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October 16th, 2019 by Mike Vasilinda
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Capitol News Service Feed
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Michael Claims
Edius 1
Anchor Lead
Lawmakers are trying get to the bottom of why many insurance claims for Hurricane Michael took moths to close and why more than 17,000 remain open a year after the storm. As Jake Stofan tells us, policy holders are asking for stricter punishments for insurers who delay payment.
Supers:
0:10-0:16 Ann Segler
Panama City
0:31-0:38 Chip Merlin
Property Insurance Claim Attorney
0:45-0:51 Chip Merlin
Property Insurance Claim Attorney
0:51-0:59 Jake Stofan
1:02-1:08 Locke Burt
Security First Insurance
1:14-1:17 Amy Boggs
Property Insurance Claim Attorney
Runs: 1:30
Anchor Tag
Of the more than 1,700 complaints received by the Department of Financial Services concerning Hurricane Michael claims, more than half deal with claim handling delays.
Michael Claims PACKAGE
To this day one out of ten insurance claims from Hurricane Michael remain open.
Ann and Randy Seglers’ Panama City home suffered catastrophic damage.
SOT Ann Segler
Panama City
“It rained in our entire house. Singles were blown off and there was no protection.”
A year later, they’re still living in a camper on their property waiting on their insurance company to pay.
NAT SOT Randy Segler
Panama City
“We’re just in limbo.”
Attorney Chip Merlin represents the Seglers and others like them.
He says insurance companies are dragging out the claims process and delaying payment.
SOT Chip Merlin
Property Insurance Claim Attorney
“There’s no penalty right now for insurance companies that are delaying it and we’ve got to have more teeth in our laws so that they’re being held accountable.”
Lawmakers are listening to policy holder advocates like Merlin and also from insurers to try to find solutions.
SOT Chip Merlin
Property Insurance Claim Attorney
“When there’s claim delay it hurts the entire community and that’s what’s going on in Panama City Florida.”
Jake
“While many policy holders have had to seek help from attorneys to close their claims… insurance companies say excessive litigation is the biggest problem.”
5 percent of Michael claims are in litigation.
SOT Locke Burt
Security First Insurance
“What’s happening in Hurricane Michael litigated claims is a gold rush.”
But policy holder advocates say if insurers paid on time there wouldn’t be a problem.
SOT Amy Boggs
Property Insurance Claim Attorney
“Far from a gold rush, this is a crying shame.”
Florida’s Consumer Advocate and the Chief Financial Officer are working on a consumer protection package to hopefully speed up payments after a storm.
Capitol News Service Feed
Monday, November 30, 2015
Medical Marijuana Presentations
Edius 1
With two amendments circulating that could legalize marijuana, state lawmakers got two presentations today. One on what happened in Colorado, the other on the states medical marijuana industry. As Mike Vasilinda tells us, legalization in Colorado appears to have been more successful than Florida’s efforts with medical marijuana.
Supers: Tallahassee
0:14-0:21 Sot: Andrew Freedman
Cannabis Consultant
0:27-0:33 Sot: Andrew Freedman
Cannabis Consultant
0:38-0:44 Sot: Andrew Freedman
Cannabis Consultant
0:45-0:52 Mike Vasilinda
0:57-1:03 Sot: Claudia Kemp
Exec. Dir. FL Board of Medicine
1:12-1:22 Sot: Melissa Villar
FL NORML
Runs 1:33
Anchor tag: Colorado received more than 250 million last year in tax revenue from marijuana…money that went to build and repair schools.
Medical Marijuana Presentations Package
Andrew Freedman oversaw Colorado’s marijuana legalization. Since 2014 there have been just over a hundred fatal accidents in which marijuana was in the system…but accident rates have not increased.
Sot: Andrew Freedman
Cannabis Consultant
“Colorado had eleven deaths per one hundred thousand of population. The national average that year was eleven point six deaths.”
And contrary to other reports, underage use did not skyrocket in Colorado.
Sot: Andrew Freedman
Cannabis Consultant
“There was a surpassingly significantly decrease post commercialization in Colorado.”
And when it comes to vaping illnesses, he said the problem was not with legal vendors.
Sot: Andrew Freedman
Cannabis Consultant
“Most of it is coming out of the black market, which has been thought that there is a quality control issue black market vaping products.”
Mike Vasilinda Standup
“And lawmakers were told there was nothing nefarious about fewer than a hundred doctors making the most medical marijuana recommendations.”
The two biggest problems are cost and the availability of physicians.
Sot: Claudia Kemp
Exec. Dir. FL Board of Medicine
There are patients who live in counties that don’t have a dispensary. Or patients who don’t live in counties with a qualifying physician.”
And Florida NORML told lawmakers high costs were driving patients back into the black market or cheaper alternatives.
Sot: Melissa Villar
FL NORML
“It so much easier to go and get a five or ten dollar prescription. So you’ve seen an increase in opioid overdose deaths with every county in Florida with that has a restrictive policy for medical marijuana.
