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Florida Legislation: It’s More Than Hurricanes NAMIC Analysis Reveals

INDIANAPOLIS (May 13, 2005)—Although much of the attention during this year’s legislative session focused on hurricane-related issues, Florida lawmakers also succeeded in passing several other bills of interest to the insurance industry, a review by the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) has revealed.

“Lawmakers, for example, enacted two bills–House Bill 835 and Senate Bill 442–which will result in significant changes being made to the state building code,” said NAMIC State Affairs Manager David Reddick.

House Bill 835 directs the Florida Building Commission to update the state Building Code with the most current edition of the wind protection requirements of the American Society of Civil Engineers, while Senate Bill 442 addresses a number of issues relating to the development and administration of the Florida Building Code and related building safety requirements.

Included in Senate Bill 442 are provisions that:

  • Provide that it is grounds for discipline for a building code administrator, engineer, or registered architect to perform building code inspections without necessary insurance;
  • Clarify provisions relating to truss placement plans and the code;
  • Require inspection of fire protection systems using national standards; and
  • Make available from the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund, an appropriation of $200,000 for the Florida Insurance Council and Florida Home Builders to develop a joint program to educate builders on the benefits and options of designing buildings for windborne debris protection.

Reddick said NAMIC members are still evaluating the numerous provisions contained in Senate Bill 1486, the major hurricane-related bill that was enacted during the session.

“While our members are pleased lawmakers clarified their position on the state’s valued policy law, concerns already have been raised about other provisions, including what effects the new sinkhole provisions that were enacted will mean for our companies,” Reddick said.

He added that it may be months before the true impact of Senate Bill 1486 is completely known and a determination can be made as to whether the bill’s provisions will continue to help sustain a viable residential property insurance market.

Other bills of interest enacted during the Florida legislative session, which ended Friday, include:

  • House Bill 497, which increases the civil penalty for a driver failing to obey a red traffic signal;
  • House Bill 481, which requires a person who conducts business in Florida and maintains personal information in a computerized database to disclose a breach in the security of the data within 45 days of detection of the problem or be subject to an administrative fine; and
  • House Bill 1019, which enacts the “Asbestos and Silica Compensation Fairness Act of 2005” requiring plaintiffs to make a prima facie showing of actual physical impairment.

For further information, contact
Rick Nelson, APR (Indianapolis, Ind.)
(317) 875-5250
rnelson@namic.org

Founded in 1895, NAMIC is a full-service national trade association with more than 1,400 member companies that underwrite 43 percent ($196 billion) of the property/casualty insurance premium in the United States. NAMIC members account for 44 percent of the homeowners market, 38 percent of the automobile market, 39 percent of the workers’ compensation market, and 31 percent of the commercial property and liability market. NAMIC benefits member companies through advocacy, public policy and member services. Information about the association, its member companies and the property/casualty insurance industry can be found at NAMIC Online. www.namic.org.

Posted: Friday, May 13, 2005 12:00:00 AM. Modified: Monday, September 12, 2005 12:39:28 PM.

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