Legislature Passes AOB Reform
The Florida legislature has passed HB 7065 designed to curb abuses with “assignments of benefits” in Florida’s property insurance market. Among other things, the bill addresses problems with Florida’s one-way attorneys’ fee statute arising when commercial vendors use the statute in suits against insurers. The bill also allows insurers to adopt policy forms restricting assignments subject to an appropriate reduction in premiums from a fully assignable policy.
The bill now goes to Governor Ron DeSantis for action. Governor DeSantis reacted favorably upon the bill’s passing. “The exponential growth in AOB abuse has contributed to mounting insurance costs for Floridians for far too long,” said Governor DeSantis. “In recent years, there have been calls for reform and today, the Legislature took action. I thank them for their efforts in getting this done and I look forward to signing this meaningful legislation into law.”
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier also commended the legislature for addressing a problem that year after year has been reducing availability of residential insurance products and increasing prices. “OIR’s main focus is to work towards decreasing insurance costs for consumers living in Florida, while balancing the solvency needs of companies operating in Florida. The passage of HB 7065 is a significant step towards stemming the insurance product affordability and availability crisis that has grown from years of compounding AOB abuse,” said Commissioner Altmaier.
“To Chair Broxson and Chair Rommel, Senator Simmons, President Galvano and Speaker Oliva, CFO Patronis, Governor DeSantis and the many esteemed legislators who fought tirelessly to protect their constituents from AOB abuse, thank you. Your unwillingness to tolerate abusive, deceptive practices that benefit only a few, while increasing the cost of living for every hardworking Floridian, is a testament to your perseverance.”