Auto insurance in Florida is a dynamic industry. With new policies constantly in the works, providers and consumers must remain diligent in keeping up with the latest programs, limitations and benefits. Recently, Senate Bill 76 passed, which enacted several Florida auto insurance changes for 2021. Here’s what you need to know.
The aim of the bill was to address some of the major concerns about auto insurance in Florida. Last year, insurers in the state lost more than $1.5 billion. With the new policies, the hope is to create a better system for both providers and car owners in Florida, as well as property owners.
Senate Bill 76 makes several changes to auto insurance in Florida, from minor to significant. These include:
- CPIC changes: The bill made changes to the rate glidepath, actuarily sound rate indication and eligibility for Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
- Attorney fee recoveries: The bill replaced the one-way attorney fee-statute. Now, recovery of attorney fees and costs will require obtaining a judgment for indemnity that is higher than the pre-suit offer that the insurance company presented.
- Claims deadline reduction: The new claims deadline on all claims is two years from the date of loss. The sole exception is for supplemental claims. The deadline for these is an additional year.
- Pre-suit demands: Plaintiffs must now file a pre-suit demand at least 10 days before they file a lawsuit against an insurer. This demand must include an estimate of the demand, the amount in dispute and the attorney costs involved.
- Alternative dispute resolution option: Insurers now have the option to require an alternative dispute resolution or mediation after receiving notice of a filed suit.
- Claim solicitation banned: It is now illegal for roofing contractors to make calls or other communications that solicit claims.
- Roofing contractor limitations: Roofing contractors cannot offer anything of value in return for completing a roof inspection, including any offers to interpret an insurance policy for a policy holder or to adjust a claim.
- Roofing estimate requirements: Contractors may not complete repairs unless their contract includes an estimate for materials and labor required for the project.
- Roofer fines: For contractors who do not comply to these regulations, the bill added the potential for a $10,000 fine per violation.
What didn’t make it into the bill? Lawmakers removed from the bill the dismissal of the state’s attorney fee multiplier. They also excluded the allowance for insurers to offer actual cash value rather than replacement costs for roofs.
Like any bill, the outcome is hotly debated. Some argue that it will stabilize auto insurance rates for Florida. Others point out that it might do very little to lower the rates, even if does stabilize them.
Get Affordable Auto Insurance in Florida
Even with the many Florida auto insurance changes for 2021, Affordable Car insurance Tampa can help you get good coverage at good rates. Family-owned and operated, we strive to provide the most affordable insurance for every customer. Contact us today to get a quote in just 10 minutes. Reach our experienced staff at 813-328-1985.