Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Tuesday, October 20

Oct 20, 2009



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Regulators take testimony on Citizens rate request

A business group lobbyist says Florida’s insurance regulators aren’t doing their jobs if they don’t tell Citizens to raise property insurance rates by 10 percent across the board.


THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA:  Improved markets strengthen CAT fund

State financial analysts say the state is better prepared for a major hurricane than a year ago thanks to a stabilizing financial market.


Lawsuit: Family’s home ruined by emissions from defective Georgia-Pacific drywall

Walk into Jill Swidler’s house. Pause. Sniff. The odor is acrid, slightly chemical.


Editorial: Florida’s coastal communities need authority to regulate recreational vessels anchored outside public mooring fields

It’s a problem in search of a solution. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is taking steps to find an answer.


Longboat Key theft ring zeroing in on local yachts

Under the cover of darkness, a stolen yacht slipped away from Anna Maria Island late Saturday.


Longboat Key plans structures to fight erosion

The beach at the northwest tip of Longboat Key used to stretch nearly 50 yards to the Gulf of Mexico, but over the years pounding waves washed the sand away.


Area farmers markets weigh raw-milk debate

Farmers markets traditionally have been the place where people buy items they can’t find in the chain supermarkets that dominate the food landscape.


Blog: Behind Florida’s latest insolvent insurer lurks Bill Griffin of Riscorp scandal

Wake up and good morning. When Florida regulators last week ordered the liquidation of the insolvent American Keystone Insurance Co. of Jacksonville, a home and condominium insurer with about 7,600 policyholders, little did we know who was helping to pull the insurer’s strings.


Fire chiefs defend 24-hour schedule

The most effective way to handle service and hold down cost is 24-hour shifts, local fire chiefs said Monday.


Florida, and U.S., should heed NOAA’s concerns over environmental impacts from oil drilling

The Issue: NOAA raises concerns over oil drilling.

As Florida gets serious about tapping into oil reserves off the Gulf Coast as a way to pump up a sagging state budget, warnings about very real threats to the environment should serve as a wake-up call to pause the push for drilling off our shores.


Great Doctors Continue To Produce Great Results ($750,000 in Dividends) for Fla. Insurance Co.

In the midst of a global economic tsunami, a Florida-based medical malpractice insurance company is demonstrating that conservative management, excellent sales delivery, aggressive defense of its insureds and strict underwriting can provide outstanding results even in the most difficult of times (and without government subsidies).


Special session likely for SunRail in December

Gov. Charlie Crist and Senate President Jeff Atwater today called for a special legislative session this year to fund Tri-Rail and SunRail to clear a path for federal high-speed railroad dollars.


Governor Charlie Crist Announces New Chief of Staff

Shane Strum to take new leadership role in administration

Governor Charlie Crist today announced Shane Strum will take over as Chief of Staff beginning November 3. Strum currently serves as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor.


Utilities FPL and TECO in Florida lead pack in political contributions

A pair of energy giants, Florida Power & Light and Tampa-based TECO Energy, were the largest donors to political parties and candidates in the latest reporting period that ended Sept. 30.


Sink doesn’t have to tell everything

Alex Sink’s campaign for governor calls her a model of government transparency but won’t disclose how much money she’s received from a group that solicits donations for Democratic women who favor abortion rights.


Police Benevolent Association backs Crist for U.S. Senate

Gov. Charlie Crist, touting his conservative credentials in the face of a hard challenge from the right, accepted the Police Benevolent Association’s endorsement Monday in his race for the U.S. Senate.


Two Democrats open campaign accounts to challenge U.S. Rep. Posey and his war chest

A pair of Democrats — Cape Canaveral City Council member Shannon Roberts and Jonathan Bull, a defense attorney from Melbourne — have opened campaign accounts to challenge freshman U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, in the Republican-leaning congressional district that includes Indian River County.


St. Lucie County Commissioner Craft lags behind U.S. Rep. Rooney in campaign contributions

Democratic St. Lucie County Commissioner Chris Craft picked up $61,065 in the first two months of his congressional campaign, but still has a ocean of cash to pick up if the plan is to match the war chest of U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta.


Moody’s:  New NAIC RMBS Ratings Could Give Insurers Flexibility: Moody’s 

National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ moves to obtain revised ratings and reassessment of capital requirements for residential-backed mortgage securities (RMBS) could give insurers more financial flexibility, said Moody’s Investors Service.


Texas says no to windstorm rate increase

Coastal homeowners caught a break recently when insurance regulators rejected a rate increase by the state-backed windstorm insurer.


Blog:  Mississippi Katrina victims get okay to sue polluters over rising sea level

A group of Mississippi landowners can pursue their lawsuit against more than 30 major oil, electric and coal companies they say have created global-warming pollutants that contributed to rising sea levels and increased Hurricane Katrina’s destruction, the reports.


Georgia Supreme Court Blocks ‘Stacking’ of Auto Insurance Policies

The Georgia Supreme Court has ruled that injured motorists are not entitled to maximize their insurance coverage by combining auto insurance policies on several vehicles to cover one accident, a tactic known as stacking.


Med-Mal Insurers Plan A Fight To Keep Antitrust Exemption 

Medical malpractice insurance trade groups said they are gearing up to fight a proposal to cancel the antitrust exemption they are now afforded under the McCarran-Ferguson Act.


Massachusetts Governor to try to aid small business through state health rate regulation proposal

Wants state to review health care premiums

Governor Deval Patrick is expected to announce a plan today that would give state insurance regulators the authority to review health insurance premiums that are charged to small businesses, an approach meant to stem the growing health care costs.


Bermuda Monetary Authority names new CEO

Jeremy Cox has been appointed chief executive officer of the Bermuda Monetary Authority, the domicile’s main regulatory body.


New program aims to encourage weatherization of homes

America’s nearly 130 million homes generate about 20 percent of the nation’s emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal heat-trapping gas, says a report being released Monday by the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Vice President Joe Biden’s Middle Class Task Force. McClatchy obtained an early copy.


State Farm Laughs It Up With Steve Harvey

State Farm has tapped Steve Harvey for a series of digital comedy shorts on a range of topics of interest to car and home insurance consumers.


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