January 2015


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Florida Governor Rick Scott is looking for a replacement for the state’s top insurance regulator and has already contacted a potential candidate from Louisiana.

Scott’s office has confirmed that the governor contacted Ron Henderson, Louisiana deputy insurance commissioner for consumer advocacy, as a possible replacement for Florida’s current insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, who has headed the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) since 2003.

McCarty has reportedly been targeted for replacement as part a shake-up of top officials by Scott as he embarks on his second term.

In a letter to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Scott called for new heads of the OIR, the Office of Financial Regulation and the Department of Revenue.

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/27/355570.htm

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A national consumer group is urging Florida to keep its current insurance regulator, a man the group says is one of the best regulators in the country but who is rumored to be under pressure to resign by the Scott Administration.

The Consumer Federation of America (CFA) has reached out to the Florida Financial Services Commission in support of Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, following recent reports that second-term Governor Rick Scott is opposing McCarty’s reappointment.

Hunter hopes that they will act to keep McCarty, he wrote in an email to Insurance Journal. “McCarty is very strong given his great track record,” wrote Hunter.

Hunter said it is not typical for a member of the CFA to reach out in support of an official because usually a state governor would make the final decision and no vote is needed

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/23/355006.htm

Florida’s insurance regulator’s tenure could be coming to an end after more than a decade as the newly re-elected governor looks to shake up his administration by replacing the heads of state agencies.

Rumors have been circulating that Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty may not survive the transition into Governor Rick Scott’s second term. And Scott’s office isn’t exactly stopping them.

The News Service of Florida reported that in a letter to CFO Atwater on Tuesday, Scott wrote that he hoped the Cabinet could “begin a search for new leadership” at the Office of Insurance Regulation, the Office of Financial Regulation and the Department of Revenue.

Scott’s spokesperson Jackie Schutz said it is important for a governor to have new leaders and new ideas heading into a second term. While not addressing McCarty specifically, Schutz laid out the rationale for finding a replacement for McCarty.

“Executive office positions are not lifetime appointments and for the same reason there are term limits in elected office, it is important to search for the best newest ideas whenever possible,” said Schutz.

“In regard to the Office of Insurance Regulation, we have no announcements at this time,” said Schutz, in what some see as a signal that a change is coming.

Industry representatives are reticent to discuss McCarty, perhaps not wanting to risk antagonizing either McCarty or the next commissioner.

When asked, industry representatives said it is not a matter of one choice or one decision that McCarty has made that got him to this point. Most just say McCarty’s fate is the product of years of unpopular decisions.

Several industry representatives said, “It’s time.”

McCarty is not the only state official whose job is up for grabs.

 

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http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/20/354497.htm

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Thank you,

 

Lee

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Florida’s state-backed property insurer is lowering the amount of coverage it provides for high-value properties from $1 million to $900,000, per a 2013 law change.

Citizens Property Insurance Corp. is implementing the change that will apply to all almost all new and renewal high-value business as of January 1.

Florida lawmakers in a 2013 property reform law included a provision calling for lower limits on Citizens policies. Supporters argued that that there is ample coverage for these policies in the private market and doing this would reduce Citizens overall exposure.

The 2013 law created a three-tier coverage reduction with the first scheduled to take effect this year.

Under the law, any property that has a dwelling replacement cost of $900,000 or more is no longer eligible for Citizens coverage. The law also applies to single condominium units that have a combined dwelling and contents coverage of more than $900,000.

Properties that fall between the $900,000 and $1 million level as of December 31, 2015 may retain their Citizens coverage until the expiration of their current policy.

In January 2016, the coverage limit amount is to likewise be reduced to $800,000. Finally, come January 2017, the coverage limit will be reduced to $700,000 where it will stay.

 

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/06/351763.htm