Tallahassee, FL — Accountability for insurance companies is being discussed with a new bill debated by Florida lawmakers.
The bill, “Insurer Accountability,” cracks down on fraud and comes with large fine amounts to insurers. It’s meant to keep insurance companies in check after a major state emergency. It also prohibits altering insurance adjuster reports.
This comes after Hurricane Ian & Nicole caused severe damage a long the east and west coast of the sunshine state. Hurricane Ian had the most insurance claims of any hurricane in American History.
These claims from Hurricane Ian brought many discrepancies to the state arguing that insurance companies and claims adjusters falsely updated claims to reduced payments.
The damage of Hurricane Ian had an estimated cost of more than $13 billion with 700k property insurance claims.
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis says, “Florida has done a lot to mitigate the impacts of a hardening insurance market in our state while working to keep policyholders at the forefront.
For too long, unscrupulous insurance companies, public adjusters, and attorneys have been allowed to drive the decline in the state’s insurance system.”
The bill strengthens the Unfair Insurance Trade Practices Act by prohibiting, altering or amending an adjuster’s report without including a list of changes, and an explanation of a change that reduces coverage.
As for as the fine amounts, it increases the maximum fines for violations from 250% to 500% after a state emergency, such as a hurricane.
The bill requires insurers to more promptly respond to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) Division of Consumer Services and increases fines for noncompliance. It protect consumers after hurricanes to surplus lines insurers.
The Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance, chaired by Senator Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton), passed Senate Bill 7052, as it continues it’s legislative process in becoming a law.
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