Mold Assessment and Remediation Rules Draw Opposition
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation recently held a rule hearing relating to two rules– 61-31.701 “Minimum Standards of Practice for Mold Assessors” and 61-31.702 “Minimum Standards of Practice for Mold Remediators.” Several representatives of the insurance industry participated in the hearing, as did representatives of the mold assessment industry, mold remediators, home builders and others. Although these interested parties bring differing perspectives to the rules, the most common theme through the hearing is that many affected parties believe the standards are not authorized by the underlying statutes and the rules should be withdrawn and reworked.
For its part, the insurance industry offered both specific comments directed to proposed rule provisions and more general objections to the approach reflected in the rules. One question we frequently receive in the insurance industry is why property insurance rates have tended to be flat or sometimes even go up when Florida has not experienced hurricanes in many years and reinsurance costs have gone down. The answer sometimes can be attributed to insurers’ experiences with other perils, such as water damage. Insurance industry representatives pointed out that DBPR’s proposed rules will only increase the cost of water damage claims as they mandate mold procedures that might not be necessary in particular cases. In addition, many policies contain limitations on mold coverage, meaning that the more extensive assessment and remediation standards imposed by the rules are likely to cause policyholders’ direct out-of-pocket costs to increase.
The Department of Business and Professional Regulation will evaluate the comments received at the hearing in addition to those many parties have provided in writing.