Don’t Let Florida’s New Insurance Law Keep You From Getting The Benefits You Deserve
When your home or business is damaged you want it repaired as quickly as possible. You don’t want to wait around for the insurance company to decide if they are going to cover it or not, you just want the work done.
Florida law used to incentivize quick repair by allowing property insurance policyholders to partially assign their insurance contract benefits to third-parties in exchange for quick repairs and relief from the burden of having to pay high upfront costs associated with mitigating damages caused by unexpected catastrophes. A new law is going to make policies that allow this common-sense approach to insurance claims — known as the assignment of benefits (AOB) — difficult to obtain.
New Law Goes Too Far
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently signed House Bill 7065, which goes into effect on July 1. The new law will allow insurance companies to sell policies that prohibit the assignment of benefits and make the AOB process more cumbersome.
The new law:
- Defines “assignment agreement” and establishes requirements for the execution, validity, and effect of such an agreement;
- Prohibits certain fees and alters policy provisions related to managed repairs in an assignment agreement;
- Transfers certain pre-lawsuit duties under the insurance contract to the assignee and shifts 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;
- Revises the state’s one-way attorney fee statute; and
- Requires service providers give an insurer and the consumer prior written notice of at least 10 business days before filing suit on a claim.
Proponents of these changes argue that the existing law encouraged unnecessary litigation. They say these changes will curb lawsuit abuse. Perhaps there were people abusing the AOB system – as there are always bad apples that are going to abuse any system – but this new law goes too far in the other direction. The new law will discourage some policyholders from getting the help they need to get the coverage they have paid for and deserve from their insurance company, and it will encourage insurance companies to make low-ball offers.
You Aren’t Alone
At Valiente, Carollo and McElligott PLLC, we are trying to spread the word that even with the new law in effect, property owners don’t have to stand alone when they stand up to their insurance company and demand swift action and adequate compensation. Homeowners may still hire an attorney to advocate on their behalf and negotiate with their insurance company.
Our firm has helped a lot of property owners in the Miami area who were denied coverage, are being low-balled or slow-rolled by their insurance company get the coverage they deserved. If you are in a similar situation, we are here to help. We work quickly and efficiently because we know how important it is to get repairs done quickly when you live in South Florida’s unique climate.
Posted in: Property Damage