Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, July 13

Jul 13, 2009

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PCI: Insurers are ready in case of disaster

As we head into the active months of the hurricane season, Floridians can take some comfort in knowing that this year lawmakers faced up to the financial risks they created.

They took on the challenge of revitalizing Florida’s property-insurance market.


Property insurance illusions could turn into harsh reality

Magicians will tell you that one of the keys to a successful illusion is the willingness of the audience to believe that what it is seeing is real. The building really is levitating. The elephant really is walking on water.


Sorrow in the sunshine

Sun, sand and seniors are not enough. Florida needs to diversify

Sailors of old sometimes mistook manatees for mermaids, which shows how months at sea quaffing rum and missing female company can cloud one’s vision.


Web Site Estimates Hurricane Damages If Old Storms Returned Today

Today marks the four-year anniversary of Hurricane Dennis, a Category 3 storm that slammed into the panhandle of Florida with sustained winds of 120 m.p.h.


McCollum, Bronson Announce Groundbreaking Settlement in Morgan Stanley Price Gouging Investigation

Attorney General Bill McCollum and Florida Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced a groundbreaking $2.275 million settlement with Morgan Stanley Capital Group Inc. and a subsidiary,


Florida home builder Lennar Corp. stashes cash for drywall

Home builder Lennar Corp. has set aside nearly $40 million to deal with homes that it built using defective Chinese drywall, the company said in a regulatory filing on Friday.


    Column: Homeowner’s dogged persistence pays off in lower insurance premium

    Ed Hoffman is a careful guy. His well-maintained Port St. Lucie home sits on a shady corner lot just off Port St. Lucie Boulevard, not a blade of grass out of place.


    Cape Coral ranked safest city in Florida for driving

    Cape Coral drivers are the safest in Florida, according to an Allstate Insurance Company report released last week.


    Big Bend now better prepared for storms

    At least five counties in the Big Bend are better prepared for hurricanes and other storms than they were a year ago.


    Scientists: Florida Keys Could Be In Danger from Rising Seas

    Treasure salvors searching for an 18th-century wreck in the Florida Straits a few years ago made a fascinating but little noticed discovery. Not buried treasure. Buried land.


    Florida gets $11.2M from EPA for cleanup

    Florida has received $11.2 million in stimulus money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to assess and clean up underground storage tank petroleum leaks.


    No more tax-free smokes; Seminoles, Miccosukees start charging state levy

    Smokers, beware: If you have relied on the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes’ smoke shops as a tax-free haven for cigarettes, think again.


    How the old BankUnited fell apart

    It took 25 years for BankUnited Financial Corp. to blossom into Florida’s largest homegrown financial institution.


    No time for Taylor to settle in: Budget’s urgent

    The freshly painted walls and cherry wood-colored bookshelves in Priscilla Taylor’s new county commission office are bare.


    Tough times? Florida state workers keep perks

    Even as state leaders cut back on education spending while hiking taxes and fees on Floridians, there’s one area they won’t touch: state employee benefits.


    State CFO Alex Sink reimburses state for use of plane

    Alex Sink is leading Bill McCollum in fundraising for governor, but she also has used her campaign cash to repay for use of a state plane.

    State Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is the top fundraiser in the governor’s race, but her financial report released Friday suggests she’s in damage control over her use of state airplanes.


    Kottkamp eyes GOP attorney general race

    So far, even with other statewide races crowded with candidates, Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp is the only big-name Republican talking seriously about running in the GOP primary for attorney general.


    State Senate campaign heats up

    The campaign to succeed Florida’s longest-serving state legislator next year will feature a unique field in one of the hottest races of 2010.


    Race on early for hot seat in state Senate

    State District 25 fight to be noisy, expensive

    Hang on, Broward and Palm Beach County voters. One of the most contentious and expensive political battles of the 2010 election season has already started. Currently a focus of state and local political insiders, it will end up filling your TV screens, mailboxes and e-mail accounts.


