Florida HB 803, the comprehensive property insurance package being debated in Tallahassee, has passed the Florida House Economic Affairs Committee by a vote of 11-7.
However, according to attorney Megan Grant of Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky & Abate, P.A., who attended the meeting, the bill now has a number of amendments. Grant said that of the 17 amendments that were discussed, nine were adopted, including amendments that:
- Clarify an exception to licensure exemption for public adjusters.
- Include language from HB 855 about expedited reinsurance pass-throughs.
- Address the Insurance Capital Build-Up Incentive Program and provides the ability for insurers to renegotiate the terms of surplus notes under certain circumstances.
- Provide for reasonable costs to be charged for private sector access of the public hurricane loss projection model; provides that such fees shall not apply to access and use of the model by the Office of Insurance Regulation.
- Provide that any notice of a property insurance claim must be made within four years after the date of loss that caused the covered damage. The amendment expands applicability to all claims, rather than just hurricane claims, and increases the time from three years to four years as previously existed in CS/HB 803.
- Provide that any notice of claim for sinkhole damage must be made within four years after the policyholder knew or reasonably should have known about the sinkhole loss.
- Reduce the amount of notice required to non-renew, cancel or terminate a policy from 180 days to 120 days for those policyholders who have been insured with the insurer for at least the five-year period immediately prior to the date of the written notice.
- Require an insurer to obtain prior approval before implementing a rate increase for property insurance by bringing back the moratorium of use-and-file until May 1, 2012.
- Change the statute of limitation on property insurance claims from five years to six years from the date of loss.
The companion to HB 803 is SB 408 sponsored by Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples. SB 408 is currently on the Senate floor. If passed by both chambers and signed by Gov. Rick Scott, the bill would become effective immediately.