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Regulatory News

Commissioner Poizner announces 20.5% rate cut for medical malpractice insurance offered by The Doctors Co. Concern was that its purchase of SCPIE Holdings would reduce med mal insurance competition and lead to rate increases.

As of 2009, insurers now required to include minimum $5,000 of medical payment coverage on all auto policies issued in the state. Consumers can opt out in writing.

Latest order by Commissioner Denn requires state’s workers comp insurers discount average premiums by 6% in 2009 and 2010 and another 5% in 2011. >> Newly elected insurance commissioner, Karen Weldin Stewart, appoints Tom Gordon, previously convicted on two misdemeanor counts of failing to give accurate tax information, to evaluate the Insurance Office’s fraud unit for her transition team.

Moves more than 385,000 homeowners policies from state-run Citizens to mix of 14 Florida-based insurers. Now Insurance Commissioner McCarty has to report to the state cabinet on these insurers’ solvency. >> Cover Florida health initiative opens to uninsured Floridians ages 19 to 64. Six companies provide a variety of plans ranging in cost and coverage from the lowest—$23 a month—to the highest—$310 a month. Pre-existing conditions cannot be cause for denial. >> Insurers argue that they are being overcharged for premiums for state hurricane fund. They say the Cat Fund bills for $28 billion in reinsurance coverage but has capacity for only about $16 billion in losses. Companies want recalculation of charges, and some want refunds. Some contend that Cat Fund flimflam could harm insurer credit ratings and raise private reinsurer rates for companies exposed in Florida.

Federal officials revising maps of flood-prone areas in the state, possibly increasing flood insurance rates substantially on some properties. Areas of greatest concern are Waikapu Stream, Iao Stream and the South Maui areas of Kamaole Gulch and Kaluaihakiki Stream. An estimated 340 properties are in question.

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