On May 26, 2022, following a special session specifically designed to address serious issues with insurance litigation in Florida, Governor De Santis signed into law Senate Bill 2D and Senate Bill 4D.
SB 2D creates a wind mitigation roof incentive program for Florida homeowners, prohibits certain contractor solicitations, allows insurers to offer a separate roof deductible up to two percent of Coverage A or 50% of the cost to replace the roof, whichever is lower. It also makes some revisions to claims handling procedures for carriers. For example, within 45 days of receiving a SPOL (on non-hurricane claims) the insurer must perform a physical inspection of the property. Another change is that the insurer now must inform the insured that they are entitled to receive any detailed report/estimate developed by the adjuster. These claims handling changes do not go into effect until January 1, 2023. – Julie Oglesby
Perhaps one of the most impactful aspects of the new law is the revocation of attorney fees and costs under Fl. Stat. 627.428 for AOB holders. Under the revised Fl. Stat. 627.7152, AOB Plaintiffs may now only recover attorney fees through Fl. Stat. 57.105. This should serve to curb the amount of AOB litigation in the State. However, one frequent litigator in the industry – Air Quality Assessors, LLC, together with the Restoration Association of Florida, Inc, has filed a Complaint for Injunctive Relief regarding the new law in Leon County. The case is currently in front of Judge Marsh J. Lee and several Florida Property Insurers have filed Motions to Intervene in the matter. We will update this post as the case progresses. – Julie Oglesby