Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, March 2

Mar 2, 2010



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


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


ACA Home Insurance seeks 20 percent rate hike in Florida

The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has scheduled a public hearing Tuesday on a rate hike request from ACA Home Insurance Corp.


Industry Seeks a Solution as Public Insurance Adjusters Reopen Old Claims in Florida

Just five years ago, hurricanes Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne rocked Florida. One by-product of that destructive 2004 hurricane season is an army of public insurance adjusters in the state that has more than quadrupled.


CFO Sink Announces Arrests of Lake County Insurance Claims Adjuster and Four Pasco County Co-Conspirators 

Suspects accused of stealing more than $240K in insurance fraud scam

Florida CFO Alex Sink today announced the arrests of five individuals involved in defrauding Zurich Insurance Group, including Zurich claims adjuster Donald Alfred Toohey, III, 30, by creating multiple falsified and fabricated claims in excess of $240,000.


Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Makes Property Insurance Recommendations to the legislature

Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw today delivered a report to legislative leadership detailing the recommendations collected from two property insurance roundtables aimed at improving the property insurance claims process for Florida consumers. Representatives from the insurance industry, public adjusters, property insurance loss appraisers, umpires and attorneys participated in the roundtables.


Naples lawmaker’s bill allows condos to skip costly sprinkler system upgrades

The move was meant to save lives.


Clearwater-based Homeowners Choice plans stock offering of $10 a share

Homeowners Choice Inc. plans to sell up to 1.2 million shares of preferred stock.


Improved fire rating could save North Naples homeowners money

Hundreds if not more than a thousand North Naples residents could be in for a reduction in their homeowners insurance rates after the North Naples fire department recently improved its fire protection rating with the Insurance Services Office, an independent company that collects and evaluates information related to risk.


Stop or go? Florida Legislature to debate turning off the red light cameras

With controversy surrounding their use and lawsuits pending in court, lawmakers again are expected to wrangle with red-light cameras when they return this week for the 2010 legislative session.


Court Upholds $33 Million Award to Mulberry Family in Lakeland Wrongful Death Suit Against Walgreens

Appellate decision backs ruling for man, 3 children in Beth Hippely’s death.

At long last, Deane Hippely’s legal battle with Walgreens appears to be over.


3-day pill limit in Florida sparks fight

As Florida lawmakers try to crack down on notorious pain clinics, a debate is seething on whether to limit dispensing of pain pills to three days’ worth. 


Florida ranks 38th in federal funding for disease and injury prevention

The Sunshine State ranks high as a vacation destination but it ranks low as a destination for federal funding for disease and injury prevention.


Few dentists in Florida willing to deal with Medicaid

Jamie Siebert of Fort Myers regularly makes three-hour round trips to Sarasota so her  daughter can see an orthodontist who will accept her Medicaid.


Florida Legislature opening 2010 session

It’s opening day for the 2010 Florida legislative session. First up in both chambers Tuesday are two similar bills (HB 7033, SB 1666) that would delay an unemployment compensation tax increase for two years.


Florida House wastes no time passing unemployment insurance tax bill

The Florida House wasted no time, passing a law to delay a costly increase in the state’s unemployment insurance tax.


Money chase stops today

In an annual game of beat the clock, lawmakers fanned across the capital Monday with dollar signs in their eyes, chasing campaign cash from lobbyists.


Florida Senate expects conservative shift amid national movement

2010 promises to be the year when the national conservative movement begins to change the Florida Legislature – specifically the Senate, long a speed bump to the House’s traditionally conservative ideas.


Gambling issue back on table for Florida Legislature

Legislators resume attempts to come to a gambling agreement with the Seminole Tribe as other players push to add more games and gambling options.

The Seminole Tribe of Florida will be at the center of the debate when lawmakers return to the issue of gambling this year.


Bank of Coral Gables given FDIC order

Bank of Coral Gables said on Monday that it has agreed to a consent order with the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.


Beset by chatter, Crist denies he’d ditch GOP

Marco Rubio is trouncing him in the polls, raising big money and turning into a Republican superstar.


Petitions put Evers on Florida Senate ballot

Rep. Greg Evers has qualified by petition to be placed on the ballot to run for the District 2 Florida Senate seat.


Florida U.S. Representative Ginny Brown-Waite draws another Republican challenger

Leodon “Leo” Killinger doesn’t have a laundry list of criticisms to levy against U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite.


Tea Party supporter Jimmie T. Smith challenges Ron Schultz in Florida House District 43

A 44-year-old retired Army staff sergeant aligned with the Tea Party movement is gunning for a state House seat now held by Republican Ron Schultz of Homosassa.


Ethics Reform: Tied Up in Tallahassee

In 1866, a New York court began its decision with “No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the Legislature is in session.” Just a reminder: The Florida Legislature opens today.


Georgia Supreme Court Defines ‘Accident’ in Multiple Vehicle Case

Is an auto accident that kills one bicyclist and then within seconds injures a second considered one event or two under Georgia insurance law?


No-Fault Auto Insurance Popularity Declines Due High Medical Costs

No-fault automobile insurance, once seen as a way to limit court costs and lower premiums, has declined in popularity among both insurers and consumers because it largely has failed to accomplish either goal, according to a new study issued by the RAND Corp.


Federal Emergency Management Agency Says Hold-Up In Flood Program Will Halt Closings 

Congress’ inability to renew the National Flood Insurance Program has potentially dire consequences, Federal flood agency management officials warned.



Florida insurance-related bills filed on Tuesday, March 2, 2010:


HB 1563 Relating to Commercial Insurance by State Representative Brad Drake

Would exempt specified categories or types of insurance, as well as types of commercial lines risks from specified filing and review requirements.  The bill also would require specified information to be maintained by insurers and be subject to review by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.  It also would exclude commercial motor vehicle insurance from certain motor vehicle insurance rate filing requirements.  Effective Date:  January 1, 2011


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