Wednesday's Afternoon Update
What you need to know about Florida today
Florida regulators warned of insurance company manipulations years ago
A 2019 case is the earliest known accusation that an insurance company manipulated a homeowners’ assessment to reject or lowball a claim, a potential felony under state law. The case, which came out in a civil lawsuit, was reported in 2021 to the Department of Financial Services, the state agency that investigates insurance fraud. But state investigators quickly dismissed the complaint. Since then, more adjusters for insurance companies have come forward saying their reports were manipulated to pay homeowners less than their claim estimates. More from the Tampa Bay Times.
Thousands of acres preserved under U.S., Florida land conservation programs
Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state Cabinet on Tuesday approved spending nearly $100 million on land deals that will secure about 36,000 acres as part of a growing wildlife corridor. The 12 land deals are part of the Florida Forever program and the Rural and Family Lands Protection Program. They involve purchasing conservation easements, which allow current landowners to continue activities such as ranching while prohibiting residential and commercial development. More from the News Service of Florida and Florida Politics.
Florida policy researcher explains how immigrants impact the economy
Earlier this month, Gov. DeSantis signed legislation making sweeping changes to immigration laws in Florida. Supporters say the changes will help curb illegal immigration, while immigration advocates say it sends a message that immigrants are not welcome in Florida. According to the National Sheriffs’ Association, illegal immigration is unsustainable from a security and economic standpoint. Sadaf Knight, CEO of the Florida Policy Institute, breaks down how immigrants impact our economy and how responses to the new law could impact you. More from WUSF.
Cat Fund outlook ahead of hurricane season relies on shaky financial markets
If another powerful, damaging storm like Hurricane Ian were to hit the state this year, the state-backed reinsurance pool would need to borrow billions of dollars in a skittish global financial marketplace, a report from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, or Cat Fund, determined. The report adopted by the Cat Fund’s advisory board last week estimates that it could issue enough bonds to cover such a storm. However, those bonds would be backed up by emergency assessments placed on all insurance policies in the state, with the exception of workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, federal flood and accident and health lines. More from Florida Politics.
Recent shark bites in Florida are scary, but serious injuries remain vanishingly rare
Recent shark bites in Florida and Hawaii and a suspected case in New Jersey have piqued interest in an age-old summer question for beachgoers — is it safe to go in the water? Scientists and researchers who study sharks said the overwhelming answer to that question is yes, it is safe. Potentially dangerous interactions between humans and sharks are uncommon, and serious injuries and deaths from the bites are vanishingly rare, scientists said. More from News 4 Jax.
Miami business looks to change fashion consumption
According to a study done by the University of Central Florida, the average person uses about 81 pounds of clothing a year. In 2017 alone, the United States produced 16,890 tons of textile waste and only recycled 2,570 tons of it. But one Florida business is looking to change that.
» More from WFTS.
Competition for cruise business south of Jacksonville is fierce, with active ports at Cape Canaveral, Fort Lauderdale and Miami. However, Jacksonville is a good entry point for local residents or those just north of Jacksonville who otherwise would have to go to Charleston to find a cruise within driving distance, says Alberto Cabrera, director of cargo and cruise development, in talking up JaxPort.
» Read more from Florida Trend.
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