Colodny Fass Insurance-Related Florida Legislative Bill Tracking Summary: Week Ending February 11, 2011

Feb 14, 2011


Colodny Fass presents its weekly bill tracking report for the week ending February 11, 2011.

This report, which is attached, is designed to assist in following pending priority state-level insurance issues during the 2011 Florida Legislative Session.  It will be updated and circulated weekly until the final two weeks of the Session, whereafter it will be circulated with daily updates.

Florida’s 2011 Regular Legislative Session begins on March 8 and runs through May 6. 

For easy reference and accessibility, the summary organizes and tracks activity related to key insurance topics.  As these develop throughout the legislative process, other bills of interest will be added.  

The following insurance-related bills have been added and are marked in red as “NEW” on the attached summary:

SB 938 relating to Insurance by Senator Rhonda Storms 

SB 938 would prohibit an insurer that issues motor vehicle insurance from using a rate, rating schedule, rating manual, or an underwriting rule that is not contained in a rating manual and is determined in whole or in part on the basis of certain characteristics of an insured.  The bill would also prohibit insurers from using credit reports and credit scores in making rating determinations.   Further, it would delete provisions limiting and regulating the use of credit scores by insurers when making rating determinations.   Effective date:  July 1, 2011

SB 858 relating to Agriculture by Senator Alan Hays

Among other provisions, SB 858 would require that gross written premiums for certain crop insurance not be included when calculating the insurer’s gross writing ratio.  The bill would require that liabilities for ceded reinsurance premiums be netted against the asset for amounts recoverable from reinsurers and require that insurers who write other insurance products disclose a breakout of the gross written premiums for crop insurance.  Identical to HB 707.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011

HB 617 relating to Discriminatory Taxes/Reinsurance by State Representative Jeff Brandes

A memorial bill, HB 617 would urge Congress to oppose efforts to impose new discriminatory taxes that would significantly limit use of reinsurance provided by companies located outside the United States.  Effective date:  not specified

HB 4139 relating to Hurricane Savings Accounts by State Representative Jeff Brandes

HB 4139 amends s. 2 222.22, F.S. by deleting a contingency requiring certain federal government action before an exemption from legal process in favor of creditors or other claimants provided to assets in a hurricane savings account becomes effective.  Effective date:  upon becoming law

HB 4133 relating to Professional Geology by Senator Don Gaetz

HB 4133 would repeal provisions relating to regulation, licensure and discipline of professional geologists; the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation’s Board of Professional Geologists and practice of professional geology by firms, corporations and partnerships.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011

HB 4073 relating to Workers’ Compensation by State Representative Steve Crisafulli   

HB 4073 would delete obsolete transitional requirement for certain policies of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association.   Effective date: July 1, 2011

HB 4083 relating to Workers’ Compensation by State Representative Ben Albritton

HB 4083 would repeal a provision relating to Florida’s Workers’ Compensation Administrator that would abolish the position.  The bill also deletes an obsolete transitional requirement for certain policies of the Florida Workers’ Compensation Joint Underwriting Association.  Effective date: July 1, 2011

SB 824 relating to Driving While License is Suspended or Revoked by Senator Ellyn Bogdanoff

SB 824 would specify exceptions to certain penalties for a person driving a motor vehicle while the person’s driver’s license is canceled, suspended or revoked. The bill removes provisions requiring a law enforcement officer to immediately impound or immobilize a motor vehicle under certain circumstances if the operator’s driver’s license or driving privilege is suspended or revoked.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011

HB 689 relating to Driver Improvement Schools and Education Programs by State Representative Lori Berman 

HB 689 would require the curricula of driver improvement schools and education programs to include instruction on risks associated with using a handheld electronic communication device while operating a motor vehicle.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011

HB 643 relating to Motor Vehicles by State Representative Chuck Chestnut IV

HB 643 would revise penalties for the unlawful operation of a sound-making device in a motor vehicle and provide that such operation is a moving violation that includes the assessment of points against the driver’s license.  The bill also would provide for increased penalties for repeat violations within a certain time period.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011

HB 661 relating to Nursing Home Litigation Reform by State Representative Matt Gaetz

HB 661 would require a trial judge to conduct an evidentiary hearing before a claimant can assert a claim against certain interested parties, or before a plaintiff can assert a claim for punitive damages.  The bill would provide a limitation on recovery, as well as limitations for the admissibility of survey and licensure reports.  Further, it would require the showing of admissible evidence by parties in action for punitive damages and require a plaintiff to demonstrate entitlement to assert a claim for punitive damages to a trial judge.  The bill provides additional conditions for settlements involving claims for punitive damages.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011, and shall apply to all causes of action that accrue on or after that date.

SB 926 relating to Liability/Employers of Developmentally Disabled by Senator Rhonda Storms 

SB 926 would provide that an employer, under certain circumstances, is not liable for the acts or omissions of an employee who is a person with a developmental disability.  It also would provide that a not-for-profit supported employment service provider that provides or has provided supported employment services to an employee with a developmental disability is not liable for the actions or conduct of the employee occurring within the scope of the employee’s employment.  The bill defines the term “person with a developmental disability.”  Effective date:  July 1, 2011

HB 703 relating to Liability of Spaceflight Entities by State Representative Tom Goodson

Saves from future repeal a provision that provides spaceflight entities with immunity from liability for loss, damage or death of participant resulting from the inherent risks of spaceflight activities.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011

HB 615 relating to Sovereign Immunity by State Representative Marti Coley

HB 615 would provide that certain health care providers and vendors who primarily serve clients with specified conditions may be considered agents and employees of state or its subdivisions with respect to such services while acting within scope of and pursuant to guidelines established in contractual agreement or Medicaid provider agreement.  The bill would require indemnification and construction of related provisions. Effective date:  July 1, 2011

SB 876 relating to Vessel Safety Regulations by Senator Gwen Margolis

SB 876 would remove state requirements for certain children to wear a personal flotation device while on board certain vessels.  Effective date:  upon becoming law

HB 635 relating to Group Insurance for Public Employees by State Representative Kelli Stargel 

HB 635 would require that school districts procure certain types of insurance through interlocal agreements and would establish the “School District Insurance Consortium,” which would be governed by a board of directors that would contract for such insurance based on the award of competitive bids on statewide or regional basis and the selection of multiple insurance providers.  The bill would also require that school districts engage in collective bargaining with certified bargaining agent for any unit of employees for which health, accident, or hospitalization insurance is provided.  Effective date:  July 1, 2011



Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass.


To unsubscribe from this newsletter please send an email to