2009 December Fire, Insurance, & Real Estate News (full text pdf)

Published December 1, 2009

The December 2009 issue of Fire, Insurance & Real Estate News features a report on mitigation discounts on homeowners insurance in Florida. Many insurance companies reduce premiums to homeowners who take steps to mitigate damage, such as adding roof tie-downs and storm shutters to their homes. But there is disagreement on specific rules and guidelines in several states, including Florida, where mitigation discounts have become a hot-button issue.

Also in this issue:

* A proposal to create a federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency “could be a calamity waiting to happen.”

* Led by Rep. Ron Paul and Sen. Bernie Sanders, legislation mandating a thorough audit of the Federal Reserve is moving through Congress.

* Legislation to limit credit card interchange fees, also called “swipe” fees, is moving through Congress—cheering some consumer and retail groups and worrying others who warn of harm to consumers.

* Under an obscure but potentially budget-busting program—the Terrorism Risk Insurance Act—the federal government as assumed nearly unlimited liability for major terrorism losses.

* The nation’s largest shopping center remains closed as some lawmakers and citizens question its size, architecture, timing … and the possibility of more direct taxpayer support.