Florida Senate - 2012                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS/CS/HB 1101, 2nd Eng.
                                Barcode 828700                          
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                  Floor: WD            .                                
             03/08/2012 08:45 AM       .                                

       Senator Fasano moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 2022 - 2069
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 15. Subsection (5) of section 627.707, Florida
    6  Statutes, is amended to read:
    7         627.707 Investigation of sinkhole claims; insurer payment;
    8  nonrenewals.—Upon receipt of a claim for a sinkhole loss to a
    9  covered building, an insurer must meet the following standards
   10  in investigating a claim:
   11         (5) If a sinkhole loss is verified, the insurer shall pay
   12  to stabilize the land and building and repair the foundation in
   13  accordance with the recommendations of the professional engineer
   14  retained pursuant to subsection (2), with notice to the
   15  policyholder, subject to the coverage and terms of the policy.
   16  The insurer shall pay for other repairs to the structure and
   17  contents in accordance with the terms of the policy. If a
   18  covered building suffers a sinkhole loss or a catastrophic
   19  ground cover collapse, the insured must repair such damage or
   20  loss in accordance with the insurer’s professional engineer’s
   21  recommended repairs and may use underpinning, grouting, or the
   22  latest technology, whichever is least expensive, if the
   23  insurer’s professional engineer determines that the repair
   24  cannot be completed within policy limits. However, if the
   25  insurer’s professional engineer determines that the repair
   26  cannot be completed within policy limits, the insurer must pay
   27  to complete the repairs recommended by the insurer’s
   28  professional engineer or tender the policy limits to the
   29  policyholder.
   30         (a) The insurer may limit its total claims payment to the
   31  actual cash value of the sinkhole loss, which does not include
   32  underpinning or grouting or any other repair technique performed
   33  below the existing foundation of the building, until the
   34  policyholder enters into a contract for the performance of
   35  building stabilization or foundation repairs in accordance with
   36  the recommendations set forth in the insurer’s report issued
   37  pursuant to s. 627.7073.
   38         (b) In order to prevent additional damage to the building
   39  or structure, the policyholder must enter into a contract for
   40  the performance of building stabilization and foundation repairs
   41  within 90 days after the insurance company confirms coverage for
   42  the sinkhole loss and notifies the policyholder of such
   43  confirmation. This time period is tolled if either party invokes
   44  the neutral evaluation process, and begins again 10 days after
   45  the conclusion of the neutral evaluation process.
   46         (c) After the policyholder enters into the contract for the
   47  performance of building stabilization and foundation repairs,
   48  the insurer shall pay the amounts necessary to begin and perform
   49  such repairs as the work is performed and the expenses are
   50  incurred. The insurer may not require the policyholder to
   51  advance payment for such repairs. If repair covered by a
   52  personal lines residential property insurance policy has begun
   53  and the professional engineer selected or approved by the
   54  insurer determines that the repair cannot be completed within
   55  the policy limits, the insurer must complete the professional
   56  engineer’s recommended repair or tender the policy limits to the
   57  policyholder without a reduction for the repair expenses
   58  incurred.
   59         (d) The stabilization and all other repairs to the
   60  structure and contents must be completed within 12 months after
   61  entering into the contract for repairs described in paragraph
   62  (b) unless:
   63         1. There is a mutual agreement between the insurer and the
   64  policyholder;
   65         2. The claim is involved with the neutral evaluation
   66  process;
   67         3. The claim is in litigation; or
   68         4. The claim is under appraisal or mediation.
   69         (e) Upon the insurer’s obtaining the written approval of
   70  any lienholder, the insurer may make payment directly to the
   71  persons selected by the policyholder to perform the land and
   72  building stabilization and foundation repairs. The decision by
   73  the insurer to make payment to such persons does not hold the
   74  insurer liable for the work performed.
   75         (f) The policyholder may not accept a rebate from any
   76  person performing the repairs specified in this section. If a
   77  policyholder receives does receive a rebate, coverage is void
   78  and the policyholder must refund the amount of the rebate to the
   79  insurer. Any person performing making the repairs specified in
   80  this section who offers a rebate commits insurance fraud
   81  punishable as a third degree felony as provided in s. 775.082,
   82  s. 775.083, or s. 775.084. As used in this paragraph, the term
   83  “rebate” means a remuneration, payment, gift, discount, or
   84  transfer of any item of value to the policyholder by or on
   85  behalf of a person performing the repairs specified in this
   86  section as an incentive or inducement to obtain repairs
   87  performed by that person.
   89  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
   90         And the title is amended as follows:
   91         Delete lines 67 - 68
   92  and insert:
   93         insurance claims; amending s. 627.707, F.S.; revising
   94         requirements for the payment by insurers of sinkhole
   95         losses; authorizing certain types of repairs if the
   96         repair cannot be completed within policy limits;
   97         defining the term “rebate” for purposes of provisions
   98         prohibiting policyholders from accepting rebates from
   99         persons performing repairs of sinkhole damage;
  100         amending s. 627.7295, F.S.; clarifying