A special session of the Florida Legislature has been called to meet December 12-16, 2022 and will take up the issues of property insurance, hurricane relief, and toll credit. Below is a summary of key issues that should be addressed during the special session:
Repeal of One-Way Attorney Fees (property insurance only) – Currently, Florida makes up eight percent of the property claims filed in the United States, however Florida accounts for approximately 79 percent of litigation in the property market. This enormous quantity of litigation has been a major cost driver in increasing property insurance rates. The repeal of one-way attorney fees will drastically reduce the amount of frivolous litigation and, over time, should make Florida a more attractive location to write property insurance.
Temporary and Optional State Reinsurance Program – A global tightening of the reinsurance market has caused the price of reinsurance to drastically increase over the past 4 years. With the lack of capacity in the market, a state program providing reasonable reinsurance rates that insurers saw three years ago will help blunt major policy increases as we wait for the repeal of the one-way attorney fee statute to be adopted on new policies.
Other Issues being considered:
1) Fixing the 2016 Sebo v. American Homes Assurance Co., Supreme Court ruling.
The goal would be to restore the efficient proximate cause doctrine, this would help to reduce gamesmanship by attorneys combining normal wear and tear on roofs with covered damages after an event resulting in a full roof replacement.
2) Actual Cash Value (ACV) for Roofs
ACV has been proposed during the past couple of legislative sessions. It would allow insurance policies to cover only the depreciated or actual cash value of a roof, as opposed to full replacement. This proposal is being discussed but unlikely to make it in the final package for special session.