News & Updates

AOB

Lawsuits Continue to Plague Property Market

Lawsuits Continue to Plague Property Market

The Florida property insurance market continues to experience reduced availability and increasing prices due to extraordinary litigation levels.  Widely-discussed sources show that Florida has nearly 80% of the nation’s property insurance litigation despite having less than ten percent of the countrywide claims.  Stated differently, Florida had about 100,000 lawsuits last year, which vastly outpaced the […]

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Lawsuits Target Special Session Reforms

Lawsuits Target Special Session Reforms

In late May, the Florida legislature passed several measures intended to address continuing concerns with Florida’s residential property insurance market.  Lawmakers commented that the new laws will not provide quick fixes; instead, the benefits might take 12-18 months to materialize. Unfortunately, this estimate might prove to be optimistic as two lawsuits have been filed challenging […]

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Effective Dates Key to Special Session Reforms

Effective Dates Key to Special Session Reforms

The Florida legislature has released its multi-faceted proposals for reforming Florida’s property insurance market.  The proposed legislation includes temporarily expanding available capacity from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund, incentivizing loss mitigation through windstorm protective devices, increasing regulatory oversight for distressed insurers, and curbing Florida’s litigation crisis by rebalancing attorneys’ fee incentives. To effectively address Florida’s […]

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Domestic Surplus Lines Bill Passes First Committee

Domestic Surplus Lines Bill Passes First Committee

A proposal in the Senate (SB 1402) and House (HB 951) would authorize “domestic surplus lines insurers” to issue policies in Florida.  Although the bills are in their early stages of consideration, the Senate version recently passed the Banking and Insurance Committee with a 9-0 vote. Currently, because surplus lines insurers issuing policies in Florida […]

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Property Bill Brings Uncertain Impact

Property Bill Brings Uncertain Impact

Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 76 into law and it takes effect July 1, 2021.  The new law reflects a series of compromises reached by the Florida legislature during the 2021 session.  Despite the compromises, bill sponsors believe the reforms will have a favorable effect on Florida’s residential property insurance market.  Other legislators have been […]

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Florida Legislative Session Begins

Florida Legislative Session Begins

The annual 60-day legislative session begins in Florida on March 2, 2021.  This session will feature accommodations designed to limit exposures to COVID-19.  This includes most public testimony being presented by video stream from an offsite location in downtown Tallahassee. From an insurance perspective, the session will include substantial discussion about the auto and property […]

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Third District Upholds Restriction on Post-Loss Assignments

Third District Upholds Restriction on Post-Loss Assignments

Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal (DCA) added to a list of cases upholding the ability of policyholders to assign post-loss benefits under insurance policies.  The Third DCA reached this decision based on prior caselaw in Florida.  However, the court also  acknowledged that the Florida legislature revised Florida law in this area after the events […]

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AOB Question Certified to Florida Supreme Court

AOB Question Certified to Florida Supreme Court

Florida’s Fifth District Court of Appeal (DCA) has certified the following question pertaining to Assignments of Benefits (AOB) to the Florida Supreme Court as a matter of great public importance: Does article X, section 4(c) of the Florida Constitution allow the owner of homestead real property, joined by the spouse, if married, to assign post-loss […]

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Rate Hearings Point to Continuing Concerns

Rate Hearings Point to Continuing Concerns

In December 2019, Joe Petrelli of Demotech, Inc. sent a letter of Barry Gilway of Citizens Property Insurance Corporation describing several concerns with Florida’s residential property insurance market.  Petrelli mentioned that several insurers could see downgrades to their Financial Stability Ratings.  He acknowledged that last year’s assignment of benefits (AOB) reforms might be beneficial later.  […]

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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, […]

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