Florida House of Representatives Insurance and Banking Subcommittee Report: January 30, 2012

Jan 30, 2012


The Florida House of Representatives Insurance and Banking Subcommittee (“Subcommittee”) met today, January 30, 2012. To view the meeting packet, click here.


HB 409

The first item on the agenda was House Bill 409 relating to Alien Insurers, filed by State Representative Ed Hooper (R-Clearwater).  Representative Hooper presented a strike-all amendment to the bill, which was adopted after limited questions from the Subcommittee.  The bill was then passed unanimously as amended with no debate or public testimony.


HB 4181

The next item on the agenda was House Bill 4181 relating to Workers’ Compensation filed by State Representative Matt Caldwell (R-Fort Myers).  Representative Caldwell explained that HB 4181 is a simple repealer bill.  After limited questions from the Subcommittee members and no debate or public comments, the bill passed unanimously.


HB 1277

House Bill 1277 filed by State Representative Daniel Davis (R-Jacksonville) was the next bill taken up by the Subcommittee. Representative Davis explained that HB 1277 decreases regulation, yet increases regulators’ enforcement tools.  The bill revises frequency and notice requirements for examinations and investigations of money services business licensees by the Florida Office of Financial Regulation.  There were limited questions from the Subcommittee.  During public testimony, a handful of speakers waived their allotted time in support of the bill, including the representatives from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation and the Florida Chamber of Commerce.  With no debate, the bill passed unanimously.


HB 4169

The Subcommittee then took up House Bill 4169 relating to Insurance Company Excess Profits.  The sponsor, Representative Davis, briefly explained his bill, which revises provisions of law prohibiting insurance companies from realizing excess profits for writing certain lines of insurance coverage.  It also deletes workers’ compensation and employer’s liability insurance coverage from lists of lines of business for which excessive profits are prohibited. 

State Representative Evan Jenne questioned Representative Davis on who currently receives insurers’ returned excess profits and why previous administrations never sought to make these changes.  Representative Davis replied that, under current law, a policyholder receives a financial return if, in fact, there was an excess profit.  He added that this bill would help to attract more workers’ compensation carriers, thus increasing market competition and ultimately helping Florida consumers.  State Representative Ben Steinberg also questioned Representative Davis regarding the promulgated rate and why the promulgated rate process is not being altered instead of the excess profits law.  Representative Davis answered by stating that HB 4169 is a repealer bill and that he would entertain further conversations regarding a change in the promulgated rate process for another piece of legislation.

State Representatives Bill Hager and Jim Boyd asked additional questions relating to a workers’ compensation carrier’s ability to offer dividends and other incentives to entice consumers. 


Public Testimony

Those persons on hand who waived their time to testify on the bill included representatives from FCCI Insurance Group, Associated Industries of Florida, and the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association.

Several attorneys expressed their opposition to the bill, focusing their comments on how it would hurt small businesses.  They added their opinions that the promulgated rate process should be altered instead of eliminating the excess profits cap.  

Several Subcommittee members questioned the attorneys, their respective interest in the bill and whether there should be caps on attorney fees.



The Subcommittee members then debated the bill.  Many of the concerns raised through prior questions were reiterated.  Representatives Jenne and Steinberg spoke in opposition to the bill, while Representatives John Wood, Hager, Boyd and Albritton spoke in favor of it.  Representative Albritton commented that HB 4169 sends a message to new companies to “come do business here.”

Representative Davis then closed the discussion on the bill.  Explaining that the laws of capitalism work, he said HB 4169 creates an opportunity to lure new business into the State of Florida. This helps the small business owner, he said, and ultimately the public.

A vote was taken and the bill passed by a vote of 11 to 3.


HB 1065

The last bill on the Subcommittee’s agenda was House Bill 1065 relating to Annuities filed by State Representative Doug Broxson (R-Gulf Breeze).  Prior to the Subcommittee meeting, Representative Broxson had filed 12 amendments to his bill.  Amendment 237517 was withdrawn, while the remaining 11 amendments were adopted with no debate and no public testimony.  HB 1065 then passed unanimously as amended with limited public testimony in support of the bill and no debate.  To access all amendments filed to the bill, click here.


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