Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, June 2

Jun 2, 2010

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


Florida Gov. Crist Vetoes Property Insurance Bill

As he hinted he would do, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has vetoed an omnibus property insurance bill (SB 2044) that the industry and even the state’s insurance commissioner had had urged him to sign.


Crist Signs Commercial, Professional Lines Deregulation Bill

Florida Gov. Charlie Crist has signed into law a bill exempting certain commercial and professional liability insurance rates from state review prior to use.


New Florida Law Adjusts Property Assessments for Chinese Drywall Effects

Florida Governor Charlie Crist today signed legislation making properties affected by imported or domestic drywall eligible for an adjustment of their assessed value.


News Release:  Universal Insurance Services of Florida Merges With Gaines & Smith Financial Group

Universal Insurance Services of Florida, Inc. and Gaines & Smith Financial Group, Inc., along with its divisions, have merged into a single business.


A.M. Best Comments on Insurer’s Potential Exposure to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund

Based on the recently revised projected claims-paying capacity of the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF), A.M. Best Co. has updated its treatment of reinsurance provided to rated entities from this structure.


Is state ready for hurricane season? Citizens, CAT fund in better shape

As hurricane season officially began Tuesday, Florida’s state-run property insurance programs are better prepared this year than in the past.  The state’s insurance programs, Citizens Property Insurance and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, will be able to borrow the money needed to pay claims if the state endures an active hurricane season.


Floridians upset by BP’s claims process for businesses hurt by oil spill

Forty days after the Deepwater Horizon disaster began, not a drop of oil from the undersea gusher has been confirmed to have hit Florida.Yet as of Friday, BP had paid out more than $3 million in claims to nearly 4,000 Floridians. BP spokesman Ray Dempsey said the company hasn’t turned anyone down so far.


Florida’s Emergency Chief Hopes Agency Turmoil Is Over

Florida’s Division of Emergency Management, under a second director since Craig Fugate left a year ago to run its federal counterpart, is getting a jump start on the hurricane season.


AAA urges Crist to veto truck weight bill

In a letter sent late last week, AAA Auto Club South asked Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a transportation bill that would allow state and local authorities to issue permits that increase the maximum allowable truck weight from 80,000 to 88,000 pounds.


Florida has 3 of most dangerous interstates

Florida is home to three of the 100 most dangerous roads in America, according to a new report by The Daily Beast.


Crist’s veto on workers’ compensation bill decried

Crist vetoed a measure aimed at controlling costs in workers’ compensation.  The measure would have limited the cost of drugs that are repackaged in small doses and then dispensed by physicians to workers’ compensation patients. Some physicians choose to do such dispensing instead of writing prescriptions that patients can fill at pharmacies. 


Highlands County hires its own insurance agent for employee health insurance

The Highlands County commissioners spent $70,000 Tuesday in the hopes of saving even more.The commission unanimously hired AON Consulting of Tampa to represent the county in buying employee health insurance.


News Release:  Florida Insurer BusinessFirst Insurance Company To Expand Workers’ Compensation to Other States

BusinessFirst Insurance Company is now offering workers’ compensation insurance coverage to employers in Kentucky, North Carolina and Tennessee. 


Ex-Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer indicted on charges of grand theft, money laundering

Jim Greer was arrested by FDLE agents at his Oviedo home today

State agents and Seminole County deputies walked into ousted Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer’s posh Oviedo mansion Wednesday morning while he was shaving and hauled him off to jail on corruption charges, alleging that he pocketed at least $125,000 in party funds.


Blog:  Emergency unemployment benefits lapse for thousands

The law providing extra unemployment benefits lapses on Wednesday, leaving thousands in Florida and more than a million nationwide in jeopardy of losing a lifeline of support.


Crist saves road jobs with budget gamble

Taking a calculated risk that Florida’s economy will be stronger in years ahead, Gov. Charlie Crist vetoed the Legislature’s ill-advised hijacking of transportation funds.


Blog:  Bills dealing with yard waste and petroleum contamination sites vetoed by Crist

Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday vetoed bills related to yard waste in landfills and petroleum contamination sites.


Lawmakers want Arizona immigration law in Florida

Local legislators want to mirror Arizona’s new law that would enable police on routine stops and arrests to ask and determine whether a person is in the country illegally. Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, said he plans to introduce such a bill to help curb illegal immigration, because the federal government has failed to do so.


