OIR Gathers Input on Mitigation Verification Form and Notice
The Office of Insurance Regulation held a public hearing on December 21 to continue gathering feedback about revisions to its Uniform Mitigation Verification Inspection Form and its Notice of Premium Discounts for Hurricane Loss Mitigation. The hearing attracted relatively few comments on the discount notice form. A few participants commented that the description of mandatory discounts on homes built under the 2001 Florida Building Code is flawed and could lead to confusion among consumers. An insurance industry representative also suggested that further work on the notice form should be deferred until after the 2010 legislative session due to possible changes.
Most of the discussion at the hearing centered around the verification form used to support discounts that are applied to residential insurance policies. The hearing attracted residential contractors, engineers, building inspectors, representatives of the insurance industry and other interested parties. Some of the discussion involved the substantive criteria to be evaluated during the course of inspections, such as whether the form contains an appropriate definition of flat roofs or whether the garage door bracing standard is correct. In addition, the participants spent considerable time discussing that licensed professionals might have difficulty justifying signing the form if it requires them to certify that certain standards, such as roof-to-wall connections, exist uniformly throughout the home without exception. Additional discussion related to which professionals should be allowed to sign the forms and whether those professionals may delegate field work to their employees.
Insurance industry representatives generally commented that the current mitigation verification form faciliates fraudulent and erroneous reports. The industry therefore supported moving forward with the current version of the form, to which it believes the Office of Insurance Regulation has made several important changes that will limit opportunities for fraud. At the same time, the industry acknowledges that many interested parties have good thoughts for additional revisions to the form in the future for which additional workshops may be held next year.
The OIR will receive written comments submitted in follow up to the discussion through January 4, 2010.