Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, April 12

Apr 12, 2010



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Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty:  Facts Should Guide Insurance Debate

The 2010 Legislative Sessions has featured numerous bills purporting to “fix” the insurance marketplace.


Head or heart? The Florida Legislature tackles the property insurance reform package

In the next few weeks, members of the Florida Legislature will have to choose between their heads and their hearts.


Expect insurance chaos if hurricane hits hard

The water is warm, the upper atmosphere is calming, and so the hurricanes are predicted to howl this season.


House Keys Blog

Does Florida deserve an “F” for home insurance?

The Heartland Institute, a conservative, free-market think tank, gave only two states an “F” for their property insurance environment: Florida and New York.


Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association Renews Agreement with Dovetail Insurance Corporation

Dovetail Insurance Corporation today announced that the FAJUA, an automobile residual market of last resort in Florida, has extended their agreement with Dovetail Insurance Corporation under which Dovetail will continue to provide technology and back office services to the Association.


Florida Insurance Commissioner McCarty Orders Entities to Cease, Desist Sale of Unlicensed Insurance Products.

Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty announced the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has issued two separate cease and desist orders to companies for selling unauthorized surety insurance. Surety insurance involves a bond that guarantees the performance of a contract – most often related to construction projects.


Florida realtors hid bad drywall, suit alleges

Couple bought vacation home in North Venice with tainted wallboard despite request for inspection, they say

William Candelaria and his wife, Sarah Turpie, say their Prudential real estate agents deliberately ignored their request to have a Chinese drywall inspection last March after the couple learned that contaminated wallboard was used in the area.


Rider tacked on life insurance bill to give McCollum more ammo in suit against health-care law

A seemingly innocuous bill dealing with life insurance policies suddenly morphed into a measure expanding Attorney General Bill McCollum’s lawsuit challenging the new federal health-care law in a contentious House meeting today.


Florida lawmakers to spend time on Medicaid, corruption, redistricting

As legislators launch into their last three weeks of session, they will spend next week on several controversial bills ranging from Medicaid reform to abortion and even the touchy question of how far to extend the relationship between church and state.


Owner of Miami-Dade, Orlando clinics to plead guilty to Medicare fraud

Ihosvany Marquez spent his Medicare millions on a fleet of luxury cars, authorities say, including a Lamborghini Murcielago with spaceshiplike doors that cost $455,959.


Will Florida take a cut? Red-light cameras make millions — but may be in peril

Cameras that catch motorists running red lights are generating millions of dollars for cities such as Orlando and Apopka, but the future of the programs is uncertain – thanks to the Florida Legislature.


Booster seat law unlikely to get through Florida Legislature this year

Cynthia Dennis could use a little help. But she won’t be getting it from the Florida Legislature this year.


Auto insurers with a twist

Manatee County’s Project Invest teaches high schoolers about the realities of the insurance industry

They weren’t your usual auto insurance company names – Crash Inc., Fortune Auto Insurance, Cobra, Classy Cats Inc. and Wizard Lizard.


Florida pension fund has $600M in CMBS investments

In the last few years, commercial mortgage-backed securities have been a favorite investment for public money, including Florida’s pension fund for state workers.


Crist: Nays Outnumbering Yeas on Teacher Bill

Crisscrossing state as part of his U.S. Senate bid, governor hears plenty of opposition to teacher pay proposal.

Gov. Charlie Crist had barely set foot inside this huge retirement center Saturday when retired teacher Bill Smith stuck out his hand and offered some blunt advice that set the tone for a day of campaigning.


Bill Breaking Up Public Service Commission Faces Stiff Opposition

Governor, Senate oppose House attempt to pull agency’s teeth.

A bill breaking up the Public Service Commission and its regulatory staff and making other sweeping changes has been approved by a House committee, setting it on a collision course with the Senate and the governor.


Florida House committee approves renewable energy bill

A House committee passed a sweeping renewables bill — but not without criticism.

A House committee gave approval Friday to a bill that uses tax breaks, government-backed loans and $400 million of electricity rate hikes in an attempt to spark a renewable energy revolution in Florida and drive down the use of dirty fossil fuels.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  House panel OKs bill to help Florida towns lure spring training teams from Arizona

The House Appropriations Committee unanimously approved a bill (HB 7205) that would make money available to Florida communities trying to lure baseball teams away from Arizona for spring training.


