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Earlier this year, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed three bills set to increase consumer protection within the property insurance industry. The laws were designed to enhance the state’s property insurance system, provide safeguards for consumers who experience unfair practices from insurance companies, and make homes more resilient to natural disasters.
The legislation should allow Florida homeowners an opportunity to hold insurers accountable and invest in programs and consumer services that promote home safety.
What Is Senate Bill 7052 and How Will It Affect Policyholders?
According to the Florida Senate, SB 7052 contains various provisions that should increase consumer protection and ensure accountability. Here’s how it will impact insurers:
- Once a roof deductible is applied, no other deductible can be applied to any other damage caused by the same covered peril.
- If you are deployed to a combat zone or combat support posting, you can get extra time to file a property insurance claim during your deployment.
- Insurance companies have to regularly update the discounts they offer to make your property more resistant to disasters. They also have to share easy-to-understand information about discounts related to hurricane protection.
- Insurers who handle liability claims have to treat policyholders fairly. If not, there could be penalties put in place against the insurers.
- Adjusters need a good reason to change their reports. If they reduce the estimated loss, they have to provide a detailed explanation. This will prevent unfair alterations to claims assessments.
- Executives and directors of impaired or insolvent insurers are not allowed to receive a bonus.
- The maximum administrative fine that the Office of Insurance Regulation can levy on insurance companies is raised by 250% in general and 500% for violations during a state of emergency.
What Is House Bill 799 and How Does It Affect Policyholders?
According to the Florida House of Representatives, HB 799 also focuses on the property insurance market. It is designed to widen the scope of mitigation discount initiatives for policyholders.
- Property insurers have to include mitigation discounts in their residential rate filings.
- Residential property insurers have to offer fair discounts, credits, or suitable reductions in deductibles for measures that aim to reduce wind uplift. This will not be a requirement to include in rate filings.
What Is House Bill 881 and How Does It Affect Policyholders?
- Emphasizes licensed inspectors conducting on-site hurricane mitigation inspections for single-family residential properties.
- Refines information provided to homeowners during inspections
- Adjusts the criteria for grant eligibility for low-income homeowners
- Revises the amount of low-income homeowners may receive under the grant program.
- Eliminates the requirements for DFS-contracted contracts to be approved by LBC.
- Requires the Department of Finance Services to create a quality assurance and reinspection program.
- Upgrades funded through legislative efforts potentially result in premium discounts for participants.
COBIA Insurance: Added Protection for Your Needs
As these legislative strides unfold, it will be critical for homeowners to complement these safeguards with comprehensive insurance solutions. COBIA Insurance Agency offers home and flood insurance coverage options that can give homeowners an added layer of protection.
Our insurance offerings don’t end there! We also have insurance policies for vehicles, umbrella insurance, and commercial insurance.
The COBIA Insurance Agency team wants to assist you with your insurance needs. We can help you receive both a competitive market quote and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to working with you!