The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF) today issued the following statement applauding Senator Doug Broxson (R-Pensacola), for filing an amendment to Senate Bill 1168 that will resolve the problem of assignment of benefits abuse (AOB), which is driving up homeowners’ insurance rates for many Floridians. The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee will have the opportunity to vote on the bill this afternoon.
Statement from Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF):
“This amendment is a silver bullet with strong consumer protections that will cut down on frivolous lawsuits and finally give relief to thousands of Floridians facing increasing premiums.
“We hope Chair Flores and the members of the committee give this amendment a fair hearing based on the mountains of evidence on this problem.
“As the latest Wall Street Journal editorial pointed out just this week, Florida can’t continue to prosper if it becomes a mecca for ‘looting by lawsuit.’ Republican leaders in the Senate have an opportunity to prove their commitment to constituents rather than caving to special interests.”
- Senator Broxson’s amendment includes the provisions of Senate Bill 62, filed by Senator Dorothy Hukill (R-Port Orange), which is the product of years of efforts by stakeholders.
- The key provisions of the bill were drafted by the Office of Insurance Regulation and Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, and are aimed at protecting consumers.
- The amendment will require that in lawsuits between assignees and insurers, attorney fees will only be awarded pursuant to current laws permitting offers of settlement and penalizing frivolous claims or defenses.
- It will include several strong consumer protections, such as requiring written, itemized estimates; prohibiting onerous cancellation and check processing fees; and protecting homeowners from claims by vendors when there is an assignment agreement in place.
- Finally, the amendment includes a requirement that all property insurers make a full rate filing with the Office of Insurance Regulation within the year after the law becomes effective, to ensure that insurers are incorporating adjusted loss trends into the rate.
PIFF is a member of the Consumer Protection Coalition, which is a grassroots organization whose goal is to educate policymakers on the problem of AOB abuse and to find sensible, pro-consumer solutions that will reduce costs. Learn more about the AOB problem and the Coalition at fightfraud.today.