Sunday, February 19, 2012

Week 6, 2012 - nine insurance bills move in House

This past week saw a flurry of activity on insurance legislation in the Florida House and virtually none in the Senate. Nine bill were passed in the House or approved in their last House committee during week 6.

This brings to sixteen for the session, the number of bills that have passed the House or all required House committees. With one exception, however, none are ready for full Senate action.

Passed by House during week 6. The following bills were passed in the House, but their companion bills still have Senate committees standing in their way:
  • Commercial Lines Policy Transfer to Affiliate - HB 941 would permit easier movement of commercial lines insurance policies to affiliated Florida licensed insurers, through transfer of the policies at renewal.
  • Title Insurance and Agents HB 643 would revise laws pertaining to forms and rates, agent licensing and responsibility, attorney escrow funds, and other regulatory matters.
  • Certification of health care providers HB 4181 would repeal the requirement for certification of  health care providers, for workers compensation insurance purposes, by the Department of Financial Services. This bill has no similar bill in the Senate, making passage very difficult.
Approved by last assigned House committee during week 6. These five bills were approved by their last referenced committee this past week, and are ready for full House action, but their Senate companion bills require additional committee approval before moving to the full Senate:
  • Annuities - HB 1065 would bring Florida's law governing the sale of annuities more in line with NAIC model guidelines. The Office of Insurance Regulation and the Insurance Consumer Advocate have noted their support for the measure.
  • Alien Insurers - HB 409 would add circumstances under which alien insurers (non-U.S. insurers) are exempt from certificate-of-authority requirements.
  • Warranty Associations - HB 1011 would provide criteria to effectuate refunds through the issuing salesperson or agent, authorize (rather than require) examination of warranty associations, and authorize donations to Department of Financial Services to pursue unauthorized warranty associations.
  • Expert Testimony - HB 243 would change the rule for admissibility of scientific expert witness testimony to the Daubert standard (from current Frye standard), thereby bringing Florida more in line with the tougher expert testimony requirements in federal courts. For more, see Wikipedia (Daubert standard).

    This summary was prepared by Perry Cone and posted at

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