With no major property insurance bills passing this session, FIRM was unsuccessful in its try for a Monroe County carve-out to maintain Citizens 10% rate cap. Other goals were to return the 10% rate cap for secondary homes used as annual rentals for locals, and to increase the replacement value cost for Monroe County properties.  The high cost of building in the Keys means even a modest home can exceed the replacement value threshold.

FIRM Board members met with CFO Patronis, Insurance Commissioner Altmaier, and Citizens Legislative Director Christine Ashburn on Florida Keys Day.  Both the CFO and Commissioner Altmaier were surprised at the $805 million gap in premiums over claims paid since 2004. They were receptive to the idea of running the public hurricane model with Monroe County specific data to reach a more accurate risk assessment. FIRM’s lobbying team is currently exploring that option.

A special session is likely to address important property insurance reforms. Gov. Ron DeSantis said on March 29 that legislation to address property insurance rate increases will come before the end of the year, but it will likely have to wait until after the November elections, when a new House Speaker will take over.

According to an article publish in Insurance Journal on March 14, some minor pieces of legislation affecting insurance matters passed both chambers.  These include:

SB 1058 would allow private insurers, not just the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., to be eligible for reimbursement from a hurricane catastrophe fund for policies they assume from insolvent carriers. The measure also would require that the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund provide reimbursement for losses under collateral protection insurance, also known as lender-placed or force-placed insurance, when the coverage amount differs from the coverage amount under a lapsed policy.

SB 156 would reduce from five years to three the claims history that must be included within a loss-run statement. It also would require admitted and non-admitted personal lines insurers to provide loss-run statements within 15 days of an insured’s request, after giving
instruction on how to obtain a the information from a consumer reporting agency. The information to be provided in the loss-run statements includes the policy number, period of coverage, number of claims, the paid losses on all claims, and the date of each loss, according to a legislative analysis of the bill. Life insurers are exempted from having to provide loss-run statements.

SB 1054, known as the financial literacy act, would require schools to teach financial information to high school students, including the basics of insurance, money management, credit scores, loan applications and related matters.

House Bill 749, if signed by the governor, would increase penalties on unlicensed public adjusters who violate the law and would make things more convenient for Florida policyholders by ensuring digital insurance applications will communicate with the digital driver’s license.

HB 959 would, among other changes requested by the Florida Department of Financial Services, require insurance agencies to notify policyholders when an agency is about to close its doors. It also would force public adjusters to notify consumers if they want to capture additional living expenses; and would provide employers with credits to reduce penalties for workers’ compensation compliance violations.

SB 838 would make fire investigators in the state eligible for a presumption that provides limited benefits for firefighters who are stricken with any of 21 types of cancers. The program is considered an alternative to workers’ compensation benefits

Source: Insurance Journal.com March 14, 2022

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