Policyholders of Florida join Sen. Fasano in call for veto of SB 408

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ThePolicyholders of Florida coalition, founded by former Insurance Consumer Advocate and current Merlin Law Group AttorneySean Shaw todayjoined SenatorMike Fasano(R-New Port Richey) in calling forGovernor Rick Scott to vetoSenate Bill 408, a bill that would allow insurers to raise rates 15% a year, among other anti-consumer provisions.

“I commend Senator Fasano for standing up for consumers and join in his call for Governor Scott to veto SB 408, a bill guaranteed to raise insurance rates in Florida and make it harder for Floridians to file claims,” said Shaw. “The legislature bowed to insurance lobbyists, which is nothing new, so now the only thing standing between rate hikes and consumers is Governor Rick Scott. He should do the right thing and veto this bill.”

Important Changes for Consumers Contained in SB 408(as reported by the Sun-Sentinel):

Allow insurers to raise premiums by up to 15 percent a year for reinsurance costs;

Shorten the time policyholders have to file claims from five years to two years for sinkhole claims and three years for hurricane claims;

Allow insurers to withhold full payment for a claim for damage to a home until policyholders sign a contract for repairs and the repairs are made, except for homes that are destroyed;

Allow insurers to raise consumers?rates without approval from regulators to cover advertising costs and agent commissions;

Require new home insurance companies to have $15 million in reserves starting this year and existing insurers to have $15 million by 2021;

Allow insurers that offer policies covering both a home and motor vehicle to drop the policy if they warn policyholders at least 90 days beforehand, a provision intended to attract an unnamed insurer to the state; and

Clarify gray areas of state law that courts have disagreed about to say the Legislature? intended legal presumption is to reduce disputes and litigation from sinkhole claims, which might be applied to pending claims disputes.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.