TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 21, 2020) — The Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance today passed a bill that will prevent attorneys from exploiting an outdated and unnecessary legal tactic to enrich themselves at the expense of insurance consumers.
The “common law contingency risk fee multiplier” is intended for use in cases where legal counsel might be hard to find, but it has been exploited in recent years during routine residential property claims. Senate Bill 914 by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, restores balance by making sure the fee multiplier is only used in property cases during rare or exceptional cases based on evidence showing that competent counsel could not have otherwise been retained in a reasonable manner.
The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF) President and CEO Michael Carlson cheered the bill’s passage:
“It’s time to curb use of the contingency fee multiplier allowing some greedy attorneys to essentially double dip on fees. We are thankful to Senator Brandes for his leadership on this issue and to Chair Broxson and the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance for passing this consumer-friendly bill.
“Use of the fee multiplier is already severely limited at the Federal level, yet today in Florida, attorneys taking on routine residential property claims are asking to be paid twice or even three times their hourly rate, not because they deserve it but because they can. And those costs are passed on to insurance consumers.”
PIFF is in favor of consumer protections that help lower insurance rates for consumers. To learn more about the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, visit PIFF.net.
The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, Inc. (PIFF), is a leading voice for the personal lines property and casualty insurance industry in Florida. PIFF represents national insurance carriers and their subsidiaries, including many of the state’s top writers of private passenger auto and homeowners multiperil insurance. Together, PIFF members write more than $13 billion in premium in the state. PIFF advocates for a healthy and competitive insurance marketplace for the benefit of Florida consumers. Follow us @PIFFNews. Visit PIFF.net to learn more.
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