Property Insurance law has significantly changed this month. Florida Senate Bill 76 went into effect on July 1, 2021. The bill created three (3) statutes and amended eleven (11). The new laws impact all property owners and disputes between insurance companies and their clients. It addresses roofers and solicitation practices. The bill also made significant changes for Citizens, which is a state-owned insurance company for property owners that cannot get insurance and reporting requirements for all insurers. The law came to fruition due to a few contractors across the state conducting shady business practices, exhibiting unethically behavior, and sometimes committing fraud. The changes have raised several questions for property owners, roofers, public adjusters, and even insurance companies themselves. Over the next few weeks, we will be positing summaries of each statue.
The bill prohibits contractors from soliciting property owners with any written or electronic communication in any manner that encourages, instructs, or induces a consumer to contact them or a public adjuster for purpose of making a claim. Contractors may not interpret or provide advice on any insurance provision and must provide a good faith estimate with any agreement authorizing repairs. Violations of those provisions can lead to a fine of $10,000.00. All contractors must include a notice of prohibited conduct in the contract as well.
Attorney fee provisions have also change significantly. This will require an attorney with knowledge and experience to assist a policy holder and have a detailed honest discussion regarding the claim. Insurance companies must report information regarding all closed claims that provide the following information:
- The claim number
- Type of policy
- Zip code
- Date of loss (DOL)
- Type of loss
- Vendors used including names if known
- The date file was claimed
- Insureds public adjuster and/or attorney
- Amount of attorney fees awarded
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation has several changes regarding their policies, premiums, and notices to insurers. Stay tuned for additional updates concerning Florida Senate Bill 76.