Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new property insurance reform bill on Friday – SB 76 – intended to relieve much of the Florida insurance industry.
A statement published on the Governor website said, “This bill protects Florida families by restructuring the litigation rules for disputed insurance claims; expressly prohibits contractors, adjusters and businesses from using prohibited advertisements that encourage Floridians to make an insurance claim for roof damage; and imposes a fine of up to $ 10,000 when companies break the law. “
A report in the Sentinel of the Sun said critics of the bill fear it will lead to larger rate increases for customers of state-backed citizens’ property insurance. Supporters of the bill disagree, saying the bill will reduce claims for roof damage.
“Unscrupulous players in the business,” State Senator Jin Boyd said, were driving up costs. “We have significant penalties and responsibilities for them. … And that will reduce costs.
The bill authorizes annual rate increases for Citizens’ customers, raising the capped limit from 10% to 15%.
The bill prohibits contractors from soliciting homeowners to file insurance claims for roof damage and prevents public adjusters from offering incentives to inspect roof damage. SB 76 also limits attorney fees suits against insurers.
The new law, which will come into force on July 1, reduces the deadline for filing applications from three to two years.
Last year, Florida insurance regulators approved the removal of more than 50,000 insureds from Florida by three property insurance companies. According to the Sun Sentinel report, Citizens, the state’s insurer of last resort, saw the number of policyholders jump to 589,041 as of April 30, from 453,911 last year.
For the governor’s statement, click on here.
For the specifics of the SB 76, click on here.