Florida Chamber Urges House Committee to Support Assignment of Benefits Reform
By: Frank Walker
The Florida Chamber of Commerce urges you to support PCB JDC 18-01, related to assignment of benefits. This bill, proposed by the House Judiciary Committee, will be heard on November 14, 2017.
Florida has among the highest property insurance rates in the county. This rate problem is driven, in part, by an issue known as assignment of benefits, which allows businesses to sue other businesses under the homeowner’s insurance policy. The result has been overinflated claims, increased litigation, and frustrated consumers who unknowingly signed their insurance policy over to a third party. The proposed committee bill helps protect consumers if they assign their benefits to a contractor or water remediation specialist, requires notice of loss to the insurer and the ability to adjust the claim, and addresses attorney fees between the vendor and insurance company during a dispute.
This bill is important to Florida’s business community because it:
– Protects consumers from unscrupulous contractors, allowing them to rescind the assignment within 7 days and provides for written estimates of repairs;
– Addresses a significant cost driver that is driving up insurance rates statewide; and
– Reduces litigation by addressing attorney fees.
The Florida Chamber urges you to support PCB JDC 18-01, and will consider votes on this legislation, and any substantive amendments to it in committee or on the floor, in our annual How They Voted report card. Because of the importance of this issue to employers across the state, our Board of Directors has determined that this bill, and any substantive amendments to it in committee or on the floor, will be counted twice on our legislative report card. The grade that you earn will be based on your voting record on the issues, such as this one. We will make every effort to notify you prior to a vote that may be included in our annual legislative report card. If you have any questions about this or other issues, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Frank C. Walker, III
Vice President of Government Affairs