The full Florida House of Representatives has passed HB 7015 relating to Property Insurance Assignment Agreements by a vote of 82 to 20 today, January 12, 2018.
Originally filed by State Representative Jay Trumbull, the bill had received no committee assignments and, instead, was sent directly to the House Floor. No amendments had been filed.
Described by the Florida Chamber’s Consumer Protection Coalition as a “win for consumers,” insurers, including the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (“PCI”) and Florida’s Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”), urged the Senate to pass the bill.
“Insurers applaud the Florida House for taking yet another step to protect Florida insurance policyholders from these bad actors looking to take advantage of the system,” said PCI Regional Manager Logan McFaddin said. “As we move through the next couple of weeks, we encourage the Florida Senate to discuss and pass meaningful reform to rid the system of AOB abuse.”
HB 7015 allows policyholders to rescind an assignment of benefits contract without any penalty or fee and requires cost estimates for work and notices that a vendor intends to file a lawsuit against an insurer. It also modifies how attorney fees are paid-which is viewed as a key provision for discouraging the filing of frivolous lawsuits against insurers over claims deemed to be inflated and thereby unreasonable.
“We’re encouraged by the House’s swift action on this important piece of legislation,” said Christine Ashburn, Citizens’ Chief of Communications, Legislative and External Affairs. “It provides meaningful reforms to address the issues of skyrocketing litigation and assignment of benefit abuse that raise rates for our customers. We urge the Senate to consider this bill or similar versions introduced in that chamber.”
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass.