Thursday, January 26, 2012

Week 3 insurance recap (2012 session): bad faith fails; but advancement on large list, including PIP, Citizens, title insurance, warranty, Medicare, commercial, property, and motor vehicle

With one very notable exception, this was a good week for insurance legislation in Tallahassee, Florida. Below is a summary of committee action on 9 important and minor measures during week 3 (2012 legislative session).
  • Bad faith reform - likely dead for session.  This year's skinny version of "bad faith" reform received a "no" vote in its first committee hearing and is seemingly done for the session.  The measure would have subjected common law bad-faith (defense of third party liability claims) to the "civil remedy notice" protocol of section 624.155, Florida Statutes.  For additional information, see  Bad faith reform: likely dead for 2012 Florida legislative session.
  • PIP ECC.  A bill that would radically reform PIP, by replacing it with new Emergency Care Coverage (ECC), was approved by its second committee (House Civil Justice) this week.  It has one more committee stop in the House.  The Senate's far different (and weaker) version of PIP reform has yet to be scheduled for a hearing.  
For further information, see Rapid start for PIP ( and PIP bill moves through one House committee gets pulled from another (The Florida Current, Jan. 25, 2012).
  • Citizens regular assessments.  House and Senate committees approved a measure that would dramatically decrease Citizens' regular assessments, from a maximum rate of 18% (current law) to 2% (proposed), and shift the balance of deficit assessments to the emergency assessment mechanism.  This week HB 1127 was unanimously approved by the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee (its first committee approval), while an identical SB 1346 received its second Senate committee approval.  
For further information, see Citizens assessment bill moves ahead as its concerns stall Cat Fund proposal (The Florida Current Jan. 24, 2012) and last week's Property insurance reform has productive Week 2 in 2012 Florida Legislature - Citizens and Cat Fund called Florida's "two sick children" (
  • Title insurance (two separate bills).  The Senate Banking & Insurance Committee approved two bills impacting title insurance: SB 826 would impose a new requirement on the insurer to pay full policy limits within 90-days; and SB 1404 would change the law in regard to forms and rates, agent licensing and responsibility, and attorney escrow funds.  For further information, see Title insurance legislation alive in the 2012 session.
  • Medicaid managed care - Medicare Advantage.  A second Senate committee approved SB 730, which would change the statewide Medicaid managed care program with respect to Medicare Advantage plans, for recipients who are eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare.  For detail, see Senate Staff Analysis on SB730 (Jan. 23, 2012).
  • Warranty associations.  The Senate Banking & Insurance Committee approved SB 1262, which provides criteria to effectuate refunds through the issuing salesperson or agent, authorizes (rather than requires) examination of warranty associations, and authorizes donations to Department of Financial Services to pursue unauthorized warranty associations.
  • Commercial lines policy transfers to affiliate.   HB 941 is now ready for floor action in the House, having been approved this week by its second and final House committee.  The bill would permit easier movement of commercial lines insurance policies to affiliated Florida licensed insurers, through transfer of policies at renewal (rather than through the non-renewal/new issuance process).  For more information, see House Staff Analysis on HB941 (Jan. 23, 2012).
  • Miscellaneous insurance matters.  Over a dozen changes to the Insurance Code are contained in a House bill that was approved in its first committee hearing this week.  The House Insurance & Banking Committee approved HB 1101, which would revise miscellaneous sections of the Code pertaining to property insurance, motor vehicle insurance, travel insurance, adjuster and agent license exams, commercial surplus lines disclosure, and reinsurance summary statements.  A committee hearing has not yet been scheduled on the companion Senate bill, SB 1620.  For further information see Insurance "hodgepodge" bill approved by House subcommittee, week 3 of 2012 session.
For more information on the 2012 session, see tabs on 2012 Key Insurance Bills and 2012 Legislative Resources.

This summary was prepared by Perry Cone and posted at

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