PH: (850) 597-7425
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PIFF: “FLORIDA SENATE AOB PROPOSAL A GIANT STEP BACKWARD”
TALLAHASSEE, Fla., (Jan. 16, 2018) – The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF) today issued the following statement on Senate Bill 1168, relating to insurance, filed by Senator Greg Steube (R-Sarasota). The bill is scheduled to be heard in the Senate Banking and Insurance committee this afternoon.
Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF):
“After five years of producing strong evidence of a litigation-for-profit scheme driving up insurance rates, particularly in South Florida, the Florida Senate has offered up a giant step backward.
“This piece of legislation reflects the Senate’s indifference to the problem, or its gross misunderstanding of the core issues affecting homeowners.
“While the bill includes some very limited consumer protections, the overall effect of this legislation will be increased rates, as insurers avoid the risk of litigation. This will send a strong signal to the insurance marketplace that Florida is closed for business. Nothing could be worse for the average consumer.
“If the Senate bill advances, I hope senators will take a fresh look at the evidence and move toward the House position. If the Senate fails yet again to address this issue, consumers will pay the price.”
– SB 1168 fails to include a common-sense reform to Florida’s one-way attorney fee law, which is used as a tool by the cottage industry of bad actors to extort higher claims payments from insurers.
– SB 1168 would prohibit insurers from passing the cost of litigation in the insurance rate, a common, decades-old business practice.
– SB 1168 also limits an insurer’s ability to deny coverage because of fraud by the insurance applicant, and further limits the insurer’s ability to properly adjust an assignment of benefits (AOB) claim.
– PIFF supports HB 7015 — which includes strong consumer protections and a reasonable, effective attorney fee reform provision — and SB 62, its companion measure.
PIFF is a member of the Consumer Protection Coalition, which is a grassroots organization whose goal is to educate policymakers on the problem of AOB abuse and to find sensible, pro-consumer solutions that will reduce costs. Learn more about the AOB problem and the Coalition at www.fightfraud.today.