Florida Legislature To Limit Property Insurance Lawsuits

The Associated Press reports:

Florida lawmakers released a massive property insurance bill that would create a $1 billion reinsurance fund, seek to reduce insurance lawsuits and force more people out of the state-created insurer of last resort even if it means property owners end up paying more.

The 123-page bill was filed Friday night, less than three days before lawmakers begin a special session on insurance, property tax relief for Hurricane Ian victims and reducing tolls for frequent commuters.

Lawmakers will vote on speeding up the claims process and make changes to discourage what they call frivolous lawsuits. The Senate and House bills are identical, which means the measure should sail through the Republican-dominated Legislature.

Click Orlando reports:

The bills would eliminate requirements that property insurers pay the attorney fees of policyholders who successfully file lawsuits over claims. Insurers have long blamed the requirements for spurring litigation and driving up costs, while plaintiffs’ attorneys argue the elimination would make it financially difficult for policyholders to pursue valid lawsuits.

The bills would largely eliminate a controversial practice known as “assignment of benefits” for property-insurance claims. In assignment of benefits, policyholders sign over claims to contractors, who ultimately seek payment from insurers. Insurance companies contend that the practice increases lawsuits.