AOB Reform Ranks Among Top Issues of Session
The 2019 Florida legislative session has come to a close. After several years of “wait ’til next year” results on the Assignment of Benefits (AOB) issue, this year’s legislature finally passed much-needed reform. Media outlets around the state are calling this one of the biggest results of the 2019 session.
The legislature’s paramount duty, of course, is to pass a state budget. This year’s state budget is $91.1 billion. Among its priorities, the legislature provided $220 million in Hurricane Michael recovery funds. In addition, the legislature eliminated the “certificate of need” process for healthcare facilities and eliminated a ban on smokable medical marijuana. This are among the several issues that consume considerable time during the session and sometimes crowd out other issues.
With AOB reform, the legislature has created a mechanism to protect consumers against ever-rising availability and affordability concerns related to current abuses. A provision directed at the one-way attorneys’ fee statute will level the playing field. Insurers also will be able to offer policies that restrict assignments for an appropriate discount or rate reduction.