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Home / Insurance / One week before Florida’s special insurance session — what will happen? | Property Insurance Protection Law Blog

One week before Florida’s special insurance session — what will happen? | Property Insurance Protection Law Blog



The Florida Legislature has been called back into a special session beginning December 12 regarding the latest insurance crisis. Lawyers, contractors, public adjusters and policyholders have called me asking what is going to happen and what is on the table.

These are the various topics that have been brought up or told to me by various lobbyists and politicians:

  1. Assignment of Benefits (AOB)
  2. One-way attorney fees
  3. Contractor assignments
  4. Public Adjuster Solicitation
  5. Bad Faith Lawsuits

Any laws passed will undoubtedly affect policyholders. The number of insurance companies declaring insolvency and the huge increase in insurance rates have resulted in calls for Florida politicians to do something about the crisis. If they could just legislate away hurricanes the problems would go away. California and Colorado are facing the same reduction in available insurance due to a massive increase in wildfires in recent years.

Meanwhile, many Florida policyholders with significant insurance claims from Hurricanes Ian and Nicole are learning what to expect by waiting for fair treatment from their insurance companies. Slow and low payment for much less than the full amount allegedly owed is the new normal for processing by many carriers who hire outside disaster adjusters to adjust claims. A number of independent adjusters who have quit tell me horror stories about how their field estimates are falsely reduced by desk adjusters and corporate mandates.

So, what do insurance companies want so that they are not held accountable for their shoddy treatment of policyholders and make their profits some security? Eliminate AOBs, make losers pay attorney fees or no attorney fees, put more caps on public adjuster fees, create new rules for independent restoration contractors while reducing liability for managed repair contractors who work under insurance company guidelines, make Florida a backstop for publicly supported low reinsurance rates, and discharge responsibility in bad faith. This is the agenda of the insurance lobby.

Over the past few weeks, I have been working with a number of policyholder attorneys and our company̵

7;s lobbyists. Merlin Law Group attorney Javier Delgado has submitted proposals regarding legislative language working with the Florida Justice Association. FAPIA’s lobbyist, Paul Handerhan, and others have been working behind the scenes. But what might happen is anyone’s guess.

The laws passed in the last three years have taken time to affect the insurance market. A new Building Regulations Act will significantly increase litigation as some insurers abuse the new Act.

What will happen? I expect we will know more about the backroom deals later this week. You can always lower rates by changing laws so that insurance companies never have to pay for losses immediately and in full—and prevent them from being sued when they do. Keep your Eyes open.

Today’s thought

The world will not be saved by legislation.
—William Howard Taft


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