Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, June 21

Jun 21, 2010


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Miami Chinese drywall verdict is in: $2.5 million

About two-and-a-half years after a Miami couple first wondered about the strange odor in their home, a Miami-Dade jury awarded them $2.5 million in damages and expenses Friday, blaming odors and corrosion problems on defective Chinese drywall.


New Florida collateral rules “win-win” situation

Last Friday, insurance regulators in Florida, one of the largest property insurance and reinsurance markets in the world, loosened collateral requirements for XL Re, a global reinsurer based in Bermuda. 


States, Feds May Follow Fla. On Reinsurance Collateral Requirements

Global reinsurers and their bondholders are poised to benefit as more U.S. jurisdictions look to follow Florida’s lead on easing global reinsurers’ collateral requirements, according to a Moody’s Investors Service analysis.


High-risk insurance pools to enroll chronically ill starting July 1

Analysts warn that federal officials should take heed of Florida’s experience

If the federal government’s plan to offer moderately priced, last-resort health insurance to Americans with chronic illnesses sounds familiar to Floridians, it is.


Florida Court Rejects $11 Million Award Against Mitsubishi

A Maine couple shouldn’t receive $11 million from Mitsubishi Motors for the 2004 death of their son, the Fourth District Court of Appeals ruled last week.


Response command structure changing

Decision-making being pushed to the local level

Sixty days into the Deepwater Horizon disaster, the command structure for the response is getting an overhaul.


Local governments in Florida spending millions on oil spill response

County and local governments are spending millions to respond to the oil spill.  The contracts range from multi-million deals to rent and deploy thousands of feet of boom to hundreds of dollars for neon-bright T-shirts.


Florida doubles down on public pensions

Chasing bigger investment returns, the agency that manages Florida’s $113.8 billion public pension fund wants to make far riskier investment bets.


Florida remains no. 1 state for mortgage fraud

The FBI released its yearly mortgage fraud report Thursday, along with the results of a federal sweep that saw nearly 500 arrests and some 1,215 people charged in cases involving costs of an estimated $2.3 billion.


Florida gains 38,300 jobs in 10 years

Florida has gained 38,300 private-sector jobs over the past decade.


No surprises as candidates qualify by deadline

Lawton “Bud” Chiles is moving ahead with his independent bid for governor.  Chiles, the son of the late Florida governor with the same name, got his filing papers into the Secretary of State’s office shortly before the noon deadline Friday.


Unopposed, 35 win House, Senate, Congressional elections without campaigning

Without kissing a single baby, dozens of Florida candidates, including one for Congress, were elected or re-elected this year with no effort other than filling out a form and paying a filing fee.


Crist’s edge over Rubio appears to be growing

A new Florida Chamber of Commerce poll suggests Charlie Crist may be widening his lead over Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek in the U.S. Senate race.


Oil disaster has reshaped Alex Sink’s campaign

Never mind the voice coaches who worked to get Alex Sink to soften her southern twang, or the image makers who urged her to be more aggressive, or the handlers who lined up free TV time.


Tea partyers grab attention as 19 file to run for state office in Florida

A bunch of candidates qualified for state races right before the deadline, and some sparked controversy

A flurry of candidates qualified for dozens of state races before Friday’s noon deadline, creating a few surprises and prompting conspiracy theories among some political observers.


4 candidates for Florida governor present contrasting views

The four major candidates for governor delivered their visions for Florida if they are elected. The state’s struggling economy was a common theme

All four candidates for governor took turns over the weekend promoting themselves and fine-tuning their themes at a gathering of business and civic leaders, with each displaying different strengths and none outshining any other.


Senator Lawson snatches video camera from Boyd campaign worker

State Sen. Al Lawson angrily snatched a video camera from a young campaign worker for U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd on Saturday, complaining that the congressman “crossed the line” in their Big Bend congressional campaign by invading his private political space.


BP’s Jupiter Insurance Downgraded By A.M. Best

A.M. Best Co. has downgraded the financial strength rating (FSR) and issuer credit rating (ICR) of British Petroleum’s captive insurer, Jupiter Insurance Limited, over concerns regarding the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.


Chinese drywall maker settles federal case in Louisiana

A last-minute settlement was reached Friday between a major Chinese drywall maker and lawyers for the owners of two Louisiana homes in what was to be the third precedent-setting federal trial on the issue.


Alabama outlaws ‘first responders’ fee

Alabama communities no longer have authority to charge a fee when police and fire personnel respond to vehicle accidents.


India Government Rules IRDA To Oversee Unit-linked Insurance Policies

India’s government has ruled that the country’s insurance regulator, and not the Securities and Exchange Board of India, will be responsible for overseeing unit-linked insurance policies, putting an end to a more than two-month-long dispute between the two regulators.


Texas Windstorm Insurance Association considering directly billing policyholders

The Texas Windstorm Insurance Association governing board on Tuesday will consider steps to begin directly billing policyholders after hundreds of coastal consumers who had sent premiums payments to agents learned they weren’t covered when Hurricane Ike struck.


Wall Street Journal:  As Hurricane Season Begins, Insurance Gets Harder to Find

From the Gulf oil spill and the floods in Arkansas and Oklahoma to the procession of hurricanes forecast for this year, the stage is set for major property damage in 2010.


After profitable 2009, reinsurers face pricing pressure from primary insurers

A softening casualty market, strong company earnings, and a quiet catastrophe season resulted in the reinsurance industry enjoying, in 2009, one of its most profitable underwriting years in nearly a decade.


Insurers Revive Catastrophe Bond Market

Insurers are issuing catastrophe bonds again to complement traditional and cheaper reinsurance and to spread the risks in buying protection against events that could cost them tens of billions of dollars in claims.


Michigan Court Rules Liability Waivers for Kids Do Not Bar Lawsuits

A parent’s signature doesn’t waive the legal rights of a child who is hurt at play, the Michigan Supreme Court said in a decision that has consequences for businesses, schools and other groups offering recreation activities for minors.


Coalition for a Domestic Insurance Industry:  Don’t fall for ploy by greedy foreign insurers

Foreign-owned insurers collectively provide less than 2 percent of homeowners insurance in all coastal states, including Florida. So why are they trying to scare homeowners into thinking that insurance rates might soon rise?



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