The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) today outlined its top legislative priorities in Florida, which focus on implementing meaningful reforms to rein in widespread lawsuit abuse, protect consumers from rising costs, and help address the challenges facing Florida’s homeowners insurance market.
APCIA will work to pass legislation addressing the current abuses of time limited demands, advance reforms to Florida’s bad faith laws, and support COVID liability protections for Florida’s businesses. APCIA also supports Senate Bill 76, by Senator Jim Boyd, and House Bill 305, by Representative Bob Rommel, as part of a comprehensive step forward in addressing the challenges facing Florida’s property insurance market and protecting consumers from rising costs.
“Florida’s property insurance market is at a crisis point as insurers face billions in recent losses from natural disasters and skyrocketing litigation costs,” said Logan McFaddin, APCIA’s assistant vice president of state government relations. “Ultimately, this will negatively impact the marketplace and policyholders. APCIA will work with lawmakers this session to implement meaningful reforms to curb widespread lawsuit abuse, restore fairness to Florida’s legal system, and help keep insurance premiums reasonable for Florida policyholders.”
Time Limited Demands & Bad Faith Reform
Florida’s legal environment is one of the worst in the country. Widespread legal abuse, skyrocketing settlements, and exorbitant attorney fees have had significant consequences in the insurance marketplace and made it challenging for companies to hold the line on costs. As part of our efforts to improve the litigation environment in Florida to the benefit of consumers, APCIA will pursue time limited demand legislation to stop abusive trial lawyer tactics that seek to increase litigation and prevent insurers from settling claims.
As the legislature considers bills (Senate Bill 54 and House Bill 719) to repeal Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system, strong bad faith reform is a critical component. “Repealing Florida’s no-fault auto insurance system without addressing much needed bad faith reforms could lead to higher costs for consumers and increased litigation,” continued McFaddin.
Property Insurance Market Reforms
Florida property insurers are grappling with billions in recent losses from natural disasters and out of control litigation costs. As a result, many homeowners across the state are seeing significant increases in insurance costs. This session, APCIA will support and advocate for solutions, such as SB 76 and HB 305, that address the challenges in the property insurance market and rein in abuses in the system. “Abuse of the system by some hurts all Floridians,” added McFaddin.
SB 76 and HB 305 contain critically needed reforms that will significantly reduce excessive attorney fee awards, adjust the claims filing deadline to within two years of a loss, and address widespread abuses in the roofing industry. “These good bills will help alleviate some key pressure points existing in Florida’s insurance market, help keep homeowners insurance costs reasonable, and help create a healthy and sustainable insurance marketplace in the state for the benefit of consumers.”
The American Property Casualty Insurance Association (APCIA) is the primary national trade association for home, auto, and business insurers. APCIA promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers, with a legacy dating back 150 years. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions—protecting families, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and across the globe.