Chris Dawson, Attorney, GrayRobinson
The Florida Legislature convened in Special Session on May 23 to address the state’s ongoing crisis in residential property insurance. Over the course of approximately 72 hours, the Legislature accomplished passage of major reform legislation that had proven elusive over the last several years of effort during regular legislative sessions. Further, with overwhelming support from legislators, the Special Session was expanded to address reforms sought in the aftermath of the Surfside Condo collapse during the summer of 2021. Let’s recap the bills that passed.
Property Insurance: HB 1D by Rep. Jay Trumbull (R – Panama City) and SB 2D by Sen. Jim Boyd (R – Bradenton)
Property insurance including:
■ Creating the Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders program to be administered by the State Board of Administration.
■ Requiring certain property insurers to obtain coverage under the program.
■ Revising homeowner eligibility criteria for mitigation grants.
■ Requiring claimants to establish that property insurers have breached the insurance contract to prevail in certain claims for damages.
■ Requiring the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) to aggregate on a statewide basis and make publicly available certain data submitted by insurers and insurer groups, etc.
Effective Date: Except as otherwise expressly provided in this act, this act shall take effect upon becoming a law.
■ My Safe Florida Home Program – appropriates $150 million to the program to provide hurricane mitigation inspections and matching grants for the performance of hurricane retrofitting on homestead single-family homes with a value of $500,000 or less.
■ Contractor Solicitation of Roof Claims – prohibits contractors from making written or electronic communications that encourage or induce a consumer to contact a contractor or public adjuster for the purposes of making a property insurance claim for roof damage unless the solicitation provides: that the consumer is responsible for the payment of any deductible. It is insurance fraud for a contractor to pay or waive an insurance deductible and it is insurance fraud to intentionally file an insurance claim containing false, fraudulent or misleading information. Read more.