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This Week in Insurance: February 8–12, 2016

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Monday, February 8, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

  • Florida Senate, Banking and Insurance Committee, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 132, Direct Primary Care
    • SB 1274, Sinkhole Insurance
  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Employee Retirement Plan Committee, 1:00 p.m. To participate in the conference call, dial 1-888-557-8511, and use code 9235841#. 
  • Florida Senate, Regulated Industries, 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 336, Property Insurance Appraisals
  • Florida House of Representatives, Appropriations Committee, 3:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 221, Health Insurance Coverage for Emergency Services
    • HB 445, Viatical Settlements
    • HB 7089, State Group Insurance Program
  • Florida Senate, Judiciary Committee, 4:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 342, Renters Insurance
    • SB 1118, Transportation Network Company Insurance
    • SB 1298, Bad Faith Assertions of Patent Infringement

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

  • Florida Workers’ Compensation JUA, Investment Committee, 10:00 a.m. To participate in the teleconference meeting, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida Senate, Session, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida Workers’ Compensation JUA, Operations Committee, 2:00 p.m. To participate in the teleconference meeting, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Friday, February 12, 2016

  • Florida Workers' Compensation JUA, Rates & Forms Committee, 2:00 p.m. To participate in the teleconference meeting, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 

This Week in Insurance: February 1–5, 2016

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Monday, February 1, 2016

  • Florida House of Representatives, Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, 12:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 363, Health Insurance for Opioids
    • HB 379, Transfers of Structured Settlement Payment Rights
    • HB 543, Small Group Health Insurance
    • HB 583, Provision of Pharmaceutical Services
    • HB 879, Organization of Department of Financial Services
    • HB 951, Health Plan Regulatory Administration
    • HB 1303, Life Insurance Coverage for Funeral Expenses
    • HB 1317, Interstate Purchase of Health Insurance
    • HB 1327, Sinkhole Insurance
  • Florida Senate, Banking and Insurance Committee, 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 596, Assignment or Transfer of Property Insurance Rights
    • SB 780, Provision of Pharmaceutical Services
    • SB 986, Workers’ Compensation System Administration
    • SB 1402, Ratification of Department of Financial Services Rules
    • SB 1630, Operations of The Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
  • Florida Senate, Health Policy Committee, 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 132, Direct Primary Care
    • SB 1084, Health Care Protocols
    • SB 1442, Out-of-network Health Insurance Coverage
  • Florida House of Representatives, Civil Justice Subcommittee, 3:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 1005, Prejudgment Interest

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 9:15 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida Senate, Session, 10:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, 10:30 a.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 1041, Unclaimed Property
    • HB 7073, Ratification of Rules/Florida Workers’ Compensation Health Care Provider Reimbursement Manual/DFS
  • Florida Senate, Regulated Industries Committee, 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 336, Property Insurance Appraisals
    • SB 1292, Community Associations
  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 4:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

  • Florida Senate, Appropriations Committee, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 908, Organization of the Department of Financial Services
  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 3:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

  • Department of Financial Services, Rule Workshop (69L-22, Reemployment Services-Workers’ Compensation), 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Judiciary Committee, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 3, Civil Remedies for Terrorism
  • Florida Senate, Fiscal Policy Committee, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 828, Insurance Guaranty Association Assessments
    • SB 996, Civil Remedies for Terrorism
  • Florida House of Representatives, Health & Human Services Committee, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 89, Florida Kidcare Program
  • Florida House of Representatives, Regulatory Affairs Committee, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 467, Insurance Guaranty Association Assessments
    • HB 577, Liability Insurance Coverage
    • HB 613, Workers’ Compensation System Administration
    • HB 931, Operations of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation

This Week in Insurance: January 25–29, 2016

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Monday, January 25, 2016

  • Florida House of Representatives, Health Innovation Subcommittee, 12:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 543, Small Group Health Insurance
  • Florida House of Representatives, Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, 12:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 671, Prohibited Insurance Practices
    • HB 929, Peril of Flood
    • HB 1097, Assignment or Transfer of Property Insurance Rights
    • HB 1163, Insurer Regulatory Reporting
  • Florida Senate, Finance and Tax Committee, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 828, Insurance Guaranty Association Assessments

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

  • Florida Senate, Banking and Insurance Committee, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 342, Renter Insurance
    • SB 596, Assignment or Transfer of Property Insurance Rights
    • SB 632, Civil Remedies Against Insurers
    • SB 650, Viatical Settlements
    • SB 986, Workers’ Compensation System Administration
    • SB 1036, Automobile Insurance
    • SB 1170 Health Plan Regulatory Administration
    • SB 1386 Life Insurers
    • SB 1422, Insurer Regulatory Reporting
  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 2:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 509, Transportation Network Companies
  • Florida Senate, Appropriations Subcommittee on Criminal and Civil Justice, 3:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 996, Civil Remedies for Terrorism

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

  • Florida House of Representatives, Health & Human Services Committee, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 37, Direct Primary Care
    • HB 337, Vision Care Plans
  • Florida Senate, Rules Committee, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 592, Public Records/Department of Financial Services
    • SB 774, Liability Insurance Coverage
  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 3:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

