During its 2012 pre-legislative conference in August, the Florida Insurance Council (FIC) worked with other insurance trades and its business community partners to lay out the major insurance and business issues for next year’s session and to develop lobbying and communications strategy. 

“It was most appropriate that we were honored with participation by the chairs of Associated Industries and the Florida Chamber of Commerce. We have a wonderful track record of working with key business associations like AIF and the Chamber. When we have successfully tackled bad insurance law and unnecessarily high insurance costs, it has been through this partnership,” says FIC President Cecil Pearce.

The program included two former House speakers, Senate Rules Chairman John Thrasher of Jacksonville and Allan Bense of Panama City, who also appeared in his role as chair of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Another key speaker was Erika Alba of Jacksonville, the public affairs director at Foley & Lardner and chair of the AIF board. 

Revising standards to sue insurance companies for bad faith and collect damages far exceeding the limits of the insurance policy will be one of the top priorities for the business and insurance communities. The business and insurance communities also will focus on eliminating unnecessary increased costs to the workers’ compensation system through unrestricted drug repackaging by providers. A third key priority will be returning Citizens Property Insurance Corp. to a market for homeowners who cannot get private insurance.

During meetings of their key committees to develop specific positions FIC members also deliberated on PIP auto insurance, implementation of the federal health care act, and pressing life insurance issues.

On PIP, the FIC auto and health committees agree that allowing the Florida auto insurance crisis and rampant insurance fraud to continue is unacceptable. Like most other associations, FIC continues to wrestle with a specific strategy among the two major options: repeal PIP and replace it with another auto insurance system or reform PIP. Whichever is finally adopted, new tools to fight insurance fraud are essential, FIC President Pearce emphasizes.