SB 1168-Relating to Insurance
On Tuesday, February 6th, SB 1168 by Senator Greg Steube (R-Sarasota) was heard before the Senate Committee on Judiciary and passed by a vote of 7 yeas to 3 nays. AIF’s Senior Vice President of State and Federal Affairs, Brewster Bevis, stood in opposition to this bill.
Senator Steube initially offered an amendment that weakened the definition of catastrophic ground cover collapse, which would have thrown Florida’s marketplace back into the sinkhole crisis and repopulated Citizens. However, Senator Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale) offered a substitute amendment without that language. Ultimately, after the amendatory process ended, the bill was changed in two major ways (1) the provision prohibiting attorney fees from being included in rate was removed and (2) the timeframe in which an assignment of benefit vendor must provide a copy of their agreement to an insurer was shortened from 7 to 5 days. Unfortunately, this represents only nominal improvement, and still fails to address the heart of the AOB problem: no-risk attorney’s fees.
SB 1168 will go on to its next committee stop in the Senate Committee on Rules to be heard.
AIF opposes legislation that does not adequately protect consumers against the abuses of one-way attorney fees, which is the only way to truly fix the assignment of benefits problem.