Agents May Not Know All Aspects of Florida’s New Property Insurance Law, Consumers Say
ORLANDO, Florida. – It’s been just over two weeks since the governor signed into law an insurance bill, but consumers told News 6 that not all insurance agents are aware of what the law contains.
Sheila Guzman said that every year her anxiety starts when it comes time to renew her home insurance, and this year is no different.
“Because I don’t know what to expect,” Guzman said.
According to his statements, in 2020 his bonus was $815. In 2021, it jumped to $1,500, and if she chooses to renew this year, it will be nearly $4,000.
“I couldn’t believe it,” Guzman said. “I mean, I had to read the letter again. I thought they made a mistake.
[Click here to find all of News 6′s coverage of Florida’s property insurance crisis]
It was not a mistake and the letter that accompanied the statement confirmed it.
“Many of our customers have received or will receive substantial premium increases with their latest renewal offer,” according to the letter.
“We’ve seen increases over the years, but never this much,” Guzman said.
Guzman is like so many Floridians, grappling with rising property insurance rates and seeking relief after lawmakers passed a new law to address the problem in a special legislative session.
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When she started looking for alternative insurance, she said she didn’t believe insurance agents were aware of the legislation being passed.
“Because I heard them say, ‘We don’t have a word yet and this is what we have’ and what they have is not what was discussed in the session,” said Guzman.
Her roof was replaced in April 2009, under a roof replacement contract, giving her 13 years of age.
Agents told Guzman that insurers wouldn’t write him a policy because of the age of his roof, according to Guzman.
But Senate Bill 2-D, which took effect two weeks ago, prohibits insurers from underwriting policies for homeowners whose roofs are “under 15 years old solely because of age of the roof”, according to the law.
Paul Handerhan is the president of the Federal Association for Insurance Reform, FAIR.
There is usually some time of confusion where people have to figure out what the law says when new legislation is passed, according to Haderhan.
“These people are busy running their business every day, they probably haven’t read the invoices,” Handerhan said.
While the Florida Association of Insurance Agents follows the legislation, there are more than 100,000 insurance agents across the state, and all information may not have been passed on to every agent, according to Handerhan.
“It’s very common that once legislation is passed, most people who don’t comply with it really don’t know what was passed,” Handerhan said. “They don’t know how it affects their local businesses, and I’m sympathetic to that, but when the law becomes the law, you have to obey the law.”
If you’re looking for insurance right now, make sure you know the law. If you think the officer is unfamiliar with the new law, ask them to double-check.
In the long run, if an agent gives you bad information and it affects you negatively, you could file an errors and omissions claim.
Read the full text of SB 2-D below:
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