Oil could hit Florida Panhandle by Wednesday

A Florida beach might get hit with oil from the Deepwater Horizon accident for the first time Wednesday as sheen likely caused by the accident was reported less than 10 miles off Pensacola Beach.


Kottkamp, McCollum spring to the defense of fired prosecutor

Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and Attorney General Bill McCollum urged a North Florida state attorney Tuesday to rehire a prosecutor who was fired last week for expressing her “originalist” view of the U.S. Constitution at Tea Party rallies and other conservative events.


U.S. Senate candidate Jeff Greene has yet to release tax returns

Unlike his U.S. Senate rivals, Democrat Jeff Greene — who reaped millions off the subprime mortgage market that helped wreck Florida’s economy — is not releasing his tax returns.


For Senate candidate Marco Rubio, no swing to the left

He says his conservative views are part of new mainstream

At a stage in the campaign when many statewide candidates would be trying to moderate their message to appeal to general election voters, Senate candidate Marco Rubio continues to emphasize a platform that appeals to conservative Republicans and the Tea Party movement.


Rating agencies not ‘underwriters,’ judge rules

A Manhattan federal judge said on Tuesday that it was unfair to hold Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s Corp. liable as “underwriters” on securities offerings needing their ratings as he rejected fraud claims by investors on the safety of $63.4 billion of mortgage debt.


Appeals court can’t rehear Katrina greenhouse-gas suit because of judges’ recusals

So many members of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals have recused themselves from a rehearing of a lawsuit that charges energy companies with contributing to the effects of Hurricane Katrina by emitting greenhouse gases that the court cannot conduct the rehearing.


Insurance regulators miss early deadline on premium spending rules

Implementing a controversial provision of the new health-care law is proving harder than planned. A national assembly of state insurance regulators, which is helping the federal government translate the law into more specific rules, said it was unable to meet a Tuesday deadline for standards meant to ensure that consumers get value for their premium dollars.


News Release:  NICB Sees Increase in Suspicious Claims Related to Hail Damage

Today, the National Insurance Crime Bureau released its latest ForeCAST(SM) report which examines both hail loss claims and hail loss questionable claims (QCs) for the period January 1, 2006 through March 31, 2010.  


HHS releases draft application for early retiree claims

A newly posted draft application by the Department of Health and Human Services details the kind of information regulators will seek from employers applying for federal reimbursement of health care claims incurred by early retirees and their dependents.


Reinsurance prices still in doldrums: Industry execs

The prices the reinsurance industry can charge primary insurers in premiums to cover their own risks have not increased and are unlikely to do so without a major natural catastrophe, reinsurance executives said.


Heartland Institute and Sierra Club: Keep federal government out of insurance business

Most people would likely deem it fair for Americans who choose to live in vulnerable areas like the Florida coast, a major earthquake fault, or a fire-prone California canyon to pay more for property insurance than those who live in safer areas. Some in Congress want to wish away this fact and they’ve started to move forward with a bill called the Homeowners’ Defense Act, introduced by Rep. Ron Klein, D-Fla.


News Release:  Blue Cross to Pay $125,000 in Ground-Breaking Settlement for Autism Care

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan has again been compelled by a lawsuit to pay claims for autism spectrum disorder treatment known as Applied Behavior Analysis, or “ABA.”


Obama Administration to U.S. Supreme Court:  Don’t review San Francisco health care law

The Obama administration is urging the U.S. Supreme Court not to review a 2008 appeals court ruling that upheld San Francisco’s controversial health care spending law.


Prudential Deal Exit Raises Prospects for AIA IPO

UK insurer Prudential Plc is pulling out of its bold $35.5 billion takeover of AIG’s Asian life insurance arm, ending a 3-month battle with shareholders who had argued the deal was over-priced.The widely expected move on Wednesday came after American International Group (AIG) rebuffed Prudential’s attempt to lower its offer, and could pave the way for American International Assurance’s (AIA) potentially up to $15 billion IPO.


New York Plans Hearing over Increase in Workers’ Compensation Loss Costs

The New York Insurance Department will hold a hearing later this month to consider a 7.7 percent in workers’ comp loss costs that has been recommended by the state’ rate service organization, the New York Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau.


Chubb Establishes New Syndicate at Lloyd’s

Chubb Insurance Company of Europe SE has received approval from the Lloyd’s Franchise Board to establish a new Syndicate which will be named Chubb 1882. The new Syndicate will commence underwriting on June 14 for business incepting from July 1, 2010.



To unsubscribe from this newsletter, please send an email to