Q&A – Will A New Florida Law Save You Money On Home Insurance?

Today’s entry: Do you have a piece on this, Floridians for Lawsuit Reform?

Bottom Line: It’s a good topic because of the rapidly rising rates of home insurance policies coinciding with three of Florida’s carriers recently announcing that they’re shedding 50,000 policies. What you’re referencing, Senate Bill 76, is aimed at cracking down on questionable practices by lawyers and contractors that drive up the price of all home insurance policies in Florida. 

So, what specific changes if this is signed into law? Well, it would be illegal for contractors to advertise or solicit homeowners for the purpose of filing an insurance claim. Also, roofing contractors would be mandated to provide a detailed cost analysis for all insurance claims.

Furthermore, one-way attorney fees would be eliminated, and attorneys would only be compensated based on the cost and recovery above what had been offered by an insurance company prior to litigation. It would also reduce the period for initial insurance claims to be filed from three to two years. And lastly, citizens' insurance would have annual increases capped at 10%.

The idea is straightforward. Reduce the opportunity and incentive for contractors and attorneys to pursue potentially unnecessary claims and lawsuits. Provide some type of cost certainty for homeowners with the state’s insurer of last resort. Why is this a priority? In April, I mentioned that Florida’s percentage of property insurance policies nationally was 8% and that Florida’s percentage of property insurance lawsuits nationally was 76%.

Those were the findings of Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation based on the National Association of Insurance Commissioners Annual report. And as you might imagine all of that adds up to you paying a lot more for property insurance. At the time of its passage, over 130,000 annual cases of insurance fraud were identified by regulators adding an average of about $350 in costs to Florida property insurance bills annually. 

Now we watch and wait. It passed the state legislature however it still hasn’t been finalized for Governor DeSantis’s signature. There’s currently an intense lobbying effort against it. Should it be signed into law it’d take effect July 1st. 

Each day I feature a listener question sent by one of these methods. 


Parler & Twitter:@brianmuddradio 

Photo by: Getty Images

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