Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, January 6

Jan 6, 2010



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


Blog:  Forum today on Florida insurers removing a popular option in claims disputes

Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw will hold a forum today to discuss a move by some insurers recently to essentially strip policyholders of the option to go to appraisal to fight claims disputes.


Florida’s Brown & Brown buys Texas agency

Brown & Brown Inc., a Daytona Beach insurance agency aggregator, purchased Alamo Insurance Group of San Antonio, Texas.


Nationwide moving jobs to Gainesville

Nationwide Insurance is moving an undetermined number of jobs to Gainesville over the next three years as it consolidates some customer claims support services into seven centers nationwide.


Gov. Crist won’t order misconduct inquiry on disaster planning chief

”I think it’s been dealt with,” Crist said Tuesday, the day after Ruben Almaguer reluctantly resigned his post as interim chief of emergency management.


Broward/Palm Beach New Times:  Chinese Drywall Has Left Tens of Thousands of Homeowners Out of Options

Liao leans back in his insulated guard booth in front of a massive factory 69 miles southeast of Beijing. It’s November 30, and a cold front has blown in off the Bohai Gulf.


Fla. governor signs emergency order for cold

Florida’s governor has signed an emergency order to deal with the cold weather threatening the state’s agricultural industry.


Florida Doctors Insurance Merges with Physicians Preferred

Florida Doctors Insurance Co. has completed a merger and acquisition of Physicians Preferred Insurance Co., which Florida Doctors said makes it the fourth largest admitted writer of physicians and surgeons medical professional liability insurance in Florida.


Editorial:  Regulate pill mills

Legend has it that Nero fiddled while Rome burned. For eight years, Florida lawmakers played the same tune while a plague of unscrupulous pain-management clinics proliferated and dispensed powerful painkillers as if they were Pez.


Sen. Thrasher poised to lead Fla. GOP

Local lawmaker John Thrasher emerged Tuesday as the front-runner to become chairman of the Florida Republican Party, after embattled GOP leader Jim Greer announced his resignation.


Blog:  Former Fla. House Speaker Sansom charged with grand theft over hangar

In a surprise escalation of the case against ousted House Speaker Ray Sansom, a state prosecutor Wednesday charged him with grand theft for directing $6 million in taxpayer money for an airport building that a private developer wanted to use.


Jacksonville loses 5,000 construction jobs

Jacksonville lost 5,000 construction jobs, or 13 percent of the local jobs in construction, from November 2008 to November, 2009, according to statistics released by Associated General Contractors of America, an Arlington, Va.-based trade group.


3 states in water wars ask for confidentiality

Georgia, Alabama and Florida have asked a judge to keep their negotiations in the long-running regional legal fight over water rights confidential.


PSC holds first meeting with 2 new members

With major rate decisions looming next week, a revamped Florida Public Service Commission began meeting Tuesday with a new chairwoman and a new member.


Disbarred Ft. Lauderdale Lawyer Rothstein Will Plead Guilty To $1.2 Billion Ponzi Scheme

Disbarred South Florida lawyer Scott Rothstein is negotiating a guilty plea with federal prosecutors on charges of orchestrating a $1.2 billion Ponzi scheme using faked legal settlements, his lawyer said Tuesday.


Naples man sentenced in $12M Indianapolis mortgage fraud case

Forty-four-year-old Robert A. Penn of Naples, Fla. also was ordered Monday to pay more than $11 million in restitution. He earlier pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and admitted to money laundering conspiracy.


New Miccosukee leader vows to bring fresh economic opportunities

In front of a gathered crowd that included both fellow tribal members and Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians on Tuesday installed Colley Billie as its new chairman.


Dockery Names Her Campaign Team Members

State Sen. Paula Dockery unveiled what she called the backbone of her campaign team Tuesday in her bid for the Republican nomination for governor.


FPL is accused of not sharing its tax break

The Florida Public Service Commission said Tuesday it is looking into anonymous allegations that Florida Power & Light’s parent company took an estimated $1 billion in tax credits — and didn’t pass the savings on to customers.


WCI Chinese Drywall Trust Files Suit Against 14 Insurers

The Trustee for the WCI Chinese Drywall Trust has filed suit against 14 insurance companies in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, seeking indemnification for losses arising from claims for the development and sale of homes allegedly containing defective Chinese manufactured drywall.


Insurance issue vet Sen. Dodd won’t seek re-election

The chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee-Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn.-said Wednesday that he will not seek re-election.  


Geico doesn’t have to pay overtime to auto adjusters, appeals court rules

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia said Tuesday that the adjusters can be classified as ‘administrative employees’ who are exempt from federal rules requiring time and a half for hours worked beyond 40 per week.


Georgia opens criminal probe of former CEO of insurer

Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine has opened a criminal investigation into the business practices of the former CEO of Southeastern U.S. Insurance Inc.


Washington To Tackle Credit Scoring, Streamline Agent/Broker Licensing

Bills to improve health care, protect consumers, ban the use of credit scoring , streamline the licensing of agents and brokers, and broadening the definition of what’s considered “emergency care” are all on Washington’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner’s legislative agenda for 2010.


PCI Seeks New York No-Fault Reform, Market-based Coastal Solutions and Preservation of Credit Scoring in 2010

Top issues on the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America’s state legislative agenda for 2010 include reforming New York’s no-fault auto insurance system, advancing market-based solutions in coastal markets, defeating a series of misguided auto insurance and bad faith bills in Michigan and protecting the use of risk-based underwriting tools.


A.M. Best Special Report: Underwriting and Investments Drive Improvement in Operating Results

The U.S. property/casualty industry posted a larger profit in the first nine months of 2009 than for the same period of 2008, driven by improved underwriting results and continued recovery in the investment markets.


A.M. Best Special Report: Changes in Investment Climate Turn Focus to Underwriting

The financial strength of the U.S. property/casualty insurance industry has escaped the worst effects of the historic financial turmoil of 2008 and 2009, aided by excess capital, a relatively conservative asset allocation and a focus on overall liquidity.


Primary Insurers Become Kings of Cat Bonds

Primary writers tapping the catastrophe bond market helped make 2009 the third-biggest year for new cat bond risk capital issued, according to the January 4, 2010, edition of BestWeek U.S./Canada.


Conning Report Warns Of Effects Of Inflation 

Inflation should be a “significant concern” for insurers, a new Conning Research report says.


Property/casualty insurance rates fall 4%: MarketScout

Property/casualty insurance rates dropped an average of 4% in December compared with the same period a year earlier, MarketScout said Tuesday.


TransUnion Risk Indices on Credit and Insurance Diverge, Suggest Improving Risk Conditions Nationally

TransUnion reported that during the third quarter of 2009 two of its proprietary risk indices used to manage portfolio risk, the Credit Risk Index and the Insurance Risk Index, diverged suggesting that U.S. risk conditions are beginning to improve.


To unsubscribe from this newsletter,  please send an e-mail to