New News: Florida Insurance Legislative Updates You Need To Know 2/19

*Information from our partners at FAIA published on 2/16*

Although week six saw many insurance bills move through the committee process, the higher-profile insurance bills did not see any measurable movement. For some, this could be concerning at this point in the session. But, if you follow the process closely, this happens just about every year. This is when the House and Senate begin to posture on their chamber’s priorities. Posturing can come in many different forms. One chamber may merge the substance of two bills into one, or one chamber may hold a priority bill of the other chamber as leverage to get movement on their priority. This is where the Legislature moves from playing checkers to chess. 

Here are the key takeaways from this week:
Posturing between the House and Senate became evident on several of the higher-profile insurance bills, including:

SB 1716: Citizens Property Insurance Corporation — Sen. Boyd’s bill was “temporarily postponed” for the second consecutive week as a result of the House having merged the substance of several Citizens bills into the House companion bill to SB 1716 (HB 1503 by Rep. Esposito). Previously, the House amended the bill to include changes to the coverage A caps for coverage with Citizens. Currently, the Senate has not incorporated this proposal into the Senate bill. There are other significant differences between the two companion bills that will be negotiated before we see movement on SB 1716.

SB 1104 and HB 1149: Policy Cancellations and Nonrenewals by Property Insurers — Neither bill, sponsored by Sen. Bradley and Rep. Botana respectively, was heard in committee this week; however, conversations have heated up as the House and Senate look to reconcile the differences between the two bills.

SB 1622: Insurance — Sen. Trumbull’s bill was temporarily postponed this week. The bill (OIR Regulatory package) was temporarily postponed as the House and Senate continue to negotiate on the bill’s immediate provisions and other insurance issues.

SB 1066: Consumer Protection — The DFS consumer protection bill was temporarily postponed this week due to continued negotiations on the bill’s provisions between the House and Senate. One of the most significant remaining debates surrounds the House and Senate positions on loss assessment coverage. There is agreement on the clarification of when the claims-filing deadline begins to toll for loss assessment claims; however, the House bill includes language that would shorten the time in which a consumer could file a notice of loss.

The following bills also saw positive movement in their respective committee hearings, including:
SB 1098: Department of Financial Services
SB 1106: Coverage by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
SB 1178/HB 1021: Community Associations
HB 161: Payments for Health Care Providers and Surgical Procedures under Workers’ Compensation
HB 1029: My Safe Florida Condominium Pilot Program
HB 1263: My Safe Florida Home Program
HB 939: Consumer Protection
SB 1078: Public Records/Cellular Telephone Numbers Held by the Department of Financial Services
SB 846/HB 215: Risk Retention Groups

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