Florida Politics – Michael Moline
Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier laid out his office’s solution to the insurance assignment-of-benefits problem to Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet Tuesday, and it includes limiting contractors’ ability to recover attorney fees in litigation against insurance companies.
Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute is intended to shield policyholders against legal bills if they want to sue their insurers for failure to pay or lowballing claims. Critics, including Altmaier, argue that unscrupulous contractors, armed with assignment of benefits agreements, or AOBs, exploit the law to file lawsuits, knowing they won’t be on the hook for legal costs.
Draft legislation circulating within the Office of Insurance Regulation would specify that only policyholders can take advantage of the law — not third parties, such as contractors, Altmaier said.