Florida — One State’s Battle on Insurance Law Abuse

Many states — including several PIA Western Alliance States — have laws or regulations on the books that make it easy for fraudsters to do a third-party lawsuit. Bad faith laws often keep insurers from doing a deep investigation into a claim.

Bills pushing bad faith are constantly cropping up in Oregon and Washington and those efforts are being noticed by other states around the country. And the notice is not positive.

In Washington, insurance commissioner, Mike Kreidler unilaterally enacted a bad faith law. For almost two years, the PIA Washington and other insurance groups battled the commissioner in court. The fight was costly but the groups won and Kreidler was forced to pull edicts.

Yet, politicians in both states — and in others — continue the bad faith push. At least one state, Florida, is on the verge of changing that problem.

Actions by the Florida House Judiciary Committee and the Senate Committee on Banking & Insurance has caught the attention of the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). The bureau is heaping high praise on the two committees for passing two bills that will significantly reduce insurance lawsuit abuse in the Sunshine State.

Both bills — House Bill 837 and Senate Bill 236 — have the support of Governor Ron DeSantis, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo and House Speaker Paul Renner. The bills will eliminate one-way attorney fees, will limit injury and insurance litigation, they modernize bad faith laws, stop jury awards that are deemed “inflated,” and in cases going to court, will require the revelation of the true cost of medical care given to injured people.

Bureau president and CEO David Glawe said these bills are meaningful but still have a long way to go to stabilize the state’s insurance market.

“Insurance fraud and abuse is rampant in the state of Florida, costing homeowners and insurance carriers billions of dollars each year,” Glawe said. “We thank the bill sponsors for advocating on behalf of Florida’s consumers and for working together to stabilize the Florida insurance market and address the decades-long fraud and abuse that has plagued the state. NICB fully supports this legislation.”

NICB VP, Rich DiZinno agrees.

“House Bill 837 and Senate Bill 236 will bring much-needed reform to Florida’s lawsuit abuse climate,” DiZinno added. “We look forward to seeing these bills advance through the legislature and bring relief to Floridians who have been stuck with skyrocketing insurance premiums and other rising costs.”

Source link: Insurance Business America — http://bit.ly/3ZKuU2f

About PIA Western Alliance

The Professional Insurance Agents Western Alliance is a membership organization promoting and enhancing the success of independent agencies seeking to grow, learn and be heard within the industry.


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