorm rates equal; Citizens Property Insurance not only game in town

Windstorm insurance rates may be lower than you think, thanks to added insurance company competition in Florida.

Mediating claims

A lawsuit contends many insurers failed to notify homeowners about a state program that could help them settle disputes over claims.

After the hurricanes of 2004, Florida created a mediation program to help homeowners resolve claim disputes quickly so residents could begin rebuilding their houses.

Barney Bishop: Support restructuring of Florida’s catastrophe fund

Floridians are facing an enormous financial risk as the 2008 hurricane season nears.

Wilma victims still need help some three years later

As hurricane season nears, many Immokalee families are still waiting for Wilma relief.

How mediation works for consumers

Why is mediation a good deal for homeowners?

Insurance Policies Net Wal-Mart $9 Million

Wal-Mart received more than $9 million from life insurance it took out on 132 rank-and-file employees in Florida, the company says in a federal court filing Friday.

Crist’s health insurance plan faces rocky road at Legislature

Gov. Charlie Crist is campaigning hard around the state for his health-insurance plan, aimed at offering low-cost coverage to 3.8 million uninsured Floridians.

Legislative session ‘end game’ begins this week

Budget negotiations commence and the health insurance debate continues this week as lawmakers begin the end game for a session set to close in three weeks.

EDITORIAL: Some of legislators’ budget cuts don’t even make financial sense

Florida’s lawmakers are closing in on a state budget that reflects too little concern for the needy, too little creativity to stem government waste and, glaringly, far too little common sense.

Today is ‘do or die’ for state tax plan

The third time may be the charm, or it could be a strikeout, for a proposed state constitutional amendment that would cap state and local taxes, fees and other revenues.

Michael Peltier: Tax proposal is splitting GOP ranks

A proposal to reduce property taxes in exchange for hiking the state sales tax has split conservative Republicans, who are arguing whether the measure makes taxes more equitable or is a bait and switch that will end up costing Floridians more.

Agency that controls Florida growth could lose popular grant program

Secretary Tom Pelham’s agency has to be the “police force of growth,” he says.

Measure limits CSX’s liability in case of commuter-rail crashes

The state plans to set up a $200M fund for commuter-rail crash victims.

The state’s commuter-rail deal with CSX Corp. is starting to pick up steam in the Legislature.

Florida’s first Cuban-American Supreme Court Justice, Cantero, to quit

Leaves High Court to return to private practice

Florida’s first Cuban-American Supreme Court Justice, Raoul Cantero, will resign from the state’s highest court Sept. 6.

Pundits split on Crist’s vice president shot

Republican presidential candidate John McCain will never pick Gov. Charlie Crist to be his running mate.

Florida budget cuts endanger cybercrime investigations

Barely a year ago, Attorney General Bill McCollum and legislative leaders were ready for a statewide assault on the cyber-predators who stalk online chat rooms in search of sex with children.

Recession-Proof Your Insurance Needs

MarketWatch’s Marshall Loeb Offers Expert Tips On Staying Covered In Tough Times

Most consumers depend on their employer for their health, life and disability insurance.

Tornadoes Packing Punch of Some Major Hurricanes, New A.M. Best Research Finds

Packing wind speeds sometimes in excess of 300 mph, tornadoes are presenting insurers with another natural catastrophe fear factor.

Insurers Seek More Agent Cooperation To Get Real-Time Efforts Up To Speed

Ever since insurers started using computers to do business, independent agents have been asking for technology-enabled interfaces with carriers to allow for easier, faster and more efficient rating, administration and processing.

Drug Diversions Sting Insurers, Says Report

Insurance fraud is the main financier and enabler of illicit sales of addictive painkiller prescription drugs diverted to the black market, a study by the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud has found.

Report: Underwriting Hurt Insurers’ Bottom Lines in 2007

Steep declines in underwriting profits hurt bottom lines for property casualty insurers, which saw their 2007 profits slip slightly from a year earlier, a new report from three industry groups says.

Feds Give Georgia $20M in Grants for Disaster Response Measures

Georgia Gov. Sonny Perdue announced the release of $20 million in Public Safety Interoperable Communications grants for his state from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

La. State Senator Indicted on Insurance Fraud, Conspiracy Charges

A federal grand jury on April 10 indicted a Louisiana state senator on charges he conspired to launder money for a convicted felon accused of operating an illegal insurance business.

Louisiana Supreme Court Rules Flood Damage Exclusion Is Not Vague

The Louisiana Supreme Court handed the insurance industry a major victory last week with a ruling that there is nothing vague about a policy excluding “flood” damage—a decision that the defendant’s attorney said could save insurers between $20 billion and $30 billion.

U.S. 9th Circuit: Countersignature Laws Illegal

A federal appeals court panel has for the first time ruled that laws requiring out-of-state agents writing business to get a countersignature from an in-state agent are unconstitutional.

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