Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, June 1

Jun 1, 2010

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Florida Reinsurance Prices Decline 10-12% at Renewal: Guy Carpenter

Reinsurance pricing at the June 1, 2010 Florida renewal are down by 10 percent to 12 percent on average, on a year-over-year risk adjusted basis.


Court:  Marsh did not breach contract with Florida condo group

Marsh Inc. did not breach its contract or negligently misrepresent the windstorm coverage it procured for a Florida client that sustained extensive hurricane damage in 2004, a federal appeals court has ruled.


Homeowners flee back to Citizens as private insurers collapse

Two years ago, Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation gave a man with no insurance experience and a poor credit record a license to take more than 100,000 homeowners policies out of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp.


Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw: Public Adjusters – An Alternative to Handling a Claim on Your Own

In a continuing effort to make sure that consumers are prepared for this hurricane season, the Office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate believes it is necessary for consumers to understand what public adjusters do and what services they provide.


Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty:  Let facts guide Florida’s insurance debate

Pro & Con: Does Florida’s property insurance system leave citizens well protected?

The 2010 Legislative Session featured bills purporting to “fix” the insurance marketplace. Since Hurricane Andrew in 1992, large insurers have reduced their hurricane risk exposure on America’s coastlines. 


Counterpoint: Change is needed in Florida’s insurance system before disaster hits

Pro & Con: Does Florida’s property insurance system leave citizens well protected?

Governor Charlie Crist’s insurance policies are harming – not protecting – Florida consumers.


Editorial:  Citizens’ inspection deals leave a bad taste

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. still doesn’t get it. Last year, the state-run insurer was forced to drop its plan to hand a $60 million, no-bid contract for managing home inspections to a private company with limited experience. Now it has cut another sweet deal with the same company to do thousands of inspections this year while the original contract is competitively bid.


Sinkhole legislation remains a priority for Fasano

With the gulf oil spill and looming Atlantic hurricane season grabbing many headlines, sinkholes haven’t gotten much attention of late.  So a May 20 conference in Tampa carried a provocative title to indicate the extent of the continuing problem: “Sinkholes: the Other Florida Catastrophe.”


Editorial:  New thinking needed on Florida storm insurance

Gov. Charlie Crist should mark the start of another hurricane season today by vetoing a property insurance bill that would make it too easy for insurers to increase premiums.


Blog:  How prepared is Florida’s property insurance market for a major hurricane?

Hurricane season officially will begin Tuesday, and Florida’s state-run property insurance programs are better prepared this year than in the past. Private insurers are largely stable, but there are questions about whether several can handle the impact if major hurricanes strike the state.


Blog:  Crist delays special session, doesn’t like insurance bill

Gov. Charlie Crist’s running battle with the GOP-controlled Florida Legislature appears unlikely to end anytime soon — although the governor is now backing off plans to call lawmakers back to town in the next month.


Editorial:  Relief for Florida, country – Congress should pass disaster insurance bill

Legislation to create a national disaster insurance plan is taking its annual pounding. As usual, the pounding is all about self-interest.


Insurers go into storm season with fingers crossed

Florida’s property insurance companies haven’t suffered hurricane losses for nearly five years, but many claim to be losing money even while collecting hefty premiums. It’s a complex paradigm for almost anyone to follow.


Column:  Residents Pay Hidden Hurricane Tax

On May 20, while visiting with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board, Gov. Charlie Crist once again demonstrated just how misinformed – or disingenuous – he really is when it comes to Florida’s property-insurance market.


Barney Bishop:  Borrowing Ability Improves Fla. Cat Fund, But Problems Remain

With the start of hurricane season, the announcement that the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund can borrow $15.941 billion to supplement its own funds and meet its financial responsibilities appears to be good news. Unfortunately, it just masks the continuing underlying problems in Florida’s property-insurance market.


A builder’s secret: defective Chinese drywall

A leading East Coast homebuilder learned four years ago that the Chinese-manufactured drywall it had installed in several Florida homes was emitting foul odors, according to documents obtained by the Herald-Tribune and ProPublica.


Florida bill limiting ‘repackaged’ drug prices vetoed

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has vetoed a bill that would have limited reimbursement amounts doctors can receive for dispensing “repackaged” pharmaceutical prescription drugs to workers compensation claimants.


Medicaid Expansion Will Help Florida

Florida’s uninsured residents may be one of the big beneficiaries of the expansion of Medicaid under the new federal health care law, according to a new report from a national health care organization.


Florida Seniors get new options for Medigap coverage

Policies with lower premiums, higher co-pays come out Tuesday

Starting Tuesday, seniors have fresh new options to lower the monthly premiums on Medigap health policies. The catch: the lower-priced plans make seniors pay more out of pocket.


