Florida Home Insurance Bill of Rights Runs into Trouble

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  • The cost of home insurance has been a major issue in many parts of the country in recent years because of the ways in which they have been hit by major weather events like hurricanes and heavy rains. As such, many state lawmakers are trying to put plans in motion that would keep those costs as low as possible for residents, but one such effort in Florida recently hit something of a roadblock.

    Some time ago, Florida’s chief financial officer asked lawmakers to create a type of “Bill of Rights” that would allow consumers to be more assured that their home insurance costs would not significantly increase any time soon, but now it appears that there has been significant pushback on the issue, according to a report from the Insurance Journal. Essentially, insurers that operate within the Sunshine State say that they would only accept many of his proposed changes if they could likewise be assured that there would be ways for them to keep their own costs down in the event of another major storm that brings with it potentially billions in losses.

    What’s the problem?
    As such, lawmakers now find themselves at an impasse when it comes to striking a balances between the necessity consumers have to keep their costs as low as possible, while also being able to ensure that insurers aren’t left holding the bag when disaster strikes, the report said. As such, many observers now say the proposed legislation could die before it can become law, or else come out looking very different from what was originally put forward.

    “I really hope some important consumer stuff is not lost in the fight,” Jeff Atwater, the state official who proposed the bill in the first place, told the site.

    The law itself was designed so that consumers would know exactly what to expect from their insurers when they filed a claim, and would have also prevented those companies from running credit checks to deny claims or cancel policies that had existed for more than 90 days, the report said. On the other hand, insurers want limits on the way contractors could collect payments straight from them after having policies signed over by the homeowners themselves.

    Insurance agents will have to keep a close eye on these issues going forward, not only in Florida but other states where similar legislation is being considered as well, so that they know exactly how to deal with clients down the road.