Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: September 21

Sep 21, 2009


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UF model tests hurricane resilience

A new kind of computer forecast could save Florida, its residents and businesses millions of dollars in hurricane damages to the fragile web of utilities that carries its electrical power, a University of Florida energy researcher says.


Citizens Property Insurance isn’t the only insurance option

Homeowners shopping for insurance in South Florida have a few options, so they don’t have to buy coverage from Citizens Property Insurance, the expensive state-run insurer.


Is Citizens Insurance ready for the big one?

When it comes to buying windstorm insurance for her home, Mary Ellen Salvatore has two knocks against her:


Rising seas could bust Pensacola Beach boom

The dangers are so obvious to the experts, and their warnings so unheeded. Battered by frequent hurricanes, weakened by repeated man-made reshaping and exposed to pounding waves, Northwest Florida’s beaches are among the most unstable in the country.


Many still dealing with claims 4 years after Wilma

Marta Ayala’s colorful artwork is showcased throughout her immaculate Parkland home. Every room also features vivid reminders of 2005’s Hurricane Wilma: cracking paint and yellow water drip marks, some as long as 10 feet.


Florida’s Patriot Risk Management, Inc. and Inter-Atlantic Financial, Inc. To Conduct Investor Conference Call September 22

Patriot Risk Management, Inc. and Inter-Atlantic Financial, Inc. are scheduling an investor conference call for Tuesday, September 22, 2009 at 11:00 a.m. ET.


Entrepreneur plans new HMO in South Florida

Five years after Miguel ”Mike” Fernandez sold CarePlus to Humana for $450 million, the veteran Coral Gables healthcare entrepreneur announced plans to start a new managed care insurance plan that will employ 1,000 in three Florida offices, with hopes of expanding outside the state later.


Florida Insurance Exchange Has Paid Lobbyist But No Policies

A struggling state-sponsored health insurance program in Florida is paying a lobbyist $5,000 a month to work part-time while she is still listed as representing private clients with ties to the health industry, according to Health News Florida.


Ex-owner of Palm Bay clinic charged with insurance fraud

The former owner of a physical therapy clinic in Palm Bay was arrested on charges of staging car accidents to defraud insurance companies.


Smokers must quit or pay up: Broward County employees face $520 insurance surcharge

Add smokers and unhealthy employees to the list of targets in Broward County government’s effort to cut spending. And overweight workers could be next.


SEC Files Settled Florida Civil Action against Regions Bank

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced today that on September 21, 2009, it filed a settled civil action against Regions Bank in the District Court for the Southern District of Florida, for its role in connection with a Florida-based offering fraud by unregistered broker-dealers U.S. Pension Trust Corp. and U.S. College Trust Corp.


Galvano: Crist gambling deal ‘ not acceptable’

A deal that would expand casino gambling in Florida and generate billions in revenue for state schools is in jeopardy.


FPL hires former state regulators

Four former top state utility regulators now work for Florida Power & Light as lobbyists.


Labor agency says unemployment levels off in Fla.

Florida’s unemployment rate leveled out at 10.7 percent in August, remaining at its highest level in 34 years.


Texas oilman leads effort to drill off Florida’s coast

A little-known group headed by a Texas oilman is behind an effort to change an oil drilling ban off Florida’s coast.


Column:  Upholding integrity in growth laws

Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet correctly defended the state’s growth management laws in a crucial ruling last week that also reminds all communities of their duty to protect the general public.


Does Florida’s ‘stand-your-ground’ law have people jumping the gun?

After more than four years, police, prosecutors and even the courts are struggling to interpret Florida’s stand-your-ground law, which allows the use of deadly force for self-defense.


Governor exhorts everyone to give

Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan remembers walking through the mall on a weekday afternoon when a familiar name popped up on his cell phone: Charlie Crist.


Column:  One GOP bigwig is far from a shoo-in 

Poor Jeff Kottkamp. While the state Republican Party has done all it can to squelch primary challenges to gubernatorial candidate Bill McCollum and Senate candidate Charlie Crist, Republicans across the state are working the phones trying to recruit someone to run for attorney general besides Lt. Gov. Kottkamp.


Mark Foley debuts Tuesday on AM radio

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, who quit politics after being accused of sending sexual messages to an underage assistant, will make his radio debut at 6 p.m. Tuesday on WSVU-AM 960 in northern Palm Beach County.


NY insurance official raises concerns over Moody’s

An official in the New York Insurance Department says insurance regulators from across the country are expected to discuss dropping Moody’s Investors Service from a list of acceptable rating organizations at a meeting later this week.


Big Brokers Want Fees Reinstated

The biggest insurance brokers are in negotiations with regulators to reinstate a type of commission banned due to conflict-of-interest concerns, a development that could restore some, but unlikely all, revenue the commissions once generated.


Justice Department Settles Allegations of Religion Discrimination Against GuideOne Mutual Insurance Co.

The Justice Department today announced a settlement that, pending court approval, will resolve allegations that the GuideOne Mutual Insurance Company and two authorized agents discriminated because of religion when they advertised special benefits and discounts only to ‘churchgoers’ and ‘persons of faith.’


CT TyMetrix Announces Results and Availability of ‘Cost Control in the Management of Litigated Claims’ Research Report

Insurance Survey Reveals Industry Trends, Directional Benchmarks and Best Practices for Litigated Claims Expenses

CT TyMetrix, the premier provider of Web-based legal management solutions for corporate law departments and claims organizations, today announced the results and availability of its ‘Cost Control in the Management of Litigated Claims’ research report.


Marsh Exec and Marketing Unit Earn DMA

The Direct Marketing Association’s Insurance and Financial Services Council announced two awards for a Marsh brokerage subsidiary.


Vice President Joe Biden to address NAIC

National Health Care Dialogue Highlights Fall National Meeting

Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver remarks on health reform to members of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners on Tuesday, September 22, during the NAIC’s Fall National Meeting at the Gaylord National Hotel & Convention Center.


Cleaning Catastrophes Cost UK Homeowners Millions

Homeowners are blowing millions of pounds each year by ruining household items by using unsuitable cleaning products, according to Swinton, the UK’s leading high street retailer of home insurance.


Landmark Illinois Facebook case shows homeowners policies could be tapped for libel

A beauty school student thought he was offering classmates a place to vent when he created a Facebook page mocking teachers and classes.


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