At Mel Himes & Associates Insurance Agency, we want to make sure our clients and community are aware of any changes to policies when buying in the property insurance market. Last month, in the December 2022 Special Session for property insurance, Governor Ron Desantis and the Florida Legislature assembled and passed Senate Bill 2A. Senate Bill 2A deals with some of the issues many consumers and insurance agencies have dealt with in the property insurance market. In short, this bill ensures that the insurance claims process will be more effective and grant more protection to property insurance consumers.
Some of the new reforms mentioned in this bill are summarized below:
• Florida Optional Reinsurance Assistance (FORA) Program – This is hurricane insurance that insurance companies can purchase at an affordable and reasonable price to offer their clients and are hopeful this program will decrease the cost of premiums for hurricane reinsurance.
• Claim Filing Deadlines – This bill will also reduce the timeframe in which a claim can be filed from 2 years to 1 year for new or unopened claims, and reduce all supplemental claims timeframe from 3 years to 18 months.
• Attorney Fees – Lawsuits regarding property insurance will eliminate one-way attorney fees. All parties will be responsible for their own attorney fees.
• Notice to Policyholders – A Property insurer will now be required to add that flood coverage is not included with their property insurance and encourage buyer to purchase flood insurance.
• Assignment Of Benefits (AOB) – An insurance property consumer will no longer be allowed to sign over their benefits to a third party if your policy is issued on or after January 1, 2023.
• Claims Investigation and Prompt Payments – This bill ensures that the insurance company will be required to reduce the response timeframe to start an insurance investigation, physical inspection, and pay or deny a claim from 90 days to 60 days.
• Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) – In cases of insurance property claims, this bill grants the OIR the authorization to subject insurers to market conduct examinations. This bill also ensures that the appraisal processes and policies are not abused by insurers.
• Bad Faith – This bill ensures that a failure to settle property insurance claim can not be filed until proof of a breach of insurance contract is rendered against the insurer.
If you have any questions or want more information about these changes, get in touch with Mel Himes and Associates Insurance Agency.
Call us: 386-574-3030
Visit us: 892 Deltona Blvd, Deltona, FL 32725