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Regulatory News

Forms state Senate committee for Banking and Insurance.

December legislation seeks to block portion of healthcare reform requiring people to buy health insurance. >> Lowell Nicholas, M.D., appointed deputy commissioner overseeing Health Insurance Rate Review Division. >> All filings submitted on or after March 1 must be done using SERFF, and all filing fees must be sent via electronic funds transfer on SERFF. Farm Mutual and surplus lines writers are exempt.

State Compensation Insurance Fund revises broker of record policy and files 5.2% rate increase for 2011. Policyholders will have more options on policy service. Broker of record letters for direct accounts will be recognized, and commissions paid on those accounts will follow 2011 Broker Agreement. The agreement increases the types of account for which brokers can receive a commission. >> Assemblyman Dave Jones elected to follow Steve Poizner as insurance commissioner. He chaired the Assembly Health Committee. >> Outgoing commissioner rejects 27.7% workers comp rate filing, saying cost controls and operating efficiencies have not be shown. >> Consolidates Compensation Insurance Fund operations to save nearly $200 million in costs. Over three years, will consolidate regional claims and underwriting into 10 central locations. About 1,400 jobs will move or be eliminated. >> Appoints Tom Clark COO of state Compensation Insurance Fund, replacing Harrison Jones, who has retired. Clark is 30-year veteran of the fund. >> New assessments for workers comp insurers and self-insurers published for 2011. Full fee balance is due by April 1. >> WC insurers wrote about 10% more premium through Q3 2010 over the same period in 2009. Average rate was $2.39/$100 of payroll.

Commissioner Marcy Morrison steps down. John Postolowski, deputy commissioner of finance and administration, is serving as interim commissioner.

Barbara Spear appointed acting commissioner to fill the vacancy left by Thomas Sullivan’s departure. She has been at the department since 2008.

State authorizes change in property insurance mitigation discount form to require that inspectors who sign an inspection form must personally inspect the property. Fines and criminal prosecution possible for violators. >> Approves reorganization of the Florida Retail Federation of Self-Insurers Fund into a stock insurer, RetailFirst Insurance Co., within a mutual holding company system. The group, which insures more than 7,500 businesses throughout Florida, has a policyholder surplus above $100 million. It will continue to be managed by Liberty Mutual subsidiary Summit Consulting. Submissions are being accepted through independent agents. >> Sinkhole claims are spreading geographically into Miami-Dade and Broward counties. Office of Insurance Regulation is considering changes to policy language defining structural damage and is trying to determine how many of the claims are false or inflated by the participation of public adjusters. >> State attracts three more Bermuda-based reinsurers—ACE Tempest Re, Hiscox, and Partner Re—under agreement on lower collateral requirements. Six reinsurers given break on collateral so far.

Ralph Hudgens elected insurance and fire safety commissioner, succeeding fellow Republican John Oxendine, who left post for failed governor’s bid.

Workers comp panel assignments for 2011 announced. Panel A consists of Commissioners Donohoo, Lamborn and Mason; Panel B is Commissioners Dauphin and Lindsay, plus a vacancy left by Commissioner Sherman, who resigned in October; Panel C remains filled by Commissioners Basurto, DeMunno and Gore. >> Madison, St. Clair and Monroe counties, along with other parties, are suing FEMA over new flood maps. They say new designations for the St. Louis area would mandate flood insurance, restrict new development and hurt the region’s ability to sustain and grow the local economy.


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