Legislators


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The Florida Cabinet has selected David Altmaier to be the state’s new insurance commissioner.

Altmaier, 34, is currently a deputy commissioner within the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. He will replace Kevin McCarty, who is stepping down after 13 years on the job

Altmaier was one of three candidates, all OIR employees, interviewed at a special Cabinet meeting today.

He was selected after members of the Cabinet could not agree at previous meetings or at today’s on other candidates including Rep. Bill Hager; Jeffrey Bragg, a former federal insurance official; or Belinda Miller, who is OIR chief of staff.

Florida law requires that the governor and CFO must agree on the choice of an insurance commissioner, who can then be hired with the support of at least one other Cabinet member.

Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam joined Gov. Rick Scott and CFO Jeff Atwater in supporting Altmaier.

 

Please enjoy the full article below!

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/04/29/407083.htm

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Legislation that supporters say would open the Flood insurance market to more private insurers pass the U.S. House of Representatives today on a vote of 419-0.

The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act, H.R. 2901, which requires private Flood insurance to be treated the same as federal Flood insurance for homeowners with federally backed mortgages who are required to buy coverage, now

Passage of this legislation in the Senate is now the group’s number one priority, it said.

“The Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act will be a great benefit to consumers so that they have more choices when it comes to flood insurance, said Robert Hartwig, president of the New York City-based Insurance Information Institute. “Now insurers can compete with the NFIP on a more-equal footing, increasing consumer options while at the same time protecting taxpayers.”

“Enactment of this bill will give consumers more choices when it comes to Flood insurance. It will also help encourage development of a private Flood insurance market to complement the NFIP,” said Tom Santos, vice president for federal affairs for the Washington, D.C.-based American Insurance Association. “The overwhelming bipartisan vote by the House creates additional momentum as the bill moves to the Senate.”

Please enjoy the full article below!

http://www.propertycasualty360.com/2016/04/28/house-passes-private-flood-insurance-bill?eNL=5722731b150ba08846d6f8f7&utm_source=PC360_NewsFlash&utm_medium=EMC-Email_editorial&utm_campaign=04282016

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for free quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well.

 

For the second time in a month, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater could not reach an agreement over who will become the next insurance commissioner for the state.

At the April 26 Florida Cabinet Meeting, Cabinet Members Scott, Atwater, Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam interviewed a total of four candidates from the 71 applicants who applied to the position. The spot will soon be vacated by current Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, who announced his plan to resign earlier this year.

McCarty said back in January that he would resign effective May 2. The Cabinet then opened up an online application with the goal of appointing a successor at its March 29 meeting, before the start of hurricane season. However, at the March meeting, Scott refused to second Atwater’s nomination of Hager. The Cabinet needs to reach a unanimous decision on the choice with Atwater and Scott’s votes carrying the most weight.

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/04/27/406601.htm

 

too Much PAC money I guess. Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for free quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & financial products as well.

It’s looking like Florida lawmakers will not provide resolution for two controversial issues currently facing the Florida insurance industry, this year at least.

With just three days left in the 2016 Florida Session, legislative attempts at addressing the rising cost of water damage claims from the misuse of assignment of benefits and regulating and mandating insurance requirements for the Florida ridesharing industry have stalled.

It’s looking like Florida lawmakers will not provide resolution for two controversial issues currently facing the Florida insurance industry, this year at least.

With just three days left in the 2016 Florida Session, legislative attempts at addressing the rising cost of water damage claims from the misuse of assignment of benefits and regulating and mandating insurance requirements for the Florida ridesharing industry have stalled.

***********Meanwhile, insurers and their advocates warned that Florida homeowners can expect rate increases if something isn’t done to deal with “skyrocketing water losses,” particularly in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.************

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/03/08/401275.htm

problems. SB 596 passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on February 1, with the all-important language stating that an agreement is void if “it purports to assign or transfer the right to enforce payment for post-loss benefits in the policy,” still in the bill. This provision cuts off the vendors from getting attorneys’ fees, and is the root of this problem. Unfortunately, however, several Committee members said their support was contingent on Senator Hukill amending that provision in the next Committee. CS/HB 1097 by Representative Caldwell has removed that “enforcement” provision. CS/HB 671 by Representative Broxson, which passed the House Government Operations Subcommittee on February 8, does not address “enforcement.”

In addition to the enforcement provision, CS/SB 596 would provide for the following:

  •  The insurer must be notified of the assignment within 3 business days; and an estimate for materials and services must be provided.
  • Within 3 business days following the insurer being notified, the policyholder has a right to rescind without penalty, except for reimbursement for work already performed to mitigate or repair; if the Governor has declared a state of emergency, the policyholder has 5 business days.
  • The assignment must contain in 14-point type a statement to the policyholder describing the right to rescind; that the assignment cannot impose any kind of cancellation fee or a check processing fee, or add a provision for overhead and profit; that the final bill cannot exceed the estimate, unless approved by the policyholder and insurer.
  • The transfer of the right to enforce payment is prohibited and anything that prevents or inhibits an insurer from communicating with its policyholder is prohibited.
  • The assignment cannot transfer the authority to adjust, negotiate, or settle the claim to anyone who is not otherwise authorized to do so; and provides that the law will apply to all assignments which are executed after the effective date.
  • The provisions of the bill will not apply to powers of attorney granted to management companies, family members, or guardians.

We are continuing to aggressively lobby for a strong bill on this issue, and will work to prevent a detrimental bill from being passed.
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News of who will replace Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty has yet to be announced, but whoever takes over will have his or her work cut out for them when McCarty leaves office after 12 years on May 2.

“These are some pretty huge shoes to fill and it’s going to be tough,” said Jay Neal, president and CEO of the Florida Association for Insurance Reform (FAIR). “We need someone who is experienced in that role or we will see problems.”

No candidates have been confirmed as potential replacements, as of yet, but a few names have been floated so far. Two Florida movers rumored to be in the running include Florida State Rep. Bill Hager, a former Iowa Insurance Commissioner, former president and CEO of the National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) and current vice chair of the state Insurance and Banking subcommittee; and Tom Grady, former interim president of Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

Hager has been vocal for flood insurance reform in the state, an issue that has also been a major focus for McCarty over the last six months. Hager told Insurance Journal last fall that lawmakers were “turning up the heat” on the National Flood Insurance Program’s ratemaking practices.

Grady is currently awaiting confirmation by the State Senate to the Florida Board of Education after he was appointed by Florida Gov. Rick Scott in Oct. He was accused of allowing “excessive” travel expenses during his short-lived position with Citizens.

There is also the possibility that a candidate Scott considered last year, Louisiana Deputy Commissioner of Consumer Advocacy Ron Henderson, could be in the running again.

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for free quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well. Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/01/08/394524.htm

Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin M. McCarty announced today that he is resigning effective May 2, 2016 after 12 years in the post to pursue other job opportunities, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR).

McCarty has served as the only appointed insurance commissioner for the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation since the office was created in 2003.

McCarty’s tenure has been a tumultuous yet productive one. Originally appointed by former Gov. Jeb Bush, McCarty presided over the state’s sometimes volatile homeowners and auto insurance markets, a number of devastating hurricanes, and several financial and insurance-related crises.

Last year, he survived an ouster bid by current Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Gov. Rick Scott’s Communications Direct, Jackie Schutz, issued the following statement to Insurance Journal on the news:

“We appreciate his service to the state and we wish him the best of luck in his next endeavor.”

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Flood, Auto, Business & Commercial & Life & Financial products as well. Please enjoy the full article below.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2016/01/05/393831.htm

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