I wrote about surplus lines insurance companies in an earlier post, Surplus Lines Insurers, Sinkholes, and the Law of Mars. I explained how an attorney in our firm, Donna DeVaney, was able to get a favorable ruling in a sinkhole case involving a surplus lines policy due to a recent Florida Supreme Court case, Essex Ins. Co. v. Zota, 985 So. 2d 1036 (Fla. 2008).
Our Firm produces a newsletter for Florida public adjusters that contains information and updates on topics of interest, including case law updates. The current issue contains a section by Kristin Demers-Crowell, an attorney in our Tampa office, explaining surplus lines carriers and bills in the Florida House and Senate that are specifically aimed at legislatively overturning the Essex decision.
In the waning days of the legislative session, items change quickly, and I would like to provide an update. After the newsletter was published yesterday, the House voted on and passed an amended version of HB 853. That bill will now go back to the Senate, where it and the corresponding Senate bill would need to be reconciled. With two days left in the regular legislative session, it is time to cross our fingers and hope the Senate decides they need more time to reconcile the bills, and holds the issue until the next legislative session. This would be wise, especially given the critical budget issues that require immediate resolution.