- A proposed bill aims to increase consumer protection and insurer accountability in Florida.
- Key provisions include prohibiting insurers from canceling a property insurance policy during a pending claim until repairs are complete and requiring insurers to cover open claims being handled by Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA).
- The legislation also addresses rates charged for insurance and ensures that liability insurers are complying with proper claims-handling practices.
- The bill additionally increases maximum administrative fines for insurers and requires insurers to promptly respond to the Department of Financial Services Division of Consumer Services.
Florida lawmakers are considering a new bill that would increase consumer protection and insurer accountability in Florida. The bill, SPB 7052, contains provisions related to insurance coverage, rates charged for insurance, insurer claims handling, and regulatory oversight practices.
A key provision of the proposed bill is the prohibition of insurers from canceling a property insurance policy during a pending claim until repairs are complete. Lawmakers argued on Tuesday that it is designed to protect consumers who may be left without coverage during periods of disaster like hurricanes or flooding. The bill also requires insurers to cover open claims being handled by Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA), which will provide additional protection for policyholders.
“[This bill] increases transparency and accountability for insurance companies with our government oversight agencies,” said Sen. Travis Hutson. “It addresses financial and market condition examinations of insurers, adopts objective criteria to prioritize financial examination of insurers whose financial condition meets certain criteria, and of a property insurer after a hurricane if the insurer is in the top twenty percent in the top twenty percent of areas such as claim denials and consumer complaints.”
In addition, the bill also addresses the rates charged for insurance. Specifically, it requires property insurance and motor vehicle rate filings to include the combined effect of recent legislative reforms and updates to property insurance mitigation discounts at least every five years.
The legislation additionally requires the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) to ensure that liability insurers are complying with proper claims-handling practices, creating a 60-day prompt-pay law for non-PIP motor vehicle insurance claims.
Other provisions of the bill include increasing maximum administrative fines for insurers, requiring insurers to more promptly respond to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) Division of Consumer Services, and providing additional funding for the DFS Division of Consumer Services. The measure specifies objective criteria to be used by OIR to prioritize necessary finances and determine when payments to affiliates are considered excessive.