May 22, 2024

Friday's Daily Pulse

What you need to know about Florida today

| 4/12/2024

Florida insurance market full of ‘low quality’ companies, study finds

The vast majority of small insurers operating in Florida are considered so financially weak that they wouldn’t typically meet federal guidelines allowing them to back mortgaged homes. That’s a central finding of a study that also suggests that Florida consumers are being led to believe their insurers are much healthier than they really are. [Source: Tampa Bay Times]

Business BeatBusiness Beat - Week of April 12th

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Column: Will construction insurance costs kill Florida’s real estate boom?

The cost of construction insurance in Florida is having developers second-guess their willingness to invest in the Sunshine State, while business leaders are growing concerned that higher insurance costs may slow Florida’s booming real estate sector. But these fears are overblown, and relief is taking hold. [Source: Miami Herald]

Florida scientists have built a ‘Coral Fort’ from plastic straws and other recycled materials to keep fish from eating lab-grown reef

South Florida researchers trying to prevent predatory fish from devouring laboratory-grown coral are grasping at biodegradable straws in an effort to restore what some call the rainforest of the sea. But protecting the underwater ecosystem that maintains upwards of 25% of all marine species is not easy. Even more challenging is making sure that coral grown in a laboratory and placed into the ocean doesn’t become expensive fish food. [Source: AP]

Citizens Insurance’s ‘depopulation’ push reduced policy count by more than 275,000 last year

Private insurers pulled more than 275,000 policies last year from the state’s Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and have taken nearly 115,000 this year, with Citizens President and CEO Tim Cerio saying Wednesday he thinks “we’re coming through to the other side” after years of troubles in the market. Citizens, which was created as an insurer of last resort, ballooned during the past few years to become the largest insurer in the state as private carriers dropped customers and raised rates because of financial troubles. [Source: News Service of Florida]

Employee vs. Independent contractor: An evolving definition

Are people who work with your business “independent contractors” or “employees?” It can be a constantly changing distinction depending on the current presidential administration. A new rule issued by the Biden Department of Labor (DOL) sought to establish independent contractor status under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). That regulation rescinds a rule from the Trump administration, which had in turn narrowed a definition established under President Barack Obama in 2015. [Sponsored Report]


› Kennedy Space Center's 1st female chief engineer on breaking barriers
Near the beginning of Teresa Kinney’s career in the early 1980s, she was such a rarity as a female engineer that she recalled being out at NASA test facilities in Maryland and California and not being able to find a women's restroom. Women weren’t part of the initial building design. A lot has changed since then for women engineering, for NASA and for Kinney.

› German autonomous EV maker Holon matches description of Project Link in Jacksonville
A spinoff of a German automotive group appears to be a leading candidate as Project Link, the electric autonomous vehicle and parts manufacturer considering Jacksonville for a $100 million plant to establish its North American presence. Holon, an almost 3-year-old automotive brand spun off from Germany-based Benteler Automotive Group, is an autonomous, fully electric and inclusive mover that was presented in early 2023 at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

› Sarasota cybersecurity firm adds industry veterans as it gears up for growth
Nucleus Security has made two additions as the Sarasota-based cybersecurity company readies to scale its operations to meet growing demand. Jeremiah Grossman was appointed to the board of directors, and Tamir Hardof was named chief marketing officer for Nucleus Security, according to a statement the company issued Wednesday. Both have decades of experience in the cybersecurity sector.

› Carnival Cruise Line to downsize Miami headquarters
Carnival wants to spend more time on the sun deck and less in the office. Despite its status as one of the world’s largest cruise lines, Carnival is aiming to downsize from its sprawling 470,000-square-foot headquarters in Miami. For its new space, the company is looking for about 300,000 square feet in the Miami area, a reduction of about 36 percent.

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