Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, October 12

Oct 12, 2009



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American Keystone Insurance to be liquidated, judge rules

American Keystone Insurance Co., a homeowners insurance company based in Ponte Vedra Beach is being placed into receivership and liquidated, a judge has ruled.


Competitive Enterprise Institute and Florida Taxpayers Union: Fla. Catastrophe fund system dangerously unstable

As September passed by, much of the news here in Florida appears good: Hurricanes have stayed away from U.S. coastlines, the Legislature has passed a few common-sense reforms to the state’s property insurance system, and CFO Alex Sink says the state’s troubled Hurricane Catastrophe Fund has gained a firmer fiscal footing.


Blog:  Citizens insurance discusses spike in water damage claims

The per-policy cost of claims for water damage jumped by more than 60 percent from 2006 to 2008 for Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state-backed insurer that is the state’s largest.


Editorial: The next big one

The hurricane season of 2004 saw four major storms rip across Florida, leaving some $30 billion damage. It was a collective catastrophe of historic proportions.


A drywall double whammy

Homeowners living in houses with suspect Chinese drywall are already in a bind: Their air conditioners stop working, a rotten-egg smell permeates their homes, they suffer a litany of health problems including troubled breathing, nosebleeds and headaches.


$8 million in FEMA funds to help rebuild Immokalee State Farmers’ Market damaged by Hurrican Wilma in

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Charles H. Bronson today announced that the federal government will soon release funds totaling more than $8 million to help rebuild portions of the Immokalee State Farmers’ Market that were extensively damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Wilma in 2005.


After disaster strikes, driven go-getter makes things right

Nathan Smith has made a career out of cleaning up after big messes. Literally.


Hukill drops Senate bid, aims to keep House seat

State Rep. Dorothy Hukill said Friday she has dropped her bid for a congressional seat and will run again in 2010 for the Florida House.


If Dockery enters race for Fla. governor, expect fireworks

Paula Dockery for governor?

With each passing day, the Republican state senator from Lakeland sounds closer to jumping into the race with both feet, creating a primary within the GOP and potentially causing a lot of headaches for Attorney General Bill McCollum.


Democratic candidates for Florida attorney general spar in debate

Democrats looking for a front-runner in the first debate of the Florida attorney general’s race saw two polished politicians take light digs at each other Sunday while seeking a unified front against the Republican Party.


Meek campaign struggles to knock down questions about his viability

State Democratic chairwoman Karen Thurman on Saturday exhorted thousands of Democratic activists to start mobilizing to elect Alex Sink governor.


Rubio gains buzz, but lags in fundraising

Marco Rubio, the Miami Republican taking on Gov. Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate race, is riding a wave of glowing publicity from state and national conservative opinion leaders.


Florida Democrats confident about 2010 odds, but hurdles loom

Florida Democrats gathered in Orlando this weekend feeling flush with cash, staring at a buffet of open legislative seats and unified behind their strongest gubernatorial candidate since 1998.


Investment firms pay to play with state retirement funds

On June 23, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum pulled in a bundle of campaign checks from a single address in Pittsburgh. In all, $28,000 in checks from that address made their way to McCollum’s campaign for governor.


Fla. politicians edge away from links to key donor

With Broward eye doctor and political moneyman Alan Mendelsohn facing a 32-count federal indictment, politicians across Florida who got campaign cash from the ophthalmologist and his political committees are doing a lot of distancing and clarifying.


Calls grow for changing how Florida regulates utilities

Faced with an edict from Gov. Charlie Crist to “clean house” at the troubled Public Service Commission, Senate President Jeff Atwater says he’ll hold hearings during the next two months to change the way the utility regulator does business.


Internet Sales Tax: A $2 Billion Florida Loophole

It is perplexing that Florida lawmakers would knowingly let $2 billion or more in sales tax revenue slip through their hands year after year at the same time they are cutting billions in education, health care and public-safety dollars because of declining tax collections.


California Names New Deputy Insurance Commissioner

California’s Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner announced today that Peter Conlin has been appointed deputy commissioner for policy and regulations and counsel to the Commissioner for the Department of Insurance (CDI).


Hurricane Katrina Ruling Creates Coverage Uncertainty 

The debate over wind-versus-water homeowner claims is not quite as cut and dried thanks to a ruling yesterday by the Mississippi Supreme Court in a Hurricane Katrina case.


U.S. judge allows Stanford, others to seek defense fees from D&O policy

Financier Allen Stanford and other executives who face charges related to an alleged $7 billion fraud may file claims for defense funds under a directors and officers liability insurance policy, a federal judge said on Friday.


Court says lack of medical records favors workers compensation claimant

An employee is entitled to an “inference” that her injuries are work-related because Xerox Corp. failed to produce medical records from a worksite facility she visited, a New York appellate court has ruled.


CBO report boosts backers of medical malpractice lawsuit reform

Limiting medical malpractice lawsuits could save the U.S. government $54 billion over a decade, congressional budget analysts said Friday in a report that could boost a Republican push to include lawsuit reform in President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul.


Keystone Insurers Group Purchases Indiana Benefits Firm

New Keystone Insurance and Benefits Group to Serve KIG Clients in Five States The nation’s sixth-largest privately-held property/casualty agency, Keystone Insurers Group (KIG), has announced the acquisition of the Benefits Division of Synergy Insurance Group, specialists in all aspects of employee and individual benefits


Plumbing woes afflict even the wealthy

They talk about lots of things at fancy dinner parties and charity balls, including plumbing problems — sometimes expensive plumbing problems.


E&S Insurer Ratings Still Strong, NAPSLO Told 

Despite a 67 percent drop in net income in 2008, excess and surplus lines insurers are still strong, according to a rating agency report prepared for NAPSLO.


CIAB Teaming With LexisNexis To Create Insurance Exchange 

The Council of Insurance Agents & Brokers and LexisNexis announced they have partnered to build a Web-based insurance exchange for the independent agent-based distribution system. sells domain name, assets for $16M

A Darien-based insurance broker said Friday that it has sold its corporate name,, and its related Web site for $16 million, 10 times more than it paid for the moniker in 2001. The company will change its name to Life Quotes.


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