    Rubio Predicts He Can Beat Crist

    Republican Marco Rubio doesn’t have the money and recognition Gov. Charlie Crist has, yet the former House speaker is predicting he can still beat Crist if the Senate race is about ideas.


    THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA: Real Housewives of the Crist Campaign 

    Gov. Charlie Crist is taking his U.S. Senate campaign to the Hamptons next week to raise cash at a fund-raiser in the Sag Harbor home of Bobby and Jill Zarin.


    Toll increase, privatization not off the table for Alligator Alley

    Drivers may have dodged the privatization of Alligator Alley when the state received no bidders to lease the road. But that doesn’t mean they got out of a possible toll increase. It also doesn’t mean privatization is off the table.


    Millions in road fixes, once promised by developers, could be jeopardized by new growth law

    As mammoth subdivisions got approved amid worsening traffic congestion during the housing boom, residents were continually assured by local officials that future road improvements were covered by developers.


    U.S. Rep. Grayson of Orlando Loses Millions In Ponzi Scheme

    Congressman Likens Situation To Madoff Scandal

    U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, known on Capitol Hill for aggressively questioning key players in the nation’s financial crisis, has suffered a “financial disaster” of his own, he confirmed to Local 6.


    Editorial: The Time Is Now For A National Disaster Insurance Plan

    This week, the Citizens Property Insurance Board of Governors approved a ten-percent rate increase on premiums.


    Louisiana Citizens Board Delays Policyholder Assessment Decision

    The governing board of Louisiana’s state-backed property insurance firm has postponed for one month a decision on whether to change the fee paid by policyholders to pay off debt incurred because of claims from Hurricane Katrina.


    Swiss Re plans $125 million cat bond for North Carolina

    Swiss Re plans to sell a $125 million catastrophe bond covering losses to North Carolina’s insurer of last resort from hurricanes in the U.S. state, investors and credit rating agency S&P said.


    North Carolina House Committee Approves Cut in Beach Plan Insurance

    A North Carolina House committee seeking a fix for an underfunded coastal insurance program has backed cutting the current coverage maximum of $1.5 million per home by half.


    Guy Carpenter Names Chris McKeown CEO of Global Analytical and Specialty Practices

    Guy Carpenter & Company, LLC, the leading global risk and reinsurance specialist, today announced that it has named Chris McKeown as Chief Executive Officer of Global Analytical and Specialty Practices.


    Producers Head To U.S. Capitol

    A thousand insurance agents and brokers will converge on Washington D.C. this week to lobby members of Congress and their staffs on health reform.


    Towers Perrin, Watson Wyatt Merger Could Shake Up Employee Benefits Industry

    Last month, the two professional services firms said they would combine in a $3.5 billion deal.


    New Jersey increases surplus lines premium tax rates

    The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance recently issued Bulletin 09-21, which advises that amendments to N.J.S.A. § 17:22-6.59 and 17:22-6.64 were enacted on June 29, 2009. The amendments change the surplus lines premium tax rate from three percent to five percent.


    Alabama Legislator: ‘Hurricane’ of Federal Bills Challenge State-Based Regulation

    State-based oversight is why “Rome is not on fire” when it comes to insurance regulation, and that system must be defended against a “hurricane” of federal intrusions, the chairman of a key National Conference of Insurance Legislators’ committee said.


    Insurers to Pay $2.8M in New Jersey Strip-Search Settlement

    A southern New Jersey county has approved a $4 million settlement that could end a class-action lawsuit over strip searches done at its jail.


    Ward Group Identifies 2009 Ward’s 50 Top Performing Insurance Companies

    The list of Ward’s 50 top performing insurance companies was released by Ward Group, an operational consulting firm and leading provider of benchmarking and best practices services to the insurance industry.


    Conning Research: Property-Casualty Forecast Through 2011 Released

    Results for the property-casualty industry over the next few years will be driven by the 2009 recession, mixed insurance premium pricing momentum, and modestly deteriorating underwriting results, according to the most recent Property-Casualty Industry Forecast by Conning Research and Consulting.


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