As trial attorneys and information stories across the state proceed to criticize Florida lawmakers for the far-reaching tort-reform handed final month, the Senate Banking and Insurance coverage Committee has authorized a invoice designed to convey extra accountability for property insurers.
By a vote of 8-0, the committee on Wednesday adopted Senate Invoice 7052, dubbed the “Insurer Accountability Act.” If signed into regulation, the multi-faceted measure would require many new guidelines for insurers. Notably, it might prohibit insurers from altering or amending an adjuster’s report with out together with an inventory of modifications, who made the change, and a proof of a change that reduces protection, in response to a workers evaluation of the invoice.
That observe has come beneath fireplace from some impartial adjusters, who’ve stated that some carriers and insurer-hired adjusting corporations have doctored their injury assessments, drastically lowering the quantity of wind injury however leaving the adjusters’ names on the stories. State regulators are stated to be investigating the alleged fraud.
SB 7052 additionally would bar fee of bonuses to officers and administrators whereas an insurer is impaired or bancrupt. That’s one thing that Florida information stories have highlighted after current insolvencies.
The invoice, drafted by the committee that’s chaired by Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, additionally would require Residents Property Insurance coverage Corp. to cowl property with open claims which can be being dealt with by the Florida Insurance coverage Warranty Affiliation after an insurer insolvency, in response to a workers evaluation of the invoice. That sort of motion has been adopted to some extent lately, though the Workplace of Insurance coverage Regulation has been criticized for permitting one major market insurer, Slide Insurance coverage, to imagine hundreds of insurance policies held by insurers in runoff or going through liquidation.
Different provisions would:
- Require regulators to think about the current legislative reforms when reviewing proposed fee will increase, and would prohibit the Workplace of Insurance coverage Regulation from waiving evaluation of coverage types for any insurer that has violated the state’s insurance coverage code.
- Prohibit approved and surplus traces insurers from cancelling a property insurance coverage coverage throughout any pending declare till after repairs are full.
- Present that the prohibition on making use of some other deductible beneath the coverage if a roof deductible is utilized encompasses some other loss to the property brought on by the identical coated peril.
- Toll the time interval for submitting a property insurance coverage declare throughout an insured’s lively responsibility navy service.
- Make clear legislative intent that Senate Invoice 2A, handed in a December particular session to restrict lawyer charges and claims litigation, shall not be construed to impair any proper beneath an insurance coverage contract in impact on or earlier than the efficient date of that regulation.
- Require that mitigation reductions be up to date at the very least each 5 years, and that insurers present consumer-friendly data on their web site describing hurricane mitigation reductions out there.
- Require OIR to guarantee that legal responsibility insurers adjust to finest practices for claims dealing with.
- Create a 60-day prompt-pay rule for non-PIP motorcar insurance coverage claims, just like the prompt-pay regulation for residential property insurance coverage claims.
- Require insurers to yearly submit their claims manuals to the OIR and attest that the handbook comports to normal and customary trade claims dealing with practices.
- Enhance most administrative fines by 250% in most situations, and by 500% for violations throughout a state of emergency corresponding to a hurricane.
- Require insurers to reply extra promptly to the Division of Monetary Providers’ Division of Client Providers, and would improve fines for noncompliance.
- Present further funding for the DFS Division of Client Providers.
- Specify goal standards for use by OIR to prioritize market conduct examinations and to find out when funds to associates are extreme.
- Require insurers to report back to the OIR any short-term suspension of writing new insurance policies.
The invoice’s full textual content might be seen right here. A video recording of the committee assembly is right here. The measure has at the very least two extra stops within the Senate earlier than reaching the ground. A companion invoice within the Home of Representatives has but to be launched. The legislative session runs till the primary week of Could.
High picture: Residents Property Insurance coverage CEO Tim Cerio on the Senate committee listening to Wednesday. (The Florida Channel)
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