A Sun Sentinel article published yesterday reveals new developments in the Florida Senate bill aimed at tackling the assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse. The bill managed to make its way through a second committee earlier this week despite opposition from insurance lobbyists who believe the reforms will not deter attorneys and contractors from causing rates to increase.
A Florida senator refused to include language in his AOB bill that would restrict contractors from billing insurance companies for attorney fees. The decision was criticized by insurers like Citizens Property Insurance Corp. as well as Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation. They argue that they cannot support the bill as it does not prevent repair contractors from being able to access “one-way attorneys’ fees” under a statute intended to allow homeowners to pursue legal action against their insurers without the risk of paying their insurers’ legal fees should they lose.
Despite the criticisms from insurers, the bill does include reforms that were being requested, including requiring a contractor to provide a written work estimate and allowing homeowners to rescind their assignments within a seven day period.
For more information on the bill, visit http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/fl-bz-aob-bill-clears-senate-judiciary-20180207-story.html.
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