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Legislative Session Creates Fast Start to New Year

Legislative Session Creates Fast Start to New Year

With this year’s legislative session nearly upon us, the holiday season soon will seem like just a blur.  The Florida legislature has one 60-day regular session each year.  This year, the session begins on January 14, 2020.

The legislature tackled assignment of benefits (AOB) reform in the 2019 session.  The new law took effect mid-year, so it’s too early to tell how much impact the reforms will have.  The legislature often is reluctant to address a specific area of insurance soon after passing a major reform bill.  Those bills command a lot of attention and create fatigue among legislators, the legislative staff and even member of the industry.  Nonetheless, several proposals warrant following throughout the 2020 session.

Among the proposals that might surface this year, some members of the industry want to make adjustments to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF) or subject its ratemaking to Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) review.  Other proposals in 2020 might affect the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA).

We can expect continued discussion of the auto glass issue, although pre-session committee meetings in late 2019 suggest achieving reform will be difficult.  Advocates for reform point out that abuses with windshield repairs are driving up costs and are being perpetuated by profiteers.  Small glass shops respond that existing law protects them from inadequate reimbursement rates from insurers.