Meenan Hires Former Legislator
Meenan, PA hired former state Representative Alan Williams in late January. Williams will initially focus on local government and legislative work in states other than Florida; Florida currently imposes a two-year ban on former members lobbying the legislature. His combined experience in business and government will help the firm provide solutions for clients and enhance its services around both the state and the nation.
Life & Health
SB 530 by Senator Steube requires health insurers and HMOs to determine whether insureds can avoid a step therapy protocol within 24 hours in urgent situations and within 3 days in non-urgent situations.
Retroactive Denial of Claims
HB 579 by Representative Hager and SB 102 by Senator Steube are identical bills which prohibit a health insurer or HMO from retroactively denying a claim if they had verified the insured’s eligibility at the time of the treatment and provided the insured with an authorization number.
Property & Casualty
Appraisal and Appraisal Umpire Licensing
SB 94 by Senator Frank Artiles requires licensure for appraisal umpires and establishes a licensing scheme. Currently, the bill only applies to appraisals and appraisers and umpires under personal residential or commercial residential property claims. The bill imposes pre-licensing education requirements and prohibits who can serve as an appraiser or umpire. The Senate bill does not have a House companion at this time and has not been placed on committee agenda.
Repeal of Agent’s Diligent Effort for Surplus Lines
HB 191 by Representative Beshears and SB 208 by Senator Passidomo seek to repeal the diligent effort requirement for commercial residential property placed by surplus lines agents.
SB 420 by Senator Brandes requires the Florida Commission on Hurricane Loss Methodology to revise flood loss projection models every four years, at a minimum. The bill extends the time allowed for insurers writing private flood insurance to use rates without approval from the department through October 1, 2025. SB 420 also modifies current law relating to the acknowledgement signed by an applicant for a policy in the admitted or surplus lines market; the bill requires cancellation of the private policy if the acknowledgement is not received.
Transportation Network Companies
Transportation Network Company regulation returned this year after an unsuccessful 2016 session. SB 340 by Senator Brandes and HB 221 by Representative Sprowls are comprehensive bills containing insurance, licensing, and regulatory requirements for TNCs. Both bills closely resemble the TNC industry model language, with only minor deviations.
SB 156 by Senator Brandes repeals PIP beginning January 1, 2020 and does not replace it with any other form of mandatory coverage.
HB 461 by Representative Hager repeals PIP beginning January 1, 2018 and replaces it with mandatory 25/50 bodily injury coverage. The House bill requires a written notice of loss before a suit can be filed and requires certain protections from bad faith be established. HB 461 also implements “no pay, no play” for recovery of non-economic damages if the vehicle owner does not maintain the minimum required coverage.
Named Driver Exclusion
SB 545 by Senator Brandes and HB 359 by Representative Santiago are shaping up to be the Insurance “Omnibus” bills of 2017. They allow auto insurers to exclude a household member from all private passenger auto coverages if that person is identified by name and the insured consents to the exclusion.
HB 6009 by Representative Hahnfeldt repeals an existing law that allows riders 21 years of age or older to elect not to wear a helmet. The bill will require all riders to wear a helmet while operating a motorcycle.