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The Florida Senate has unanimously approved an amended version of the Insurer Accountability Act, removing some reporting requirements for property insurers. The amended bill would continue to bar insurers from altering adjusters’ estimates without detailing the changes.

An earlier version of Senate Bill 7052, filed after a backlash over recent tort-reform and other litigation-limiting laws, would have required insurers to annually report more data about the financial health of the companies and their managing general agencies, dividends paid to a parent company, and the actual cost of services provided by an affiliate.

The new version, approved Wednesday by a vote of 39-0, removes much of that language. Instead, insurers would have to adopt best practices for handling claims, state Sen. Travis Hutson told the Miami Herald. Claims manuals would have to be made available to regulators under the changed bill.

Some insurance industry lobbyists had opposed the bill and the amended version is seen as something of a compromise. Some insurers remain concerned that it could exacerbate reinsurers’ worries about the Florida market.

“With premiums and non-renewals spiking, and at least the perception of questionable claims-handling practices, elected officials are under tremendous public pressure to be seen as holding insurers accountable,” said William Stander, executive director of the Florida Property & Casualty Association. “Unfortunately, this bill will only rejuvenate private capital’s concerns about the viability and trajectory of Florida’s insurance marketplace, and threaten the turnaround promised by passage of 2022’s SB 2A and 2023’s CS/HB 837.”

The state Office of Insurance Regulation would still be required to produce annual and quarterly reports showing its actions to enforce insurer compliance with laws and regulations. Altering adjusters’ reports without providing a detailed explanation would still be considered an unfair claims practice under the amended bill. Carriers would have to provide all adjusters’ estimates and include the adjusters’ identities.

The Senate-passed version also bars impaired or insolvent insurers from soliciting new or renewal insurance risks and bars officers or directors of insolvent insurers from accepting bonuses.

The bill now moves to the House of Representatives, which has one week left in the 2023 regular session to act.

An early version of SB 7052 can be seen here. The amended version is here. The bill would make a number of other changes designed to make insurers’ and regulators actions more transparent and accountable.