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Long-awaited reforms for Florida’s assignment of benefits (AOB) crisis that the insurance industry and consumer advocates say has led to less coverage and higher rates for Florida property owners will officially become law July 1.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 7065 on Thursday, marking the end to a seven-year battle by the industry and reform advo

The bill’s provisions:

  • Define “assignment agreement” and establishing requirements for the execution, validity, and effect of such an agreement
  • Prohibit certain fees and altering policy provisions related to managed repairs in an assignment agreement
  • Transfer certain pre-lawsuit duties under the insurance contract to the assignee and shifting the burden to the assignee to prove that any failure to carry out such duties has not limited the insurer’s ability to perform under the contract
  • Require each insurer to report specified data on claims paid in the prior year under assignment agreements by Jan. 30, 2022, and each year thereafter
  • Allow an insurer to make available a policy prohibiting assignment, in whole or in part, under certain conditions
  • Revise the state’s one-way attorney fee statute to incorporate an attorney fee structure in determining the fee amount awarded in suits by an assignee against an insurer
  • Require service providers to give an insurer and the consumer prior written notice of at least 10 business days before filing suit on a claim.

The bill also requires savings be passed along to Florida consumers who are covered by Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which has borne the brunt of AOB abuse.

In South Florida in particular, AOB lawsuits have exploded over the last 10 years and Citizens has filed for rate increases to offset litigation costs. It proposed rate increases for 97 percent of its homeowners policyholders for 2019.

cates seeking a solution to escalating abuse of the policyholder benefit.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/05/24/527402.htm

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