Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, February 16

Feb 16, 2010



Note:  Until the March 2, 2010 Florida legislative bill filing deadline, Capitol to Courthouse Headliners will provide a listing of insurance-related bills filed each day.  This listing will be located at the end of the news headlines.


To view a complete story, click on a headline below:


Florida Insurance Commissioner Orders Three Entities to Cease and Desist Sale of Unlicensed Products

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty yesterday announced the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has issued cease and desist orders to three entities, including their subsidiaries, for the unauthorized sale of warranty products and service agreements. These companies include an order to National Home Protection, an order to National Home Warranty, and an order to National Automotive Services.


2,700 Florida homeowners to get $6,000 checks as part of settlement with Countrywide

More than 2,700 Florida homeowners can look for a nice-sized check in their mailboxes this week.


Red light cameras activated in Palm Bay

Future offenders get ticket by mail

Starting today, running a red light in certain areas of Palm Bay will be costly — even if you aren’t caught by a police officer.


First responders to suicide attempts face new dangers

As St. Petersburg firefighters and paramedics approached the car in a residential area over the weekend in response to a suicide call, they caught a whiff of some strange smelling gas and noticed the car was filled with smoke.


Lawsuit filed against Blue Cross claims reimbursement rates kept ‘artificially’ low

Ever wonder why your insurance company claims a procedure that cost you dearly could be gotten for a fraction of the price you paid?


Summit focuses on need for nurses in Florida

A regional coalition assessed ways to educate, train and retain nurses.

Whether it’s in Gainesville, Starke, Lake City or Ocala, the area’s need for well-trained nurses is not being met.


Over-billing: just Florida culture?

Brevard County’s largest medical group and the U.S. Justice Department are close to settling the investigation of a complaint that the group’s cancer center overbilled Medicare by more than $8 million, attorneys for both sides say.


Cancer cluster frightens Palm Beach community

Soil, water tests planned to try to find cause

When Stephanie Peskowitz and her husband Ira bought a home in The Acreage five years ago, they figured they had found a woodsy paradise large enough for their dreams


Florida investigating five mortgage modification firms

Four of the operations examined are in South Florida

The Florida Attorney General’s Office has opened five new investigations this year, with four centered in South Florida, involving foreclosure rescue and mortgage modification companies, a key enforcement concern for regulators.


Fewer visitors coming to Florida and they’re spending even less, state agency says

The number of visitors to Florida dropped nearly 1 percent last year from 2008, the state’s tourism marketing agency said Monday.


EPA holding hearing on Florida water rules

Environmentalists say a proposal that would set numeric limits on farm and urban runoff is needed to clean up Florida’s polluted water bodies and is long overdue.


Florida CFO Sink Reforms Government by Streamlining Middle Management

Sink’s reform will create greater efficiencies, save state nearly $300 million

Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced new reforms to streamline middle management in her agency, creating greater efficiency and saving $8 to $10 million a year.


Editorial:  Building prisons isn’t the answer

As the number of inmates increases, Florida will have to build 10 more prisons in five years just to keep up.


Economy prompts Florida candidate’s fresh look at North Dakota’s socialist bank

Gubernatorial candidates in Florida and Oregon and a Washington state legislator are advocating the creation of state-owned banks in those states.


Some in Florida skeptical of feds’ offer to help with jobless benefits

As Florida’s jobless rate flirts with 12 percent and the state borrows federal money to pay unemployment claims, the U.S. Department of Labor is pushing a deal legislators have already turned down once.


Fed money available for organic producers in Florida

State officials recently announced that $1.28 million is now available for organic producers in Florida as part of a nationwide initiative to assist certified organic producers and those making the transition to organic production.


D.C. may send more to Florida

Florida may be missing out on billions of dollars each year because state agencies are not applying to get fully reimbursed for federally subsidized programs.


Florida state Democratic chair wants probe of GOP

Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman is looking for help in persuading Attorney General Bill McCollum to investigate possible criminal activity in the Republican Party.


Former Florida House Speaker accuses panelist of bias

State Rep. Ray Sansom charged Monday that a member of the House panel investigating his ties to a Panhandle college is biased, has a conflict of interest and should be removed from the panel.


Increase in Commercial Rates Proposed for Louisiana Citizens

The board of Louisiana Citizens Property Insurance Corporation will vote in March on a proposed increase for commercial policy holders that will average 4.57 percent.


South Dakota Bills Favor Plaintiff Attorneys over Consumers

Two bills expected to be heard this week by the South Dakota legislature would favor attorney interests over consumers by changing important policies that control consumers’ insurance costs, according to the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America.


Georgia Bill Would Restrict Insurance Executives’ Political Giving

A Republican state lawmaker who is running for governor in Georgia has introduced legislation to ban executives of insurance companies from contributing to a political campaign for the office of state insurance commissioner or to any campaign conducted by an incumbent commissioner.


Plea Deal Discussed for Ex-Louisiana Citizens CEO

A plea deal may be in the works for the former chief executive of Louisiana’s state-run property insurance company.


Can Public-Private Insurance Provide Sufficient Disaster Coverage?

The Inter-American Dialogue spoke with three experts in reference to public versus private insurance providers and proper disaster coverage.


Struggling Over a Rule for Brokers

While most of the debate about financial overhaul legislation has focused on the impact on how big banks do business, one piece that would affect consumers directly has received little public notice: a requirement that stock and insurance brokers act in their customers’ best interest.


Editorial:  Insurers get rich cutting customers

Are companies like WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Cigna trying to elbow the Wall Street banks out of the way to claim the mantle of America’s Most Ignominious Industry?



2010 Florida insurance-related bills filed on Tuesday, February 16:


SB 2052 Relating to Insurance by State Senator Garrett S. Richter

Expresses the legislative intent to revise laws relating to insurance.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2010.  


SB 2050 Relating to Insurance by Senator Richter

Expresses the legislative intent to revise laws relating to insurance.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2010   


SB 2048 Relating to Insurance by Senator Richter

Expresses the legislative intent to revise laws relating to insurance.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2010   


SB 2046 Relating to Insurance by Senator Richter

Expresses the legislative intent to revise laws relating to insurance.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2010               


SB 2044 Relating to Insurance by Senator Richter

Expresses the legislative intent to revise laws relating to insurance.  Effective Date:  July 1, 2010   


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