Insurance companies said they would reduce their medical malpractice premiums for doctors if the Florida Legislature approves Gov. Bush's reform plan.
The Florida Insurance Council is out with its list of legislative priorities. It supports the governor's recommendation to cap jury awards for non-economic damages at $250,000.
On the other hand, opponents of a cap point to California as an example why that idea won’t work. They contend malpractice premiums did not decline there until voters approved strict rate controls through insurance reform.
The council said it is also backing legislation it said would eventually help bring down auto insurance rates. But it's concerned lawmakers will consider raiding the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Trust Fund to help deal with a tight budget.
The trust fund contains $5 billion from homeowners' insurance premiums. A spokesman said that fund is absolutely necessary for the next Hurricane Andrew.