Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Thursday, May 15

May 15, 2008


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Court bans Allstate from doing new business in Florida

With the muscle of a favorable court ruling behind him, Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty expects a certification from Allstate Floridian that it will allow free access to its books and records.

Allstate cannot write new policies in Florida

No new policies for Allstate — at least for now.

What does this mean for existing policyholders?

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has suspended Allstate companies from writing new policies in Florida for refusing to comply fully with a state subpoena.

Get ready to dig deeper for home insurance

Floridians’ bill for the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes is about to grow another $600-million.

The state catastrophe fund, which sells cheap reinsurance to insurers, needs to collect roughly 45 percent more than the $1.35-billion originally estimated to pay claims.

Fires test new insurers, policies

Agents go to work for owners of burnt homes

Wildfires probably were not the catastrophe Brevard County homeowners feared most as thousands scrambled in recent months to find companies to insure their homes.

Smoldering Brevard County favorite target for firebugs

Arsonists like to pick on Brevard County more than almost any area of Florida.

So far this decade, the county ranks second statewide in the amount of brush land and woods intentionally set ablaze by firebugs, state records show.

Man charged with setting fires in Fla.

Police charged a 31-year-old drifter with setting two small brush fires Wednesday and questioned him about a rash of suspicious fires that has swept through the southwestern part of the county earlier this week.

EDITORIAL: Congress says No to windstorm relief

If Floridians have learned anything at all about windstorm insurance, it is that the path to constructive change is slow and painful.

Governor Charlie Crist: We’ve been lucky — now it’s time to get prepared

Good luck and a brief prayer may have helped spare Florida from a destructive hurricane the past two years, but Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday warned residents not to rely on either this year.

Governor Crist Urges Floridians to Prepare for 2008 Hurricane Season

Addresses 22nd Annual Hurricane Conference

Governor Charlie Crist today, in his second address to more than 2,600 emergency managers, first responders, and volunteer agencies, praised their commitment to public service.

Hurricane conference pushing message preparedness

Preparing for hurricanes, despite two slow previous storm seasons, is key to the survival of Floridians and recovery efforts, officials said Wednesday.

Hurricane risk rises by degrees

Warm water in the Atlantic Ocean will likely mean more hurricanes for the coming season, scientists predict.

EDITORIAL: From cyclones to local wildfires, nature shows its dark side

A cyclone kills tens of thousands in Myanmar. A powerful 7.9 earthquake kills thousands – maybe tens of thousands – in China. Deadly tornadoes rip through the heart of the United States.

Study: Will rising ocean submerge part of South Florida?

Polar bears and their melting habitat sent a wake-up call to South Florida water managers Wednesday.

Dade puts off proposal to insure relatives

A groundbreaking plan to expand health insurance to the extended families of Miami-Dade County employees was postponed indefinitely Wednesday to permit further study.

Rubio talks about 57 points of pride

Retiring House Speaker Marco Rubio claimed credit for passing 57 of his 100 ideas for Florida’s future. Some other legislators said he should share much of the credit.

Marco Rubio has given himself a first-ever grade for a Florida House Speaker: 57.

EDITORIAL: The Crist conundrum

These are heady days for Gov. Charlie Crist. As he begins his second year in office, his popularity is still in the clouds and his environmental agenda has drawn praise from Democrats such as Al Gore and Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

Get ready for a pile of paper when you vote this summer and fall

You’re likely to get a sheaf of papers when you vote this fall in Broward County, as Florida shifts from electronic, touch-screen voting machines to paper ballots.

Red-light traffic cameras coming to a vote in Palm Beach County

Palm Beach County commissioners will decide Tuesday whether use their own traffic cameras to fine red-light runners, after state lawmakers failed to approve a similar plan during this spring’s legislative session.

COLUMN: Florida takes a shot at workplace safety

If some angry employee gets a gun out of his car and shoots one of my loved ones at work, I’m suing Gov. Charlie Crist, the state Legislature, the National Rifle Association and everyone else involved with lifting gun rights above workplace safety and personal property rights.

Mills sells insurance office to IBC

David R. Mills, a former Sarasota County commissioner, has sold his insurance business to Insurance & Benefits Consultants, or IBC.

Court to Hear Appeal in Former Louisiana AG’s Katrina Antitrust Suit

A federal appeals court in New Orleans agreed to consider whether an antitrust lawsuit that former Louisiana Attorney General Charles Foti filed against some of the nation’s largest insurance companies belongs in state or federal court.

Louisiana Citizens CEO Gets Raise

Louisiana’s insurer of last resort collected $4 million extra in reinsurance from the 2005 hurricanes and, at the suggestion of the state insurance commissioner, rewarded its chief executive with a 10 percent raise.

New disaster-housing design wins praise

Post-Katrina trailers got awful reviews, but the manufactured replacement housing that’s going up in Mississippi now is drawing raves.

California: State Farm Faces Class Action Lawsuit

A class action lawsuit was filed in U.S. Federal Court, Central District, alleging that State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. is enriching itself with payments rightfully belonging to its insureds in violation of California law, particularly the “Make Whole Rule.”

Schwarzenegger Administration Should Reject Phony Emergency Declared By Insurance Commissioner Poizner To Help Insurers

The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights issued the following news release:

The Schwarzenegger administration should reject the “emergency” changes to the Proposition 103 Rate Regulations filed by Insurance Commissioner Steve Poizner last week after virtually no public scrutiny, consumer advocates said in a letter to the state Office of Administrative Law (OAL) sent Monday.

Fitch U.S. Muni Surveillance: Various Cape Coral, Florida Credits Affirmed; Outlook to Negative

In the course of routine surveillance, Fitch Ratings affirms the ‘A+’ rating on the city of Cape Coral, Florida’s approximately $3.0 million in outstanding general obligation (GO) bonds, series 2003A, the ‘A’ rating on the approximately $200 million in outstanding water and sewer revenue bonds, and the ‘A-‘ rating on the approximately $167.4M in outstanding wastewater and irrigation water assessment bonds.

Fitch: Federal Regulation Inevitable

A report by Fitch Ratings said that federal regulation of the insurance industry is probably inevitable, but that regulation would not necessarily bring benefits quickly to both the industry and consumers.

Research and Markets: As of June 30, 2006, There Were Around 100 Insurance Companies in China

Research and Markets has announced the addition of ‘China: An Insurance Giant’ to their offering.


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