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) 2 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 the25 insurer’s professional engineer determines that the repair26 cannot be completed within policy limits, the insurer must pay27 to complete the repairs recommended by the insurer’s28 professional engineer or tender the policy limits to the29 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 receivea rebate, coverage is void 78 and the policyholder must refund the amount of the rebate to the 79 insurer. Any person performing makingthe 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. 88 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