Capitol to Courthouse Headliners: Wednesday, May 26

May 26, 2010



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


Blog:   Citizens Property Insurance under fire again

Citizens Property Insurance drew fire again for its no-bid contract. Citizens has not taken well to the press coverage – dismissing it as having “inaccuracies,” according to a spokeswoman.


Blog:  Will Florida homeowners insurance absorb oil?

Here on Florida’s Gulf Coast, we sit and wait and wonder: Will our homeowners insurance absorb some of the sticky, smelly loss should the BP oil spill soil our property?


Editorial:   Crist should veto bill that opens door to higher property insurance costs

Here’s hoping no hurricanes hit Brevard County or Florida this year, but now’s the time to get ready for what could be an active season.


Former Florida House Insurance Committee Chairman:   Hurricanes and property insurance

Last Thursday, while visiting with the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board, Gov. Charlie Crist once again demonstrated just how misinformed – or disingenuous – he really is when it comes to Florida’s property insurance market.


Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Recommends Investigation of The Hartford Business Practices

Citing specific circumstances of questionable claims denials, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw today sent a petition to the Office of Insurance Regulation requesting an investigation into The Hartford’s use of video surveillance when denying disability benefits. 


Two-week crackdown begins on Florida drivers not wearing seat belts

Annual ‘Click It or Ticket’ campaign runs through June 6

South Florida law enforcement agencies say they will be out in force through June 6 looking for drivers and passengers who aren’t wearing seat belts.


Delray Beach closes loophole in law regulating pain clinics

City officials took one more step Tuesday toward regulating the dispensing of prescription drugs.


Blog:   Veto Sneaky, Last-Minute Bill That Would Hurt Injured Workers

This year, just before midnight as the budget negotiations were coming to a close, some lawmakers engaged in the worst kind of special-interest sausage-making and slipped in language to a budget bill (HB 5603) that would benefit a few powerful workers’ compensation insurance interests at the expense of hard-working Floridians.


Fed share $20 billion for Medicaid expansion in Florida

As Republican leaders offer dire warnings about states’ cost burden under federal health reform, a new report says moving nearly 1 million Floridians into the Medicaid system would dramatically reduce the number of uninsured people in the state — with Washington picking up most of the tab.


Howard Talenfeld of Colodny Fass:  Florida Case Could Hold Private Firms, Insurers Liable for Foster Kids’ Injuries

A few months after a 10-year-old child was placed with eight other children in a Tampa foster home overseen by a single mom, a 13-year-old boy sneaked into his room and raped him in 2005.


Florida couple accused of collecting $500,000 in life insurance after burying man under fake name

The hospital admitted him as Racko Petro. The funeral home interred him as Racko Petro. When it came time for the $500,000 life-insurance policy, the payout went to the supposed wife of Racko Petro.


Blog:  U.S. Senator Nelson, 10 Congressmen Urge Florida Governor to call special session on oil drilling ban

Eleven members of the Florida delegation in Washington have sent a letter to Gov. Charlie Crist today strongly urging he call a special session on a proposed constitutional amendment to ban offshore drilling.


Oil spill politics heat up in Tallahassee

Oil-spill politics got messier on Tuesday, with Gov. Charlie Crist threatening to force lawmakers into a special session and a key senator lambasting the governor for responding too little, too late.


Social Security gets Florida candidates’ attention

Marco Rubio wants Americans to work longer and retire later, a stand that has drawn criticism from his Senate rivals.


Florida a tax haven?

Southern states – including Florida – lead the nation in having the highest percentage of people who wind up paying no annual income taxes to the federal government.


Wasserman Schultz, the Florida congresswoman some love to hate, faces field of opponents

Challengers hope to dim Wasserman Schultz’s luster

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D- Weston, is arguably South Florida’s brightest political star – and facing an unprecedented field of challengers fighting to take her seat.


Gubernatorial Candidate Alex Sink Wants to Meet With Challenger Bud Chiles

Democrat Alex Sink said Tuesday she wants to meet with Bud Chiles, son of the late Florida governor, who continues to consider challenging her for the party’s nomination for governor.


Blog:  Proposed regulation-making reform draws calls for veto

The bill would require state agencies, such as the Department of Business and Professional Regulation and the Department of Environmental Protection, to assess the impact any proposed rule will have on the state’s economy.


Blog:  Former State Sen. John Ostalkiewicz passes away at 57

I just received word that former State Sen. John Ostalkiewicz – a strong conservative who pushed Mel Martinez into a runoff in the 1998 race for county chairman(mayor) – has passed away. He was 57.


Condo Vultures: Florida banks’ ratio of unpaid loans jumps in Q1

The ratio of late or unpaid loans on the books of Florida banks rose to 7.74 percent in the first quarter from 6.59 percent for the same three-month period in 2009 and 2.66 percent in 2008, according to Condo Vultures.


U.S. names Chinese companies that sold tainted drywall

U.S. officials pressured Chinese manufacturers on Tuesday to pay for problems caused by imported drywall in thousands of homes in Florida and other states.


Texas Department of Insurance Files Rule Banning Discretionary Clauses in Insurance Policies

The Texas Department of Insurance has filed a proposed rule that would prohibit the use of discretionary clauses in life, accident, and health insurance policy forms.


State Farm plans Mississippi rate hike

Details not yet set, spokesman says

State Farm officials plan to seek a rate increase this year in at least some parts of Mississippi, company representatives said Monday.


State Farm files California pay-as-you drive request

State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., the nation’s largest car insurer, is the first to apply to the California regulator to offer pay-as-you-drive coverage in which motorists get discounts for travelling less.


Trade Groups Sue New York over Pay Rules

Two trade groups for New York insurance agents are suing the state’s insurance regulator over new rules that will force them to reveal to clients how much they are paid for a particular transaction.


Nationwide Closes Cat Bond Before US Wind Season

Nationwide Mutual closed its U.S. hurricane and earthquake catastrophe bond programme at $185 million, pushing the year’s total issuance towards $2 billion, as investors prepared for the upcoming U.S. wind season.


Surplus Lines Reform Expected To Pass Unchanged 

Officials with the American Association of Managing General Agents expressed confidence that few, if any, changes would be made to the surplus lines reform measure contained in the financial reform act now headed to a Congressional reconciliation committee.


Zurich Opens 50 Specialty Programs to All P/C Agents Via Web Site

Zurich is now offering all commercial property/casualty agents, whether Zurich-appointed or not, free access to 50 specialty insurance programs.


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