TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — An enormous overhaul of the state’s insurance industry is flying through the Florida legislature.
>>> STREAM CHANNEL 9 EYEWITNESS NEWS LIVE <<<
Less than four days after the bills to overhaul property insurance in Florida were filed, the state Senate is on the verge of passing sweeping changes.
Florida CFO, Jimmy Patronis, whose office oversees insurance points to skyrocketing rates for homeowners and failing insurance companies, said immediate action is needed.
“This is the single-most significant legislature special session I’ve ever been a part of in 18 years,” Patronis said. “That’s how important this is.”
READ: Pain and no easy fix: Florida prepares to tackle homeowner’s insurance, again
At the top of the chopping block is eliminating assignment of benefits, the process in which homeowners can hand over their policy, allowing contractors to get paid directly by insurers. The state says it’s rife with fraud.
The state will also make it harder for customers to sue their insurance providers, something critics have pointed out.
But there are also pro-consumer changes. Insurance providers must acknowledge, examine and either pay or deny a claim in less time, but they’ll also get $1 billion from taxpayers, while the time homeowners have to file a claim will be cut in half, in addition to closing off avenues for litigation.
READ: Florida lawmakers convene for 2nd special session this year to address home insurance issues
The overhaul to property insurance passed the Senate on Tuesday. The House is expected to pass the measure as early as Wednesday.
As far as if or when homeowners will ever see rates go down, even advocates of those changes admit the best-case scenario is that the rates don’t go down just as much.
READ: Respect for Marriage Act: Biden signs bill protecting same-sex marriage
Click here to download the free WFTV news and weather apps, click here to download the WFTV Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Channel 9 Eyewitness News live.
©2022 Cox Media Group