  • DFS Rule Hearing, Rule 69J-8.008, 69J-8.009, and 69J-8.011, pertaining to neutral evaluation of sinkholes, 10:30 a.m., Tallahassee. For more information, contact Tasha Carter at 850-413-5800. 
  • Florida Senate, Session, 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 812, Reciprocal Insurers
  • Florida House of Representatives, Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, 3:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 613, Workers’ Compensation System Administration
  • Florida House of Representatives, Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee, 3:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 89, Florida Kidcare Program

Friday, January 29, 2016

  • DFS Rule Hearing, Rule 69J-166.002 and 69J-166.031, pertaining to mediation of commercial residential property insurance claims and residential property insurance claims, 9:30 a.m., Tallahassee. For more information, contact Tash Carter and 850-413-5800. 

Trusted Choice announces marketing reimbursement guidelines for 2016

(Insurance Marketing, Trusted Choice) Permanent link
There’s never been a better time to co-brand your agency with Trusted Choice. For 2016, agencies that take advantage of all three Marketing Reimbursement Program options are eligible for a maximum reimbursement of $1,500, and agencies that are first-time MRP applicants or are new to Trusted Choice may be eligible for additional funds.

Three tiers are available:

  1. Use of the Freedom Campaign materials.
  2. Use of a web developer/vendor to provide a digital upgrade to an agency’s website, social media, or mobile app.
  3. Use of digital advertising/marketing provided by Trusted Choice.

Check out the guidelines (PDF) for more information.

Deadline for digital ad flight is Feb. 1

Time is running short to sign up for the next Trusted Choice digital ad flight. Choose either a three-month or five-month flight of banner ads on websites and social media ads on Facebook. The flights are geo-targeted to pre-selected zip codes to adults ages 25–54. The deadline to purchase these online packages is Feb. 1. Have questions? Contact Kiescha Cherry for more information.

2016 MRP Graphic 

This Week in Insurance: January 18–22, 2016

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Board of Governors teleconference, 10:30 a.m. To participate in the conference call, dial 888-942-8686, and use Conf ID 5743735657#. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 221, Health Insurance Coverage for Emergency Services
    • HB 651, Department of Financial Services
    • HB 659, Automobile Insurance
    • HB 931, Operations of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
  • Florida Senate, Banking and Insurance Committee, 4:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 632, Civil Remedies Against Insurers
    • SB 774, Liability Insurance Coverage
    • SB 992, Department of Financial Services
    • SB 1084, Health Care Protocols
    • SB 1118, Transportation Network Company Insurance

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

  • Florida Senate, Rules Committee, 4:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 812, Reciprocal Insurers

Thursday, January 21, 2016

  • Florida Cabinet, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Regulatory Affairs Committee, 11:30 a.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 297, Limitations on Actions other than for the Recovery of Real Property
    • HB 577, Liability Insurance Coverage
  • Florida Senate, Session, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 

Friday, January 22, 2016

  • Florida Senate, Session, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 

Broad-based group formed to tackle AOB fraud

(Member News) Permanent link

The group, of which FAIA is a member, is calling for a legislative fix to the growing problem 

CPC Logo

A broad-based group of business leaders and consumer advocates has formed the Consumer Protection Coalition to push for reforms to end Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse.

The group launched a website this week, FightFraud.Today, that includes an online petition consumers can sign to urge lawmakers to pass meaningful AOB reform, as well as consumer-friendly education materials detailing the AOB scheme.

‘’Assignment of Benefits abuse is a huge threat to Florida’s families and businesses and must be stopped,’’ said Mark Wilson, president and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which is leading the coalition. “Billboard trial lawyers and questionable vendors are taking advantage of AOB to essentially steal money from consumers and wreak havoc on our state’s insurance market. For the sake of attracting new businesses and jobs, we can’t let that happen.’’

The coalition is concerned about the impact of AOB abuse on the state’s consumers, insurance costs, and overall business climate, and supports AOB legislation filed by state Sen. Dorothy Hukill (SB 596) and Rep. Matt Caldwell (HB 1097).

AOB is a legal tool that allows policyholders to sign over their insurance benefits to a third party, such as a home repair vendor, without having to pay money up front to cover repair work. While AOB can be useful in processing claims promptly, a cottage industry of trial lawyers, unregulated water extraction firms and other vendors have increasingly used AOB to take complete control of homeowners’ policies, then inflate the costs of repairs and file costly lawsuits against property insurers. These suits are often filed without the knowledge or consent of the homeowner.

Coalition members advocate that consumers don’t need to sign an Assignment of Benefit to handle insurance claims for emergency repair work. They can simply direct their insurance company to pay vendors and, if they don’t feel like their claim was handled properly, they can take action against their insurer.

