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Just over a week into the 2019 legislative session, insurance industry-supported bills aimed at reforming Florida assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse are making progress in the state legislature.

Lawmakers in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate have each advanced legislation that Florida’s insurance regulator, industry and consumers advocates say would help stem the tide of abuse that is spreading statewide and leading to higher rates for consumers.

And both bills tackle the number one issue that AOB reform advocates say is fueling the abuse: Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute.

Pressure from the state’s insurance regulator and new governor may be helping to move things along in what is now the seventh year the issue has been before state lawmakers.

“AOB abuse has an adverse impact on our consumers and directly undermines the ability of Floridians to have reliable insurance products available at affordable prices. I will remain a vocal proponent of measures that stem AOB abuse and protects consumers from the abusive tactics exhibited by bad actors who exploit Florida’s unique attorney fee structure,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said after the passage of a bill by a Florida House committee last week.

Florida’s new governor Ron DeSantis has weighed in on the issue at his first state of the state on March 5, saying, “There are areas where Florida can do better. I hope the Legislature passes legislation to reform the issue of AOB, which has become a racket.

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