Florida Insurance-Related Bill Action: February 17, 2010

Feb 18, 2010

The following is a brief summary of discussions and actions on insurance-related bills considered during interim committee meetings held by the Florida Senate and House of Representatives on February 17, 2010:


House General Government Policy Council

Among the bills considered by the House General Government Policy Council was House Bill 949 by State Representative Pat Patterson (R- DeLand).  This bill would return the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund’s (“FHCF”) Contract Year to June 1 through May 31 and change the way in which the FHCF’s capacity for mandatory coverage is annually calculated by setting its capacity for each Contract Year at $17 billion.   The provisions of HB 949 would not allow the capacity to increase until the FHCF’s cash and bonding ability exceeds $34 billion.       

In response to questions about the bill from State Representative Kevin Rader, FHCF Chief Operating Officer Jack Nicholson stated that the FHCF’s cash balance is $6.5 billion, with total liquid resources of $9.5 billion.  FHCF bonding is expected to provide an additional $8 billon in capacity, for a total of $17 billion. 

Dr. Nicholson also noted that, if a catastrophic event occurs, policyholder assessments could be six percent for as long as 30 years. 

HB 949 was passed unanimously by the Council and next proceeds to the Full Appropriations Council on Education and Economic Development.

House Bill 7023 by the Insurance, Business and Financial Affairs Policy Committee, which unanimously passed the Council with limited discussion, would delete outdated language relating to the following:

  • The Florida Automobile Joint Underwriting Association pre-suit notice;
  • A report on private insurers issuing and servicing wind-only policies of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”);
  • A form filing for catastrophic ground cover collapse coverage;
  • A report on the sinkhole database and a Florida Sinkhole Insurance Facility study; and
  • The effective date for the exclusion of windstorm and contents coverage in property insurance policies.

House Bill 7027 by the Insurance, Business and Financial Affairs Policy Committee also was approved by the Council with limited discussion.  Along with deleting outdated statutes, the bill would repeal the prohibition against Citizens’ use of specified amendments or transfers of funds for rate or assessment increase purposes.


Senate Committee on Finance and Tax

Senate Bill 886 by the Senate Committee on Children, Families and Elder Affairs was approved unanimously with limited discussion.  Senator Ronda Storms explained the bill, which relates to an exemption from public records requirements for information provided to the Florida Department of Revenue from the Insurance Claim Data Exchange. SB 886 saves the exemption from repeal under Florida’s Open Government Sunset Review Act.



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