PIFF is an insurance trade association focused on advocacy before the Legislative and Executive branches of Florida government.  We devote the entire resources of the office to working with legislators, the Governor, members of the Florida Cabinet, and executive branch agency leaders to find common sense solutions to the problems facing Florida’s insurance markets. Here you will find information about our legislative and regulatory priorities, principles, and accomplishments.

ADVOCACY RESOURCES
2020 LEGISLATIVE FOCUS

TORT REFORM: Fighting for a consumer-friendly marketplace.

Contingency Fee Multiplier – SB 914 by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg

This year, PIFF is working with legislators to restore balance in the civil justice system by limiting the application of the attorney “contingency fee multiplier” to rare and exceptional cases where it is difficult to find competent counsel. Attorneys are exploiting an outdated and unnecessary legal tactic to enrich themselves at the expense of insurance consumers. This is no longer allowed 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. Those costs are passed on to insurance consumers. This law will have a very positive effect on the cost of property claims in the market over the long term. It’s time to end the abuse of the attorney fee multiplier.

 

Accuracy in Damages

SB 1668 by Senate President Pro Tempore David Simmons, R-Longwood, and HB 9 by Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach

These bills create a new standard for determining medical damages arising from a personal injury or wrongful death case that reflects the true cost of such damages and prevents attorneys from inflating such damages in order to seek a greater recovery. The bills use a standard based on usual and customary charges or the amount that a commercial or governmental health insurer would pay for medical services and treatment. This way, juries will know what is usually paid for medical care. This will reduce the cost of personal injury and wrongful death claims.

 

Bad Faith

SB 924 by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg

This bill includes several fixes to the insurer bad faith law. Florida has one of the worst judicial environments in the U.S., due in large part to its unregulated third-party bad faith system. Under Florida law, there is a strong incentive for claimants to game the insurance claim process on the assertion that the insurer acted in “bad faith” in handling a claim opening the door for unlimited damages. Recent court decisions have weakened the definition of “bad faith” to the point that the simplest mistake by insurers can lead to extra-contractual multimillion-dollar judgments. The threat of a bad faith suit often leads to insurers paying more on claims than is warranted, and these increased costs are passed on to all insurance consumers.

 

Litigation Financing

SB 1828 by Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Pensacola, and HB 7041 by Rep. Tom Leek, R-Ormond Beach

These bills create a new regulatory structure for litigation financing entities, with a goal of protecting plaintiffs who take loans from these entities during the pendency of a lawsuit. They will require consumer litigation financing entities to register with the state and provide increased disclosures to plaintiffs/consumers who take on high-interest loans to cover expenses incurred while they are involved in a lawsuit. Our ultimate goal is to prevent unnecessary lawsuits that could otherwise be settled but for the need for these exploited consumers to pay off debts using funds from any court judgment.

 

Lawyer Advertising

SB 1288 by Sen. Tom Wright, R-Port Orange

Senate Bill 1288 creates a new legal framework for lawyer advertising under the Florida Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, requiring additional disclosures and prohibiting the use of misleading terms or images. It is intended to protect consumers by making clear that lawyer solicitation advertisements are just that — solicitations — reducing consumer confusion.

PIFF Policy Positions and News Releases

Homeowners Should Know their Rights during a Hurricane Claim

­ FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Homeowners Should Know their Rights during a Hurricane Claim Insurance Group Highlights Important Property Claim Steps  TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Feb. 24, 2020) — More than one year since category 5 Hurricane Michael, packing 155-mile-per-hour winds, threw the people, land and economy of northwest Florida into disarray, recovery is ongoing. Floridians are not…

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Bill Curbing “Attorney Fee Multiplier” Heads to Next Stop

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (February 4, 2020) — The Florida Senate Judiciary Committee 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…

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Bill Adding Accuracy to Legal Cases Passes First Committee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 28, 2020) — Today, the Florida Senate Judiciary Committee passed a bill that will create a new standard for determining medical damages from personal injury or wrongful death cases, better reflecting the true cost of damages and preventing attorneys from inflating them to seek a greater recovery.    Senate Bill 1668 by…

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Insurance priorities address marketplace challenges

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 27, 2020) — Florida’s personal lines insurance market is still under stress from lawsuit abuse and hurricane recovery. One year since category 5 Hurricane Michael, packing 155-mile-per-hour winds, threw the people, land and economy of northwest Florida into disarray, the unprecedented damage is still very apparent. Recovery is ongoing. Floridians are not…

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