Property Insurance Reform
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Additional Property Insurance Reforms Become Law
A comprehensive property insurance reform bill was passed during a May 2022 special session to help address Florida's ongoing property insurance issues.
Below are a few highlights contained within Senate Bill 2D, a comprehensive property insurance reform bill passed by the Florida Legislature on May 25, 2022, and signed by the governor on May 26, 2022. Florida Realtors® actively supported this legislation throughout the special session.
- Protecting Policyholders from Nonrenewal: Insurers may not refuse to write or renew policies on homes with roofs that are less than 15 years old solely because of the roof's age.
- Assignment of Benefits (AOB) Reform: Builds on 2019’s AOB law by banning the transfer of the one-way attorney fee provision through an assignment to third parties and closes a loophole that some unscrupulous vendors were using to circumvent the law.
- Contingency Fee Multiplier: Overturns bad case law by returning the use of a contingency fee multiplier to “rare and exceptional” circumstances, reducing the chance of extraordinarily inflated attorney fee awards in run-of-the-mill cases.
- Notice of Intent to Litigate: Enforces the required notice of intent to litigate contained within 2021’s SB 76 by allowing the insurer to collect attorney fees if the case is dismissed because a notice was not properly filed.
- Civil Remedy Notice: Reins in “gotcha” bad faith lawsuits by requiring an actual breach of contract for extra-contractual damages to be awarded.
- Roof Solicitations: Requires roofing solicitations to contain consumer-awareness language that the homeowner is responsible for the deductible under the insurance policy, and it is insurance fraud for the contractor to reduce or waive the deductible or file a claim with false or misleading information.
- Roof Deductible: Allows insurance companies to offer a policy at a reduced rate to consumers that includes a roof deductible of up to 2 percent, with certain circumstances like a total covered loss waiving the deductible.
- Improving Affordability for Policyholders: Authorizes $2 billion for a new Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders (RAP) program for insurers. This reinsurance is provided at no cost to the insurer. Insurers that participate in RAP must reduce their premiums by June 30, 2022, to reflect savings from the program. Insurers that defer using RAP until 2023 must reduce policyholder rates by May 1, 2023.
- Home Hardening Grants: Appropriates $150 million to provide hurricane mitigation inspections and matching grants to help Floridians afford home hardening improvements to their homestead single-family residences valued at $500,000 or less. The program provides $2 in grant funds for every $1 provided by the homeowner. Applicants may receive up to $10,000 in program money.