The Florida Senate Appropriations Committee passed legislation that creates a Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights that will notify consumers of their rights and responsibilities when filing an insurance claim.
Senate Bill 708 also provides consumer protections for Floridians by addressing additional aspects of the homeowner claims process such as eliminating post-claim underwriting.
The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights will be required to be provided to any policyholder who files a claim and will reference current Florida law regarding claims handling in order to provide the policyholder with information of their rights in the claims process. The bill of rights will also inform policyholders of what they should expect and provide advice on the next steps they should take in the process.
The bill, which passed unanimously, also eliminates post-claim underwriting. Insurers will be required to complete the underwriting process in 90 days and will be prohibited from denying a claim and/or canceling a policy based on the insured’s credit information after their policy has been in force for 90 days or longer.
The legislation also creates safeguards for Florida’s homeowners by requiring that mitigation, repair and restoration work paid for by insurance proceeds be performed by an individual or company possessing a valid certification or license. The bill also ensures appraisal umpire impartiality and provides the Department of Financial Services the ability to remove and discipline mediators who engage in inappropriate behavior.
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services
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