Florida Senate - 2017 SB 1038 By Senator Hukill 14-00744D-17 20171038__ 1 A bill to be entitled 2 An act relating to the assignment of property 3 insurance benefits; creating s. 627.7152, F.S.; 4 defining the term “assignment agreement”; prohibiting 5 certain awards of attorney fees to certain persons or 6 entities in suits based on claims arising under 7 property insurance policies; providing that an 8 assignment agreement is not valid unless specified 9 conditions are met; prohibiting certain provisions in 10 an assignment agreement; specifying requirements for 11 an assignee or transferee; requiring an assignee to 12 meet certain requirements as a condition precedent to 13 filing suit under a policy; providing construction; 14 providing applicability; providing an effective date. 15 16 Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida: 17 18 Section 1. Section 627.7152, Florida Statutes, is created 19 to read: 20 627.7152 Assignment of property insurance post-loss 21 benefits.— 22 (1) As used in this section, the term “assignment 23 agreement” means any instrument by which post-loss property 24 insurance benefits for services to protect, repair, restore, or 25 replace property, or to mitigate against further damage to 26 property, are assigned, transferred, or conveyed, regardless of 27 how named or styled. 28 (2) Notwithstanding any other law, as to suits based on 29 claims arising under property insurance policies, attorney fees 30 may not be awarded under s. 627.428 or s. 626.9373 in favor of 31 any person or entity seeking relief against the insurer pursuant 32 to an assignment agreement. 33 (3) An assignment agreement is not valid unless it meets 34 all of the following requirements: 35 (a) The assignment agreement is in writing and is executed 36 by all named insureds; 37 (b) The assignment agreement contains a provision that 38 permits all named insureds to rescind the assignment agreement 39 without any penalty or rescission or cancellation fee within 7 40 business days after the date the assignment agreement is 41 executed by all named insureds; 42 (c) The assignment agreement contains a provision requiring 43 the assignee or transferee to provide a copy of the executed 44 assignment agreement to the insurer no later than 3 business 45 days after the assignment agreement is executed by any named 46 insured; and 47 (d) The assignment agreement contains a written, itemized, 48 per-unit cost estimate of the work to be performed by the 49 assignee or transferee. 50 (4) The following provisions may not be included in an 51 assignment agreement and are deemed to be invalid and 52 unenforceable against the property insurer or named insureds: 53 (a) A penalty or fee for rescission of the assignment 54 agreement pursuant to subsection (3); 55 (b) A check or mortgage processing fee; 56 (c) A penalty or fee for cancellation of the assignment 57 agreement; or 58 (d) An administrative fee. 59 (5) As to claims arising under an assignment agreement, the 60 failure to comply with any provision of this subsection creates 61 a presumption that the insurer is prejudiced by such failure to 62 comply and shifts the burden in any proceeding or suit to the 63 party seeking benefits, rights, or proceeds from the insurer to 64 demonstrate that the insurer was not prejudiced. The assignee or 65 transferee must do all of the following: 66 (a) Maintain records of all services provided under the 67 assignment agreement; 68 (b) Cooperate with the insurer in the investigation of a 69 claim; 70 (c) Provide the insurer with any and all records and 71 documents requested related to services provided and permit the 72 insurer to make copies; 73 (d) Deliver a copy of the executed assignment agreement to 74 the insurer no later than 3 business days after the assignment 75 agreement is executed by all named insureds; and 76 (e) Concurrently with any request for payment of benefits 77 under the insurance policy, provide the insurer with a written, 78 itemized, per-unit cost statement of services actually performed 79 pursuant to the assignment agreement. 80 (6) As to claims arising under an assignment agreement, an 81 assignee must, as a condition precedent to filing a suit under 82 the policy: 83 (a) If required by the insurer, submit to examinations 84 under oath and recorded statements conducted by the insurer or 85 the insurer’s representative which are limited to matters 86 related to the services provided, the costs of services, and the 87 assignment or transfer; and 88 (b) Participate in an appraisal or other alternative 89 dispute resolution method in accordance with the terms of the 90 policy. 91 (7) An activity in compliance with subsections (5) and (6) 92 does not constitute practice as a public adjuster pursuant to 93 part VI of chapter 626. 94 (8) Notwithstanding any other law, the acceptance by a 95 person of any assignment agreement constitutes a waiver by the 96 assignee or transferee, and any subcontractor of the assignee or 97 transferee, of any and all claims against all named insureds for 98 payment arising from the specified loss, except that all named 99 insureds remain responsible for the payment of any deductible 100 amount provided for by the terms of the insurance policy and for 101 the cost of any betterment ordered by all named insureds. This 102 waiver remains in effect notwithstanding any subsequent 103 determination that the assignment agreement is invalid or the 104 rescission of the assignment agreement by all named insureds. 105 (9) This section does not permit an assignment agreement to 106 modify or eliminate any term, condition, or defense relating to 107 any managed repair arrangement provided for in the insurance 108 policy to which the assignment agreement relates. 109 (10) This section does not apply to: 110 (a) An assignment, transfer, or conveyance granted to a 111 subsequent purchaser of property who acquires an insurable 112 interest in the property following a loss; 113 (b) A power of attorney granted to a management company, 114 family member, guardian, or similarly situated person which 115 complies with chapter 709 and which may include, as part of the 116 authority granted, the authority to act on behalf of a principal 117 as it relates to a property insurance claim; or 118 (c) Liability coverage under a property insurance policy. 119 (11) This section applies to assignment agreements that are 120 executed after July 1, 2017. 121 Section 2. This act shall take effect July 1, 2017.