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Fighting Fraud

Fighting Fraud and Higher Premiums

There is no denying homeowner’s insurance premiums have skyrocketed. As Florida residents, we have all been left wondering when these increases will stop and if rates will ever lower. The power to affect change to lower premiums is in our control, by making our voices heard before State legislators. Join us in fighting fraud and frivolous lawsuits which increase the cost of reinsurance and translate into higher insurance premiums for us all.

State Legislations in Florida over the years

December 2022

Senate Bill 2-A is signed into law: Insurance Reforms

SB 2-A aims to address rising insurance costs in Florida by targeting fraud, excessive litigation and ensuring more sustainable insurance practices, which ultimately benefit homeowners and reduce their premiums.

Key provisions of SB 2-A include:

Eliminates AOBs

Assignment of Benefits (AOBs) are no longer available on policies issued on or after January 1, 2023. AOBs increased costs when policyholders would sign over their rights to a contractor who might fail to do the required work – burdening homeowners with additional expenses – and instead pursued litigation with insurers.

Attorney Fees

This law repeals the so-called “one-way” attorney fee provisions. Now, each party is responsible for their own attorney fees in property insurance lawsuits in Florida.

Prompt Payment of Claims

This expedites claim resolution, including shorter timelines for payment (within 60 days), communication (within 7 days), investigation (within 7 days) and inspection (within 30 days, and it now includes hurricane claims). This also allows electronic methods for damage investigation and requires timely adjuster's reports.

Citizens Rate Changes

Policyholders receiving renewal or take-out offers within 20% of their Citizens premium are ineligible for coverage by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, Florida’s state-backed insurer of last resort. This applies to renewals made after April 1, 2023, and take-outs offers made after January 1, 2023. Citizens residential policyholders must obtain flood insurance, with phased-in requirements.

Claim Filing Deadline

This provision shortens the reporting period to 1 year for new or reopened claims and 18 months for supplemental claims, aiming to reduce the number of fraudulent claims filed near the deadline.

Reinsurance Assistance for Insurers

Established for the 2023 hurricane season, the Florida Optional Reinsurance Assistance (FORA) program offers insurance companies optional hurricane reinsurance at reasonable/near-market rates. The program aims to reduce the need for premium increases due to rising reinsurance costs.

May 2022

Senate Bill 2D is signed into law

Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 2D into law on May 26, 2022. The bill includes programs to help customers pay to harden their homes, which can help lower premiums, and includes new rules surrounding deductibles. When it comes to reporting and processing claims the rules have been redefined to help reduce litigation.

Home Protection Grants

Consumers/Policyholders can now apply for money to help harden and protect their home, if their home was built prior to 2008. The State will match $2 for every $1 the insured spends with a max stat payout of $10k to those who qualify.

Mitigation devices may make the home eligible for mitigation discounts to help manage insurance premiums, while protecting their home and family in the event of a storm.

Policyholder Deductibles

The insured is responsible for the payment of their deductible.

Policyholders should be on the lookout for contractors who offer to pay their deductible or include it in their estimate, as the contractor is committing a felony by doing this and policyholders are committing a felony by allowing it to happen.

Wording reflecting consumer/policyholder deductibles should be on all advertisements from roofers, contractors, and PA’s. It is important to make certain policyholders do not fall victim to this inducement, as they can be held accountable by allowing this to happen.

Inspection Process

Carriers must conduct any physical property inspection related to a claim within 45 days of receiving proof of loss statements. This does not apply to hurricane claims.

Claims Decision & Estimate

Carriers must provide a reasonable explanation of the claim decision in accordance with the policy, facts, and law to the policyholder. In the event a claim payment is made and is less than the insurer’s adjuster estimate, the carrier must explain the discrepancy.

Failure to Provide a Notice of Intent

A carrier may recover attorney fees and costs associated with securing a dismissal without prejudice, if the plaintiff's attorney fails to provide the required Notice of Intent to Initiate Litigation at least 10 days prior to filing a suit against a property insurer.

June 2021

Senate Bill 76 Is Signed Into Law

Governor DeSantis signed Senate Bill 76 into law on June 11, 2021. This Bill having been signed into law, paved the way for additional reform efforts to continue in Florida’s homeowners insurance market, although, much work remains to be done. A few of the major changes are prohibited advertising by outside third parties (such as a contractor, roofer, or plumber), reduced claim reporting time from three to two years from the date of loss, and introduced the “Pre-suit” demand process.  Click here to read more about how Senate Bill 76 impacted Florida’s homeowners insurance market.

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July 2019

Assignment of Benefits and Rights

Although the law to stop Assignment of Benefits fraud was signed into law on July 1, 2019, AOB fraud continues to occur across our State under different names such as Assignment of Rights. As a policyholder, it is important you know your rights and do not assign them to a third party vendor (such as a contractor, roofer, or plumber) at any time. Such documents, when signed by a homeowner, will allow the third party to receive a direct settlement of your claim possibly leaving you to make repairs at your own cost

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Get political

As a carrier there is only so much, we can do to affect change.  We require the support of agents and policyholders, such as yourselves to make your voices heard and demand change.  We have made it easy to contact state legislators to voice your concerns on insurance reform by clicking the link below: