Is Florida Finally Holding Property Insurance Companies Accountable?
Over the past two years, the Florida Legislature has continuously gutted homeowners' ability to hold their property insurance companies accountable for wrongful denials or underpayments of their claims. Throughout legislative hearings on the bills impacting homeowners, accusations of insurance companies acting in bad faith came to light.
Specifically, individual insurance adjusters testified that insurance companies had altered their estimates without their knowledge to underpay or wrongfully deny many homeowners' claims. However, it appears the Florida Legislature is working on a bill to hold property insurance companies accountable.
Senate Bill 7052 is working its way through the Florida Legislature and contains a number of provisions that attempt to hold insurance companies accountable. One of the laws enacted would prevent insurance companies from doctoring adjuster estimates unless they note the changes that were made, who made those changes, and an explanation of why those changes were made. The Bill also prohibits property insurers from cancelling a homeowners' property insurance policy during an open claim until repairs on the home are completed, a previously accepted process that prevents many homeowners from obtaining new insurance policies.
Additionally, the Bill would prevent paying bonuses to executives while the insurance company is considered insolvent or on the verge of insolvency.
These are just a few highlights of the Bill, which still has a way to go before it reaches a stage where the Senate will vote on it, and a companion bill in the House of Representatives has not been introduced. Whether accountability for insurance companies will finally become reality in Florida is yet to be seen.
If you believe your insurance company has wrongfully denied, underpaid, or delayed payment of your claim, it may be time to contact an attorney. Call our office for a consultation today.
This article is not intended to be legal advice nor create an attorney-client relationship.