Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, March 30

Mar 30, 2010



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Citizens has successful bond pre-sale

Amid predictions of an active hurricane season this year, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is bulking up its reserves with a $2.4 billion bond offering. Last week’s “pre-sale,” which closes April 6, was “very successful,” Chief Financial Officer Sharon Binnun told Sunshine State News on Monday. “We met our liquidity goal for the year.”


United Way of Florida:  State insurers leave charities vulnerable

With one month left in the 2010 state legislative session and the Atlantic hurricane season right around the corner, I am concerned about the risk associated with the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and Citizens Property Insurance.


Blog:  Do insurers funnel Florida funds to parent companies while claiming need to raise rates?

Remember when Florida’s elected leaders used to stand up against the property insurance industry’s relentless drumbeat that higher rates were the only answer to “fixing” this state’s crumbling homeowners’ insurance problems?


Blog:  Lapse in National Flood Insurance Program leaves some Floridians hanging

Trying to close on a home? You may have trouble if your lender requires flood insurance. Banks require flood insurance for most homes in Broward and Palm Beach counties.


Report warns of storm surge in Miami and other coastal regions

Residential properties in the Miami area alone, considered a prime target, could sustain more than $50 billion in flood damage in a future mega-storm, according to the report issued by First American Corp, a company heavily involved in the U.S. insurance industry.


Florida tornado spotters track storms for the experts

Their efforts helped National Weather Service during tornado touchdown in Oakland Park

When the heavens open and the weather turns savage, savvy South Floridians are trained to duck indoors. But for the region’s cadre of amateur weather spotters, that’s the time to put their training to use.


American Strategic Insurance Named the Top Midsize Company to Work for in Tampa Bay

American Strategic Insurance has been ranked number one in the midsize company category of Tampa Bay’s Top Work Places 2010 by the St. Petersburg Times and WorkplaceDynamics.


Should Florida Follow New York and Revive Its Surplus Lines Exchange?

New York regulators are pursuing a reincarnation of the New York Insurance Exchange, a Lloyd’s of London-style insurance market that lasted for several years the last time it was tried.


Red light camera coming to Cocoa Beach on Friday

A red light camera will begin ticketing lawbreakers Friday at Fischer Park and State Road A1A.


Economy brings back nursing home staffing debate

With money tight, lawmakers are looking at changing the way the number of hours of mandatory daily care for nursing home patients is counted, reducing the number of required hours of care by certified nursing assistants, and having registered nurses pick up some of that care.


Florida sues Casselberry company, alleging Medicaid fraud

Florida’s attorney general is suing a Casselberry medical company, accusing it of cheating Medicaid out of $22,000.


Feds ID more than $10.3 million of unreported Florida stimulus funds

The $787 billion federal stimulus program – touted as helping thousands of companies survive the economic recession – had one major stipulation when it was enacted last year: To report every penny used.


Why did attorneys general file health care lawsuit in Pensacola?

Why Pensacola?  Attorneys general from 13 states filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Democratic health care plan signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama.


Florida sugar growers sue to stop regulation under Clean Water Act

Two of the nation’s largest sugar growers, Florida Crystals Corp. and U.S. Sugar Corp., are fighting a new push from the federal government to regulate them under the Clean Water Act.


Bills to reform Florida retirement withering

One bill sends 1 percent of income to retirement system

Three controversial bills that would have made sweeping changes to the state’s employee retirement system are dead or dying, according to those familiar with the legislation.


Florida’s teacher merit pay plan could be first in nation

No state relates performance to pay for all instructors

Florida is on the verge of becoming the first state in the nation with universal merit pay for teachers.


Florida appliance-rebate program unveiled this week

A rebate program known as a “cash for clunkers” for most household appliances starts soon in Florida, but folks who want to take advantage of it had better move quickly.


McCollum leads Sink

Republican Bill McCollum has increased his lead over Democrat Alex Sink in the race to be Florida’s next governor. In a poll released today, Attorney General McCollum led CFO Sink 49-34 percent, with 17 percent still undecided.


Kendrick Meek turns in last batch of voter petitions to qualify for Senate ballot

U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek on Monday gave elections officials the last of the petitions signed by voters to get him on the ballot, capping an almost yearlong effort to build momentum for his U.S. Senate race.


Florida Democrats complain they’re being shut out by Republicans

House Democrats complained Monday their ideas are being ignored and they are being shut out of the process by House Republicans as the Legislature reaches its halfway point.


Corrections chief: Cuts might free 2,500 Florida inmates

Florida’s corrections chief warned Monday that the Senate’s plan to cut prison guard jobs and privatize others could force the release more than 2,500 prisoners before their sentences are up.


Editorial: Florida Legislature must keep Department of Community Affairs in its current form

The state of Florida’s most important agency in the effort to properly manage growth is under scrutiny. Again.


Right to Repair introduced to U.S. Senate

Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sam Brownback (R-KS) have introduced the Motor Vehicle Owners Right to Repair Act to the U.S. Senate.


State Farm Wants Rate Increase on Louisiana Homes

State Farm Fire and Casualty Co., the state’s largest residential insurer, is asking for an average 9.9 percent rate increase for homeowners coverage in Louisiana.


SEC questions Wall Street firms on use of repurchase agreements

The Securities and Exchange Commission is asking the largest Wall Street firms and U.S. insurance companies whether they are using the accounting techniques that Lehman Brothers adopted to hide $50 billion in liabilities in the months before its collapse.


Louisiana Court: Policy Exclusions Can’t Be Used to Deny Drywall Claims

A Louisiana court has rebuffed an insurance company’s use of the pollution exclusion and two other exclusions in an “all risk” homeowners insurance policy to deny claims resulting from so-called Chinese drywall.


Sudden Revolt by Insurance Regulators Scales Back Climate Rule on Industry

A surprise rebellion by a majority of insurance regulators Sunday reversed key elements of a landmark regulation requiring the nation’s largest industry to publicly disclose its efforts to address climate change. Companies can now submit their answers confidentially in most states.


NAIC To Study Drywall Problems 

The National Association of Insurance Commissioners plans to release a draft white paper on Chinese drywall problems by the summer, the association’s Catastrophe Insurance Working Group was told.


Tennessee Regulators Move to Close ATA Health Insurance Firm

Tennessee officials are trying to shut down operations of two Robertson County companies accused of defrauding more than 12,000 consumers nationwide who sought affordable health insurance.


Terrorism Insurance Market in State of Uncertainty

The threat of terrorism in the U.S. is rising but the future of the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act is in question.


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