Florida House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee Approves Insurance-Related Bills

Nov 16, 2011


The Florida House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee (“Subcommittee”) met today, November 16, 2011 to vote on several bills and hold a workshop on the draft proposed committee substitute of HB 119 by State Representative Jim Boyd relating to Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”).

HB 379 by State Representative Jeannette Nunez allows for the creation of pure captive insurance companies, association captive insurance, industrial insured captive insurance, special purpose captives and captive reinsurance companies. Both the Subcommittee and members of the public expressed concern about the bill’s loose definition of the business relationship necessary to participate in a captive, the solvency requirements, and the discloses required to be provided to insurers by associational captives. The bill passed unanimously.

HB 4087 by State Representative Ben Albritton would repeal section 627.725, F.S. and require the Florida Financial Services Commission to contract for the review and ratemaking process of any licensed rating organization that makes a workers’ compensation filing in Florida. The bill passed unanimously.

HB 307 by State Representative Mack Bernard would permit corporate officers to elect to be exempt from workers’ compensation requirements. The bill passed with little discussion.

Subcommittee members also had a healthy discussion relating to HB 119. State Representative Richard Steinberg expressed concern with capping plaintiffs’ attorney fees and not defense fees.  He believes claimants will not be able to retain counsel for disputes over small sums of money and insurance companies will begin to routinely deny small claims.

Several other Subcommittee members expressed concern with the threshold established by HB 119 for clinic license exemptions.  Their concern centered around requiring licensure of clinics that derive 30 percent or more of revenues from PIP payments. 

State Representative Evan Jenne stated that many members (on both sides of the aisle) would like to see PIP repealed.  Representative Boyd responded that it appears there is still a chance to reform PIP and the Legislature can always come back to repeal it.

Representative Bernard asked what the forseeable reduction in consumer policy premiums may be. Representative Boyd responded that he could not provide an actual amount of reduction, but stated that he expects companies to reduce rates. Representative Horner discussed his PIP reform effort from the 2011 session, and expressed his belief that PIP should now be repealed.

Because today’s format was a workshop, no vote was taken on HB 119.


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