The Result more than 25 percent of the state’s medical marijuana approved patients have left the system.
Police Cars VOSOT:
(Note the raw video from the news conference is on the FTP)
Legislation unveiled today would prohibit home owners associations from banning law enforcement officers from parking their marked or unmarked cars in their driveway. The legislation is a result of a Clearwater officer being told she could not park her patrol car in the driveway because it was considered a commercial vehicle. State Senator ed Hopper represents Clearwater and filed the bill.
Sof: Sen. Ed Hooper
R-Clearwater
“And I’ve had so many phone calls from other associations like, We want to have a marked cruiser in our community because it is a deterrent to bad things that bad people do.  So, we’re going to try our best to correct this inequity, and make sure that any law enforcement officer in a marked or unmarked law enforcement vehicle has the right and privilege to park their vehicle in the driveway.
Several year ago, lawmakers waded into a homeowners association dispute after the association tried to ban the flying of the American flag. Sponsors equated that incident to the prohibition of police cars.
Breast Cancer VOSOT:
Each week 264 men and women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Florida.
52 will lose their lives to the disease, but specialists agree the best way to increase survival rates is early detection.
For many specialized screenings come at a high cost, but Senator Lori Berman, a breast cancer survivor,  has filed a bill that would prevent insurers from over charging.
SOT Senator Lori Berman
(D) Boynton Beach
“Presently when an individual has a mammogram and follow up treatment is advised insurers can charge unlimited amounts for the follow up. The high cost can result in individuals delaying or even canceling potentially life saving diagnostic treatment.”
The bill would require any follow up screening after an initial mammogram cost no more than the deductible paid for the mammogram.
Capitol News Service Feed
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
Michael Claims
Edius 1
Anchor Lead
Lawmakers are trying get to the bottom of why many insurance claims for Hurricane Michael took moths to close and why more than 17,000 remain open a year after the storm. As Jake Stofan tells us, policy holders are asking for stricter punishments for insurers who delay payment.
Supers:
0:00-0:14 Jake Stofan
0:19-0:24 Ann Segler
Panama City
0:40-0:47 Chip Merlin
Property Insurance Claim Attorney
0:47-0:100 Jake Stofan
Anchor Tag
Of the more than 1,700 complaints received by the Department of Financial Services concerning Hurricane Michael claims, more than half deal with claim handling delays.
Michael Claims LOOK LIVE
Look live in
“To this day One out of ten insurance claims from Hurricane Michael remains open. Policy holders say they’ve been taken advantage of by their insurance companies and are pleading with lawmakers to come up with a fix.”
Ann and Randy Seglers’ Panama City home suffered catastrophic damage.
SOT Ann Segler
Panama City
“It rained in our entire house. Singles were blown off and there was no protection.”
A year later, they’re still living in a camper on their property waiting on their insurance company to pay.
NAT SOT Randy Segler
Panama City
“We’re just in limbo.”
Attorney Chip Merlin represents the Seglers and others like them.
He says insurance companies are dragging out the claims process and delaying payment.
SOT Chip Merlin
Property Insurance Claim Attorney
“There’s no penalty right now for insurance companies that are delaying it and we’ve got to have more teeth in our laws so that they’re being held accountable.”
Look live out
“Florida’s Consumer Advocate and the Chief Financial Officer are working on a consumer protection package to hopefully speed up payments after a storm.”
Capitol News Service Feed
Monday, November 30, 2015
Medical Marijuana Presentations
Edius 1
Florida lawmakers today heard that seven percent of the states doctors qualified to recommend marijuana are providing more than ninety percent of the recommendations, but as Mike Vasilinda tells us, the problem is more about where patients live and the high costs of seeing a marijuana qualified doctor.
Supers:
0:00-0:13 Mike Vasilinda
0:14-0:31 Sot: Claudia Kemp
Exec. Dir. FL Board of Medicine
0:32-0:38 Sot: Rep. Carlos Gillermo Smith
D-Orlando
0:39-0:53 Mike Vasilinda
Anchor tag: Today, twenty eight percent of the people with qualified medical marijuana cards are not active.
Medical Marijuana Presentations LOOK LIVE
MV:”Florida lawmakers were told there was nothing nefarious about a handful of doctors making the vast majority or medical marijuana recommendations. rather, they were told is was a problem of not having enough physicians in the right places.”
Sot: Claudia Kemp
Exec. Dir. FL Board of Medicine
“There are patients that don’t live in a county with a dispensary, or patients that don’t live in counties with a qualifying physician. Right now, we only have forty seven counties with qualifying physicians, which means we have twenty counties without a physician a patient can go to see.”
Sot: Rep. Carlos Gillermo Smith
D-Orlando
“Our speaker just confirmed that the average cost of visitation for medical cannabis is anywhere between two and three hundred dollars.”
MV:”Lawmakers were also told that because the high cost of visiting a physician and the high cost of visiting a dispensary, a growing number of medical marijuana patients are choosing to go back into the black market.”

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