The governor called a special legislative session demanding something be done to improve the home insurance marketplace. Out of that work came two new bills SB-2D and SB-4D. Last Thursday the governor signed these bills into law. The consensus is that it will take 12 to 18 months for these bills to have a meaningful effect, so you can still expect to see home insurance premium increases again later this year and early next year. Here are some highlights of what was passed. These are high level summaries; you can read the bill at www.flsenate.gov....
Provisions Relating to Roofs
> Permits insurance companies to offer special deductibles that apply only to the roof.
> Roof deductibles do not apply for total losses related to a covered peril, hurricanes, fallen trees or roof repairs that are less than 50% of the roof.
> When a roof deductible applies, the insurance company can initially pay actual cash value until proof of repairs are provided.
> Prohibits insurance companies from refusing to insure a home with a roof less than 15 years old solely because of the age of the roof.
> If the roof is 15 or more years old, the insurance company is prohibited from refusing to insure the home based solely on the age of the roof so long as a roof inspection, paid for by the insured, determines the roof has 5 or more years of useful life left.
Provisions Relating to Claims Handling
> Requires insurance companies to make a physical inspection within 45 days after receipt of a proof of loss, except in claims subject to a hurricane deductible.
>Requires insurance companies to advise the policyholder of the right to request a copy of a detailed estimate generated by the adjuster within 7 days of an adjuster being assigned to the claim. Upon receiving such a request from the policyholder, the insurance company must send the detailed estimate within the later of 7 days after the insurance company receives the request or 7 days after the estimate of the amount of loss is completed.
> Requires an insurance company to provide a written explanation of the basis in the policy in relation to facts or applicable law, for the payment, denial, or partial denial of a claim.
There are additional provisions that I have not summarized here related to contractor and public adjuster advertisements, assignment of benefits, notices of intent to litigate, and attorney's fees for suits under assignments of benefits. For full details about those provision go to www.flsenate.gov
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