P.O. Box 749 * Tallahassee, FL 32302-0749 * TEL: 850.386.6668 * Fax: 850.386.7371


Florida Insurance Council 2014 Legislative Briefing
Friday, February 28, 10 a.m.
Florida Press Center

Who: Sam Miller, FIC Executive vice President
(850) 459-3012 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Former House Insurance Chairman Don Brown
Lobbyist for FIC and other business & insurance clients
(850) 865-9280 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Insurance Media Special Legislative Background

FIC maintains this special Internet site on insurance legislation: click here.

(email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will email you the link.)

Mid-Session and Post-Session Wrap-ups

FIC will publish a mid-session update on key insurance issues. In addition, we will have a session wrap-up report available within hours of adjournment. All of this will be posted on the site above, but also distributed by email. Sam and Don also will be available the Saturday and Sunday after adjournment for media interviews as well as throughout the session.

Major Challenges Confronting FIC in 2014

The Florida Insurance Council is the largest insurance company trade association in Florida, one of the largest in the country and one of the few with members providing all lines of insurance. FIC focuses on each pressing issue in the Legislature or before regulatory agencies. FIC confronts the crisis or opportunity of the moment – auto, homeowners and commercial property, workers’ comp, medical malpractice, life and health.

“FIC is the organization that takes the comprehensive, long view of what is the right thing to do in Florida. Not all associations do that,” said FIC Treasurer Angel Bostick, who becomes Chair in 2015. Angel is vice president and general counsel, American Strategic Insurance, St. Petersburg.

Major challenges confronting the Florida Insurance Council and its members in 2014 include:

  • Preserving the $230-million annual Florida job credit on the insurance premium tax. With FIC and Associated Industries of Florida in the lead, the insurance community defeated a Senate-passed bill during the 2013 session abolishing the credit. This issue may return in 2014, although no bills have been filed. The salary credit continues to make Florida a national leader in creation of insurance jobs.
  • Preserving the workers’ comp system.  Three lawsuits heading for the Florida Supreme Court tackle the building blocks of Florida’s workers’ comp insurance system – benefits, immunity and attorney fee reforms. The Council is prepared to seek legislative fixes if the final decision in any or all of these cases requires it.
  • Preserving the life insurance insurable interest law and blocking STOLI products.  The Office of Insurance Regulation, in a report on the secondary life insurance market, said there was no need for additional consumer protections or other STOLI legislation. Major hedge funds and life settlement companies are expected to have their pro-STOLI agenda  and FIC and the American Council of Life Insurance will again lead the opposition as they have successfully over the last several years.
  • Ensuring “no harm” in Florida’s property insurance system. We will lobby for continued stability in the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund; and elimination of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation assessments and competition with private insurers; and closely watch all other property and casualty issues.
  • Defending the 2012 PIP reforms in court and working to implement them. FIC also will monitor deliberations of the Senate Banking & Insurance Committee over a bill replacing PIP with mandatory BI and, possibly, other coverage. (We do not believe the House intends to deal with PIP in 2014, but will be watching it.) We also will closely track how any proposed expansion to scope of practice in the medical arena might impact PIP.
  • Supporting HB 187, Insurer Civil Remedy, and other legal reforms. FIC is a partner with the Florida Justice Reform Association and the American and State Chamber insurer “bad faith” reform initiative.

FIC also is watching these key bills:

PROPERTY

  • Restructuring the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (HB 391 & SB 482, HB 1127 & SB 610) ;
  • Promoting flood insurance by private insurers in Florida (HB 581 & SB 542, HB 879);
  • Defining and prohibiting unfair discrimination b insurers against gun owners (HB 255 & SB 424);
  • An Insurance Claims Bill of Rights and restrictions on Assignment of Benefits from Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Insurance Consumer Advocate Steve Burgess (HB 759 & SB 708);
  • Revisions in assessment procedures by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (HB 143 & SB 346);
  • A series of insurance packages, including the Non-controversial Omnibus Bill which was developed last year, but did not pass (HB 565 & SB 1260).

GENERAL

Insurer Fair Claims Settlement Act (HB 187) - Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, has filed the insurer fair claim settlement bill (HB 187) from the 2013 session for the upcoming 2014 session. FIC lobbyists believe this will get serious consideration next spring. The bill allows the insured, claimant, or someone acting on behalf of the claimant to send the insurer a written notice of loss, after which the insurer had 45 days to pay the lesser of the demand or policy limits.

OIR Holding Company/PBR Bill (SB 1308) - Senate Banking & Insurance Chairman David Simmons has filed the Office of Insurance Regulation’s bill implementing the NAIC model acts on insurance company holding companies and principle-based reserves. FIC lobbyist Paul Sanford says OIR has moved to track the model acts except for differences in terminology required by Florida Statutes.

HEALTH

Bill Reduces Health Plan Control over Pharmaceuticals (HB 1001) - A Florida Medical Association-backed package reducing health plan control over pharmaceuticals and allowing physician overrides of step- therapy protocol will increase costs and presents a serious challenge to the industry. The various issues in HB 1001 have been a priority of the FMA for some time and the package was not totally unexpected. It must be taken seriously, in part, because of the support physicians receive on most of their key issues from Senate President Don Gaetz.

Telemedicine Bills (SB 7028) - The Senate Health Policy Committee is developing a package promoting telemedicine. The FIC Health Committee and other health insurance groups have two big issues – levels of reimbursement and participation by out-of-state providers.

Dental Managed Care/Non-Covered Services (HB 31, SB 86) - This bill would prohibit a dental managed care plan from enforcing with a dentist contract-established fees on services not covered by the plan.  The Senate version does include the NCOIL definition of non-covered services.