Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier warned Cabinet officials Tuesday the state “risks walking backward on some of the progress we’ve made” on the price and availability of property insurance without changes to the law to hold down abusive or inflated claims on issues like plumbing leaks.
Expected legislation produced with his office’s input would, for example, not allow contractors who get an assignment of insurance benefits from the consumer to collect certain attorney’s fees under the state’s “one-way” statute. Florida’s annual legislative session starts early next month.
There’s “no win here” for consumers unless we address this, state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater said.
Insurers are trying to break years of stalemate on how to address the issue. The Florida Justice Association, representing lawyers, has indicated it supports certain proposals such as timely notice to insurers when water-damage and other claims occur, but will oppose the attorney-fee restrictions.
In a separate action, ratings firm Demotech Inc. said it was suspending guidance on grades for 57 Florida-based insurers based on uncertainty of non-weather-related costs. Demotech said it expected ratings revisions in March.