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Weekly Legislative Update from March 20, 2015


HB 669- Relating to Insurance Claims
On Wednesday, March 18th, HB 669, relating to Insurance Claims, by Rep. John Tobia (R-Melbourne Beach) passed through the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee with 10 yeas and 3 nays.

This bill explains that the Assignments of Benefits (AOB’s) are the latest cost driver to break through the insurance market and is a scheme perpetrated by a cottage industry. Essentially, instead of just having a mechanism to get paid, contractors—with coaching from plaintiffs’ attorneys—are encouraged to take full legal standing away from policyholders. This is because the one-way attorney fee statute is transferable to these business assignees who then threaten or initiate litigation to put pressure on the insurer to pay them a higher reimbursement—or face attorney fee exposure. However, AIF is concerned at the House Insurance & Banking Subcommittee's adoption of proposed committee substitute this week, which includes arbitrary and restrictive time frames for insured and insurer communication.

AIF will be working with the sponsors and key legislators to improve this legislation so that the cost drivers associated with the proliferation of AOBs can be stamped out, and so that insurers in the marketplace can have necessary flexibility to deliver optimal claims service.

AIF supports all efforts to stamp out cost drivers and control attorneys’ fees for the benefit of premium payers statewide.