(See FAIA's AOB FAQ for consumer tips)

“Homeowners should not be asked to sign away their rights simply to get needed home repairs. A practice that depends on consumers skimming quickly over the fine print and unknowingly signing their rights away is a recipe for exploitation, fraud and manipulation,” said Jennifer West, executive director of the Consumer Federation of the Southeast, which is a member of the coalition. “The state of Florida should do everything it can to protect homeowners from Assignment of Benefits abuse.”

Inflated claims and lawsuits involving AOB have forced premiums to go up for consumers in South Florida and, if left unchecked, could result in a full-scale consumer crisis that increases rates statewide. After a decade without a hurricane, Florida should be benefiting from reduced rates—not higher ones— and focusing on protecting against the next major storm.

Assignment of Benefits abuse has become widespread in South Florida and is quickly spreading. Statewide, the number of AOB lawsuits has grown from 9,424 in 2005 and 2006 to 92,521 in 2013 and 2014. In fact, state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. was recently forced to raise insurance premiums more than 8 percent in areas of South Florida because of the steep rise in lawsuits stemming from non-weather-related water damage claims. Citizens said dubious water damage claims and AOB lawsuits were the single reason why rates went up in Miami-Dade County, where water loss claims now account for more than half of every premium dollar collected. Otherwise, nearly all of the policyholders would have seen a rate decrease.

“Every honest contractor in the state of Florida should be concerned about Assignment of Benefits abuse and its impact on the insurance market,’’ said Cam Fentriss, a representative for the Florida Roofing and Sheet Metal Contractors Association. “Contractors don’t need an AOB to get paid by insurance companies, and anyone who pressures homeowners into signing one gives a black eye to our entire industry of hardworking professionals. We fully support reforming AOB.’’

This Week in Insurance: January 11–15, 2016

(This Week in Insurance) Permanent link

Monday, January 11, 2016

  • DFS Rule Hearing, Rule Number 69B-227: Prelicensing Eucation, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida Senate, Commerce and Tourism Committee, 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 812, Reciprocal Insurers
  • Florida Senate, Banking and Insurance Committee, 4:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 828, Insurance Guaranty Association Assessments
    • SB 908, Organization of the Department of Financial Services
    • SB 774, Liability Insurance Coverage

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 9:30 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida Senate, Session, 10:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Government Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 297, Limitations on Actions Other than for the Recovery of Real Property
  • Florida Senate, Judiciary Committee, 3:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 996, Civil Remedies for Terrorism

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

  • Florida Senate, Session, 10:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Insurance & Banking Subcommittee, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • HB 337, Vision Care Plans
    • HB 445, Viatical Settlements
    • HB 509, Transportation Network Companies
    • HB 613, Workers’ Compensation System Administration
  • Florida House of Representatives, Health Innovation Subcommittee, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee 
    • HB 89, Florida Kidcare Program
    • HB 363, Health Insurance for Opioids
  • Florida Senate, Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Tourism, and Economic Development, 1:30 p.m., Tallahassee. 
    • SB 584, Peril of Flood

Thursday, January 14, 2016

  • Florida House of Representatives, Regulatory Affairs Committee, 8:00 a.m., Tallahassee 
    • HB 79, Property Insurance Appraisers and Property Insurance Appraisal Umpires
    • HB 577, Liability Insurance Coverage
    • HB 699, Reciprocal Insurers
  • DFS Workshop, Rule Number 69J-176.022: Mediation of Bodily Injury and Property Damage Claims, 9:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida Senate, Rules Committee, 10:00 a.m., Tallahassee 
    • SB 458, Transfers of Structured Settlement Payment Rights
  • Florida Workers’ Compensation JUA, Producer Appeals Committee, 10:00 a.m., Tampa. For more information, contact Kathy Coyne at (941) 378-7408. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Finance & Tax Committee, 1:00 p.m., Tallahassee 
    • HB 37, Direct Primary Care
    • HB 467, Insurance Guaranty Association Assessments
  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 4:00 p.m., Tallahassee. 

Friday, January 15, 2016

  • Florida Senate, Session, 10:00 a.m., Tallahassee. 
  • Florida House of Representatives, Session, 10:30 a.m., Tallahassee. 

Networking, recruiting events scheduled for February

(Good Works Fund, Member News, Workforce Development) Permanent link

Workforce development remains FAIA's No. 1 strategic priority, and two upcoming events will advance that effort by connecting agency owners with potential employees.

St. Pete College logoSt. Pete College Networking: FAIA and St. Pete College—one of eight state colleges now offering associate-degree programs in insurance/risk management—are hosting an insurance career networking event for students and prospective employers on Tuesday, February 9, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the school’s Clearwater campus. This joint event is part of FAIA’s effort to build “insurance communities” around partnering state colleges, so agent and company participation is encouraged and welcomed! Seating is limited. Please RSVP online or call (727) 302-6487.

FSU’s 2016 Insurance Days: The Insurance Days program, which brings together employers looking for talent and students looking to start their risk management and insurance careers, will be held February 24–26 at FSU. The program covers multiple days and includes a day and a half of interviewing and a Thursday evening reception. Interview rooms are limited, so agencies and companies interested in participating should register well before the January 31 deadline. Learn more and register online.