Policyholders of Florida on 2012 property insurance bills: ‘The Good, Bad, but Mostly Ugly’

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The Policyholders of Florida today released a list of bills filed in the Florida Legislature that will affect property insurance consumers, some good, bad, but mostly ugly.

“Every year politicians file back into Tallahassee with new property insurance legislation, and every year consumers seem to get the short end of the stick,” said Sean Shaw, founder of the Policyholders of Florida and former Insurance Consumer Advocate. “We will continue to hold legislators accountable and call most of these bills what they are –  ugly and wrong.”

Bad Property Insurance Bills

SB 1784 – Punishing Citizens Policyholders
Would discontinue certain policy discounts for Citizens policyholders while cancelling the coverage of some previously insured structures. Further slashes public adjuster fees to 5%, ensuring few will be financially able to assist Citizens policyholders.

HB 245 / SB 578 – Depopulating Programs of Citizens 
Would allow unregulated surplus lines insurers to participate, in same manner & on same terms as authorized insurer, in depopulation, take-out, or keep-out programs relating to policies removed from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.

HB 427/ SB 1224 – Erosion of Bad Faith Protection
Would make it much more difficult for policyholders to file bad faith lawsuits against their insurers. The law would effectively chip away at the state’s bad faith statutes – statutes that exist to ensure your insurance company is holding up its end of bargain and acting in good faith. Erosion in bad faith laws lets insurance companies evade their contractual obligations and harm policyholders without recourse.

SB 1248 – Nonrenewal of Insurance
Would make it easier for insurance companies to non renew policyholders by providing several specific exemptions from the current notification requirements

Good Property Insurance Bills

SB 846 – Defines “Claim-Related Document” 
Defines the term “claim-related document”; requiring an insurer to disclose to a claimant certain information relating to policy coverage, that the claimant may request and obtain all claim-related documents, and whether there are any time requirements that would result in an insurer denying a claim; providing for the extension of the period of coverage for additional living expenses resulting from a state of emergency, etc.

HB 761/SB 1318 – Relating to Property Loss Appraisals
Would require Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to comply with conditions & procedures relating to participation of umpires & appraisers in loss appraisal process.

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.