With a Florida legislative battle brewing again about the issue,an appeals court has ruled against a property insurer's effort toplace restrictions on a controversial practice known as “assignmentof benefits.”

The Fifth District Court of Appeal, in an eight-page rulingFriday, upheld a decision by the Florida Office ofInsurance Regulation to reject restrictions proposed bySecurityFirst Insurance Co.

Driving up property-insurance premiums

The ruling was another blow to the insurance industry, which hasblamed assignment of benefits for driving up property-insurancepremiums, but has been unable to persuade lawmakers to make changesto the long-standing practice.

A three-judge panel of the appeals court pointed to past legalrulings about assignment of benefits and said it was up to theFlorida Legislature to decide whether to make changes.

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