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Tuesday, 21 January 2020 14:51

Florida Legislative Preview 2020: Industry Calls on Lawmakers to Reform Lawsuit Abuse

Written by Amy O'Connor, Insurance Journal

Index

 

Another issue that the APCIA and other industry and consumer advocates will be focused on this year is reform for auto glass claims abuse.

 

This scheme also uses AOBs but instead targets windshield claims where policyholders sign over their insurance benefits for quick repairs to attorneys or auto shops who turn around and sue the insurer in order to collect fees.

 

According to a November report from the Florida Justice Reform Institute, there were 17,000 auto glass suits in 2017, up from about 400 in 2006. The number of suits peaked in 2017 with 24,000.

 

Last year, auto glass was removed during negotiations from the AOB reform bill that passed.

 

For this session, the industry backed a House bill that would have called for prohibiting motor vehicle repair shops and employees from offering anything of value to customers in exchange for making insurance claims for motor vehicle glass replacement and repair, but its sponsor withdrew it (HB 169) last week.

 

A Senate version (SB 312) was voted down. Still, McFaddin says the industry will keep pushing for legislation to be passed this session.

 

“The Governor and Florida Legislature took steps last session to protect homeowners from AOB property scams, and now lawmakers have an opportunity to bring similar protections to Florida motorists,” continued McFaddin. “APCIA urges Florida lawmakers to put a stop to AOB auto glass abuse during the 2020 Legislative Session.”

 

FAIR is also hoping to see legislation regarding the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund’s ratemaking formula, which it says does not adhere to required standards because its underlying catastrophe model results are unidentified and there is no way for peer review or audit of the FHCF’s Ratemaking Formula Report.

 

“The FHCF takes in nearly $100 million in premium a month from policyholders,” FAIR said in a statement. “Shouldn’t Floridians have the right to know exactly how the FHFC rate is calculated?”

 

FAIR said legislative action could require more transparency into the FHCF’s ratemaking process. “FAIR is asking state regulators and legislators to develop and pass balanced and meaningful reforms to provide relief to Florida’s policyholders.”

 

We thank the Insurance Journal for reprint permission.


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