Crist vetoes three bill limiting governor’s power; signs tax credit bill for movie industry

A wide-ranging $175 million “Jobs for Florida” bill that includes grants and tax incentives for businesses as well as spending to boost Florida’s sagging space industry became law Friday with Gov. Charlie Crist’s signature.


FPL must refund $13.8 million after 2008 outage

Florida Power & Light Co. must refund customers $13.8 million for costs related to a Feb. 26, 2008, power outage that affected more than 2 million people, the Florida Public Service Commission decided Tuesday.


Fight brews over voting districts

Three ballot questions. Two lawsuits (and counting). One serious headache for voters. Redistricting, the subject of three constitutional amendments headed for the November election ballot, is never a pretty process.


Crist doles out millions of BP dollars

Tourists covered the beaches Sunday morning as Gov. Charlie Crist made arrangements to keep it that way. Crist met with representatives from eight tourist development councils – including Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton and Bay counties – to distribute millions of dollars for emergency advertising campaigns.


Florida AIDS program runs out of money for new patients

For only the second time in the nearly 25-year history of the state’s AIDS Drug Assistance Program, no new people will be eligible for help.


Column:  Florida leads nation in 2010 bank failures 

The failures of three banks – Bank of Florida – Tampa Bay, Bank of Florida – Southwest and Bank of Florida – Southeast – this past weekend awarded Florida the dubious honor of leading the nation in forced bank closures in 2010.


Panel narrows field for Florida Public Service Commission posts

A state panel has invited 28 applicants to interview for two seats on the Florida Public Service Commission.


Legal mess over Florida foreclosures deepening 

An attempt to fix the sloppy legal work plaguing thousands of foreclosure cases in Florida has been ineffective, and has now caused a legal mess of its own.


Courts’ leanings give Florida health-care reform lawsuit fighting chance

Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum’s high-profile lawsuit against the federal health-care reform law has been the subject of hot debate in legal circles since it was filed in March. The case’s arguments aren’t strong but may be viewed favorably by the Pensacola-based U.S. Northern District Court of Florida, where it was filed, two constitutional law scholars told The Times-Union.


Blog:  Florida House spent $200k on “rush job” pro drilling report

WUSF reports: Shortly before the Deepwater Horizon exploded in the Gulf, the Florida House spent $200,000 for a study of oil drilling off Florida’s coast which said any spills would be rare, small and easily contained.


Editorial:  Florida Republicans tie themselves in knots over Arizona immigration law

Florida Republicans are twisting themselves into pretzels over Arizona’s extreme effort to crack down on illegal immigrants.


Column:  A look at the nine amendments on Florida’s ballot

There are nine proposed amendments to our state Constitution on this November’s ballot. Nine! That’s gonna take some reading in the voting booth.


The progress of a ‘people’ person 

The people. At once vague and powerful, it’s a sentiment that Gov. Charlie Crist hopes will propel his campaign for U.S. Senate.


Prosecutor Bondi leaves the courthouse and takes a hard right

Pam Bondi stands at a podium, looking and sounding a lot like the prosecutor she was for more than 18 years. She’s making a case, but not like any she has made in court.


Appointments of federal watchdogs suggest more tough scrutiny for insurers

Pounded by the Obama administration for raising premiums, health insurers now must reckon with a foursome of longtime industry watchdogs who are helping steer the federal government’s effort to overhaul the private insurance market.


State Farm First To Offer Pay-As-You-Drive Insurance in California

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. is the first insurer to submit an application to the California Department of Insurance to offer a program that rewards drivers who voluntarily drive fewer miles with lower auto insurance rates.


Car Insurance Mandate Begins in Wisconsin

All Wisconsin drivers must carry auto liability insurance starting June 1, but it’s unclear how many will follow the law.


Gooch Takes Oath of Office as Utah Insurance Commissioner

Utah Governor Gary R. Herbert has appointed Neal T. Gooch as Commissioner of the Utah Insurance Department. Gooch was appointed acting Insurance Commissioner in January,


10 Catastrophe Bonds Closed Before Hurricane Season Opening

Reinsurers transferred $2.35 billion in catastrophe risk to capital markets before the U.S. hurricane season that began Tuesday, higher than the $1.4 billion last year, as the catastrophe bond sector starts to resume normal issuance after the global financial crisis.


Private Company to Manage State’s Insurance Claims in Louisiana

Louisiana lawmakers have agreed to a $68 million, five-year contract to hire a Mandeville company to run much of the claims processing and management currently handled by the state’s Office of Risk Management


South Carolina hurricane insurance options

State homeowners have more coverage options available as 2010 storm season starts

A potentially blustery hurricane season is on the horizon for the storm-prone South Carolina coast. But for now, at least, all is calm on the property-and-casualty insurance front.


Georgia’s Insurance Chief Oxendine Faces Ethics Hearing Before Primary

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine is scheduled to go before the state ethics commission less than a month before a crowded primary contest in which he is seeking the Republican nomination for governor.



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