Column:  Crist, lawmakers ready to rumble – with each other

Gov. Charlie Crist is scrambling to balance his teetering U.S. Senate campaign by striking out against one of the only institutions more unpopular with voters than he appears to be: the Florida Legislature.


Tourism: State lawmakers trim promotion funds

As state lawmakers move toward finishing work on another grim government budget, the outlook isn’t good for a tourism industry hoping for more money to promote Florida vacations.


Space Coast jobs at stake with shuttle program’s end

With the space shuttle program winding down and no clear successor to take its place, Florida’s Space Coast is wondering what comes next. What is clear is that thousands of jobs and billions of dollars are at stake.


Marco Rubio campaign raises three times more than Charlie Crist in quarter

Looks like Gov. Charlie Crist’s reign as the heavyweight champion of Florida fund-raising is officially over.


Florida Congressional candidate Ted Deutch crushing opponents in financial race

Special election for Congressional District 19 will be Tuesday

The special election is Tuesday, and Democratic congressional candidate Ted Deutch holds a commanding advantage in contributions, taking in more than $1.5 million since launching his campaign last fall.


Florida House panel approves school-prayer measure

At the urging of a recent Pace High School student-body president, and over the warnings of civil libertarians, a House panel Friday unanimously approved a watered-down school-prayer measure that sponsors hope will protect religious freedom.


Florida’s stimulus dollars slowly fixing homes, hiring workers

Government red tape and training requirements have slowed the pace of a “weatherization” program in South Florida and across the country that was supposed to kick-start the economy, create jobs and help low-income residents reduce utility bills.


Blog:  State Farm ensuring Texas rate rationale remains hidden

State Farm really doesn’t want us to know how it determines it rates, even though it seems to constantly need to raise them.


Senate to Consider Restarting Flood Insurance Program Today

Congress today could advance a provision reinstating the flood insurance program as part of a bill extending unemployment benefits and subsidies for COBRA health insurance premiums.


Judge approves $110M settlement in E-Ferol case

A federal judge has approved a $110 million class-action settlement against the manufacturer and distributor of an intravenous vitamin E supplement that federal officials have linked to the deaths of dozens of premature infants in the mid-1980s. David Taylor, a Dallas attorney who represented the companies, said both stopped doing business about 20 years ago but their liability insurance would pay the settlement.


Marsh Unveils Breakthrough Service to Help Clients Worldwide Monitor Financial Strength of Insurance Companies

As finance and risk executives in all parts of the world strive to strengthen their risk governance and manage their counterparty risk, Marsh today unveiled Marsh Market Information a breakthrough service that enables clients worldwide to monitor the financial condition of their insurance companies 24/7.


Blog:  Insurance leaders call for federal reinsurance aid

It’s time for the federal government to step in and lower the cost of reinsurance.


NAIC May Change Designations Use Rules

Regulators should find a new way to keep insurers from using the Securities Valuation Office as a borrower stability monitor, an SVO official says.


Hurricane warnings to go beyond wind speed

Forecasters have long slotted hurricanes into five familiar categories, based solely on wind speed, as a shorthand way to convey the dangers posed by approaching storms.

But this year, all hurricane threats — from wind, storm surge, inland flooding and tornadoes — will get equal attention using a tiered advisory ranging from no danger at the low end to “extreme” at the high end.


Research may help predict number of tornadoes prior to hurricane landfall

Folks in Bedford County, Pa., a beautiful farming community in the south central part of the state, watched the news reports as Hurricane Ivan made landfall in the Florida Panhandle. The powerful storm was one of four hurricanes to strike Florida during a six-week span from August to September in 2004.


David Sampson, PCI president and CEO:  Dodd Bill Could Be Risky For P&C Insurance Sector 

At first glance, Senate Banking Committee Chair Christopher Dodd’s plan to create an Office of National Insurance, incorporated in his financial regulatory reform bill, might seem harmless.


Micro-insurance plans extend health care in Africa

Kenyan student Shadrack Silipo had a heart operation five years ago, the sort of surgery that often bankrupts families in Africa.


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