Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Monday, September 28

Sep 28, 2009



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Eli Lehrer and John Hallman: Floridians still on hook to pay for destruction ravaged by hurricanes

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


A sinking feeling in Pasco and Hernando

Once again, property owners in sinkhole-prone Pasco and Hernando counties are getting shafted by the governor and Legislature.


Ten years after Hurricane Andrew, effects are still felt

The satellite photograph showed the spherical storm barreling into the coast, its red, yellow and blue hues indicating it was packing deadly winds, soaking rain and destructive tornadoes.


The Coverage Conundrum in Chinese Drywall Claims

Unless you live in Florida or Louisiana, or regularly read the Insurance Journal, you may only now being hearing about the latest mass tort craze: Chinese-Manufactured Drywall (often simply referred to as “Chinese Drywall”).


United Auto Insurance: Accident medical claims benefit attorneys and clinics over injured people

When Mimose Alexandre was in an accident, her 1992 Isuzu suffered just $400 damage from a low-impact fender-bender. Her legal bills pertaining to this simple case though, are high enough to buy her a new Mercedes Benz. Attorney Stuart Koenigsberg is seeking $112,500 from a Miami-Dade court on Tuesday.


Gov. Charlie Crist Promotes Awareness Of Life Insurance

Gov. Charlie Crist has certainly not seen eye-to-eye with many stakeholders in the Florida insurance industry, and at times their disagreements have become quite heated.


Florida Loopholes Let Felons Land Caregiver Jobs

Disturbing flaws in Florida’s background screening system have put children, seniors and the disabled in the care of convicted felons with records that include rape, child molestation and murder, an investigation by the Sun Sentinel newspaper has found.


CFO Sink returns $1.2 million to Delray Beach seniors scammed out of life savings

Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced the refund of more than $1.2 million to four Florida seniors scammed into buying inappropriate equity indexed deferred annuities that earned a Delray Beach insurance agent thousands of dollars in commissions while leaving the victims without access to their life savings


Attorney General Bill McCollum’s role as trustee for state investment fund may be a conflict

When it comes to the board that supervises state public investments, Florida is different. It may be the only state that has its attorney general double as an investment fund trustee.


State regulators extend deadline for FPL’s request to raise rates

A week before the governor must decide whether to reappoint him to the Public Service Commission, the chairman of the state utility regulation panel ruled Friday that the largest rate case of his term should extend into January — and into the new terms of either his or his successor.


FPL plan for pipeline discussed

Florida Power & Light’s proposal to build a $1.588 billion natural-gas pipeline through 14 counties was to be discussed at a public meeting yesterday in Volusia County.


Probe of cleared PSC commissioner called incomplete

Although Public Service Commissioner Lisa Edgar was cleared of ethics charges that she improperly communicated with a utility lobbyist about a pending case, the man who filed the complaint says her recollection doesn’t match the audiotape and transcript of the hearing.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Black Caucus calls for trial lawyer group changes

The Legislative Black Caucus called for a house-cleaning at the state’s trial lawyer organization Monday after the attorney group acknowledged involvement in a racially-charged mailer sent to thousands of potential voters in the Jacksonville area.


State Rep. Juan-Carlos “J.C.” Planas:  Too much power

Speaker Larry Cretul’s recent attempt to combine two previously established Appropriations Councils, dissolve several appropriations committees and re-assign members to other committees in which they have little experience, has crossed the boundaries of what are already overly inflated powers.


Things can’t get much worse for trial lawyers in Florida

Florida is known for annoying come-ons by personal injury lawyers that ask: “Have you been injured in an accident?”


Editorial: Those political committees are raking it in

Here in the capital city, it’s well known, especially among owners of restaurants, hotels and nightspots, that lawmakers are banned from accepting any meals or gifts whatever, and even at election time, they cannot accept campaign contributions larger than $500.


Editorial: Florida’s scary vital signs

Recent numbers issued by the U.S. Census Bureau paint a grim picture of Florida that will get even more somber if lawmakers in Washington fail to enact health care reform.


News Release:  Senate President Jeff Atwater announces paperless committee meetings

Senate President Jeff Atwater (R-Palm Beach) today announced two Senate committees will conduct their meetings in a paperless fashion. This pilot phase will begin during the October meeting week with the Committee on Community Affairs and the Committee on Judiciary.


Michigan Circuit Court Grants Insurance Trades’ Motion on Credit-Based Insurance Scoring Case

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America applauds Circuit Court Judge Fischer’s granting of an intervener motion filed by PCI, the American Insurance Association and the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies on a case involving the use of credit-based insurance scoring.


Standard & Poor’s Responds to Discussion Draft of the ‘Accountability and Transparency in Rating Agencies Act’

Standard & Poor’s released the following statement regarding the discussion draft released today by Rep. Paul Kanjorski, Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises:


A.M. Best Special Report: Surplus Lines Results Dip From Competition, Cat Losses and Economy

In 2008, the underwriting and operating performance of surplus lines companies continued to outpace that of the total property/casualty industry, although at a diminished level from 2007 due to persistent soft market conditions, the recession, and underwriting and investment losses.



The National Association of Insurance Commissioners has updated the Standard Valuation Law to reflect “principles based” reserving ideas.


Insurer Capital Rules May Ease on Home-Loan Holdings

MetLife Inc. and other U.S. life insurers may win looser capital standards tied to mortgage holdings as regulators seek to reduce their reliance on rating firms like Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s.


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