What To Know About Recent Property Insurance Legislation In Florida
On May 26, 2022, Governor Ron DeSantis signed off on new property insurance legislation in Florida that modifies rules on coverage denials, attorney’s fees, and aims to create a $2 billion reinsurance fund in Florida. The new legislation was created in efforts to address the continued rise in insurance costs for homeowners, and to stem stated losses from insurers.
The bill, Florida Senate Bill 2-D, aims to accomplish the following tasks, among others:
- Create a $2 billion “Reinsurance to Assist Policyholders” program through which insurers can purchase insurance to help insulate themselves from risk. To access this fund, insurers would be required to reduce premiums for policyholders.
- Offer grants of up to $10,000 to property owners to protect their homes against hurricane damage if they meet certain criteria.
- Require condominium associations and cooperative associations with buildings over three stories tall to have inspections performed at regular schedules to verify structural integrity (this seeks to avoid disasters like that which occurred in the Surfside building collapse).
- Forbid insurers from automatically denying coverage due to a roof’s age, if the roof is less than 15 years old.
The roof issue has been a particular thorn in the side of Florida property owners in recent years. Many homeowners have seen their applications for coverage denied simply because their roof was more than 10 years old – regardless of its condition. Under the new legislation, insurers aren’t permitted to refuse policies if an inspection shows that a roof has at least five years of life remaining. Additionally, if a roof is more than 25% damaged but complies with Florida’s 2007 building code, it would only need to be repaired instead of replaced through an exemption in the 2022 Florida Senate Bill.
Florida SB-2, like the property insurance legislation that passed in 2021 (Florida SB-76), seeks to limit plaintiff’s attorney’s fees in insurance litigation cases. Whether this will carry over into reduced costs for insurers and homeowners remains to be seen. The limitations on attorney’s fees included in the 2021 bill have not translated into reduced premiums for struggling property owners.
For now, homeowners, business owners, contractors, insurance agents, and insurers themselves will be left to assess exactly how the new legislation will affect their policies and day-to-day affairs. Contractors’ groups and their attorneys have already challenged the new legislation in court, while homeowners continue to see their monthly premiums rise or even skyrocket. If you have an issue regarding a new or ongoing property insurance dispute, discussing your situation with an experienced Florida property damage attorney is the best way to move forward in many cases.
Our Daytona, Florida Property Damage Attorneys Can Discuss Your Insurance-Related Issues and How Changes to the Law May Affect Your Rights as an Insured
The Daytona property damage insurance attorneys at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A., continue to track changes in the law that might affect their clients and other property owners in the Daytona, Florida area. Changes to the law can be confusing for insureds and insurers alike, but they can affect your rights to recovery in certain situations. Our attorneys can help review how legislative changes may affect your insurance coverage and rights to pursue a claim in court. To learn more, call our Daytona law offices today at 386-252-5170, or schedule a consultation with our Daytona Beach property damage attorneys online.