April 2022

April 2022 • Florida Pool Prosm 23 INSURANCE UPDATE By David Griffiths, Insurance by Ken Brown / dgriffiths@insbykenbrown.com Florida property insurance woes to continue One of the Florida Legislature's many responsibilities is to protect consumers from harm, much like an umbrella in a rainstorm. Unfortunately, the Legislature recently fell short of this duty by choosing politics over policyholders. It was well known that additional property insurance reforms would be difficult after SB 76 passed during the 2021 Legislative Session. Senate Bill 76 aimed to curtail solicitation by roofing companies and to reduce the amount of litigation filed over property damage claims. Insurers have said that unnecessary lawsuits are driving up costs, forcing higher premiums and causing some carriers to stop writing new policies. Although actual lawsuit volumes have decreased since Senate Bill 76 became effective, Florida insurers’ litigation exposure is still concerning. The data also shows that assignment-of-benefit cases (where a property owner assigns their policy rights to a contractor to negotiate with the insurance company and receive any insurance proceeds vs. the owner) as a percentage of new litigated claims, dropped slightly in January. CaseGlide found that 31% of litigated claims were AOB-related, compared to 33% in December. That’s a significant increase from the first six months of 2021, when AOB cases were about 17% to 20% of total claims litigation. The assignment-ofbenefits cases continue to be driven by a few contractors, CaseGlide reported. The top 10 AOB cont ractors in Flor ida represented 35% of all AOB claims dispute litigation, and the top contractor was