Recent Developments in Florida's Home Property Insurance Laws - Louis Law Group

Recent Developments in Florida’s Home Property Insurance Laws

Florida has recently undergone significant changes in its home property insurance laws, as outlined by the state’s Insurance Consumer Advocate, Tasha Carter. These changes, stemming from the 2023 Legislative Session and the 2022 Special Sessions, reflect the state’s ongoing efforts to address and reform various aspects of property insurance. Here’s an overview of the key legislative changes:

Senate Bill 154 – Condominium and Cooperative Associations
Effective from June 9, 2023, this bill introduces several changes for condominium and cooperative associations. It specifies who can conduct milestone inspections and what these inspections should include. The bill also outlines requirements for reserve accounts and exempts certain buildings from inspection requirements. Additionally, it sets new standards for property sales, requiring disclosure of inspection reports.

Senate Bill 1002 – Motor Vehicle Glass
Effective May 25, 2023, this bill focuses on motor vehicle glass insurance. It prohibits certain practices by repair shops, such as offering incentives for insurance claims. The bill also sets new rules for consumer rights regarding windshield replacement and repair services, and introduces managed repair arrangements for windshield services.

Senate Bill 7052 – Insurer Accountability
Coming into effect on July 1, 2023, Senate Bill 7052 aims to increase the accountability of insurance companies. It enhances the Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) oversight, requiring more frequent examinations of insurance companies and mandating detailed reporting on enforcement actions. The bill also introduces stricter penalties for non-compliance and sets new standards for policy cancellations and claims handling.

House Bill 799 – Property Insurance
Effective July 1, 2023, this bill mandates insurance companies to consider wind uplift prevention techniques in their rate filings. It also allows Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to increase rates under certain conditions and requires flood insurance for certain Citizens policy types.

House Bill 837 – Civil Remedies
Effective March 31, 2023, House Bill 837 addresses bad faith claims and changes the method for calculating attorney’s fees. It sets specific requirements for what constitutes a bad faith claim and alters the rules for one-way attorney fees in insurance lawsuits.

House Bill 881 – My Safe Florida Home Program
Effective July 1, 2023, this bill expands the My Safe Florida Home Program, increasing the insured value of eligible homes and the grant amount for low-income homeowners. It also makes townhomes eligible for certain inspections and grants.

House Bill 1185 – Consumer Protection
Also effective July 1, 2023, this bill introduces new requirements for distributed energy system disclosures and modifies rules for public adjusters. It aims to enhance consumer protection in the energy and insurance sectors.

These legislative changes represent a significant step in reforming and strengthening Florida’s home property insurance landscape. They aim to enhance consumer protection, increase insurer accountability, and address specific issues related to condominium associations, motor vehicle glass insurance, and civil remedies in insurance disputes.