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Southeastern News

1HomePageMap small se 0816Local news stories affecting the auto body industry in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Tennessee, and West Virginia

Wednesday, 25 July 2012 18:44

Insurance Adjuster Wins High Court

The Florida Supreme Court on July 5 sided with an appellate court and struck down a 2008 law that barred public insurance adjusters from soliciting business right after a disaster.

The law was enacted to prevent public adjusters, hired by policyholders to represent them during the claims process, from contacting people when they’re in shock and haven’t had a chance to resolve a claim with their insurer.

A new law went into effect July 1 to assist Florida’s fight against suspicious claims and insurance fraud problems with the personal injury protection (PIP) law.

One of the biggest supporters of this law was Florida’s CFO, Jeff Atwater, who is concerned with the many relationships between pain clinics and attorneys when it comes to insurance benefits.

The new law brings some major changes to Personal Injury Protection.

A 2008 Florida law establishing a 48-hour moratorium on public adjusters was ruled unconstitutional July 5 by the Florida Supreme Court on grounds that it restricted commercial speech.

The Florida Supreme Court has declared unconstitutional a state law banning public insurance adjusters from soliciting policyholders during the first 48 hours after a damaging event.

Alan and Kathleen Van Nimwegen, owners of Seminole Paint and Auto Body Shop in Sanford, FL, went missing when their private plane crashed in severe weather during a flight from the Bahamas the morning of July 16. They were the only people on board.

The U.S. Coast Guard has now called off the search to locate the Nimwegens after their Beechcraft Bonanza BE 36 crashed shortly after take off about 9:20 AM on a return trip from Bahamas to Daytona Beach. The Coast Guard responded quickly, deploying a helicopter that found a massive debris field, oil slick and empty life raft around five miles off Great Harbour Cay. USCG Petty Officer Jon-Paul Rios said that searchers concentrated on the area off Great Harbour Cay, near the Berry Islands, after a Coast Guard C130 airplane spotted a debris field. The Coast Guard cutter Dolphin also responded to the scene.

Thursday, 12 July 2012 18:56

New PIP Law in Effect in Florida

A new law went into effect on July 1 to assist Florida's fight against suspicious claims and insurance fraud problems with the personal injury protection (PIP) law.

One of the biggest supporters of this law was Florida’s CFO, Jeff Atwater, who has appeared to be concerned with the many relationships between pain clinics and attorneys when it comes to insurance benefits.

The new law brings some major changes to Personal Injury Protection.

AutoBody America, a Nashville, TN based operator of collision repair facilities in Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas, announced the appointment of Will Johnston to the position of president. Johnston will also continue to serve as chief financial officer while Pat James will remain the company’s chief executive officer.

Johnston is a graduate of Duke University, where he studied economics, business management and marketing. After working in the process design department of Andersen Consulting, he was hired by AutoBody America, Inc., in 1999 to help create a scalable process and technology model. In 2006, he accepted an offer from Pat James to join him as an equity partner and has since been promoted from vice president to chief operating officer and chief financial officer. Johnston grew up and still resides in Nashville with his wife, Irish, and their children, Jake and Harper.

AutoBody America currently has 19 locations throughout Tennessee, Mississippi and Arkansas with plans to continue accelerating their growth.