Florida Senate - 2018                        COMMITTEE AMENDMENT
       Bill No. SB 1168
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              

       The Committee on Banking and Insurance (Broxson) recommended the
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete everything after the enacting clause
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 1. Section 627.7152, Florida Statutes, is created
    6  to read:
    7         627.7152 Assignment of property insurance post-loss
    8  benefits.—
    9         (1) As used in this section, the term “assignment
   10  agreement” means any instrument by which post-loss property
   11  insurance benefits for services to protect, repair, restore, or
   12  replace property, or to mitigate against further damage to
   13  property, are assigned, transferred, or conveyed, regardless of
   14  how named or styled.
   15         (2) Notwithstanding any other law, as to suits based on
   16  claims arising under property insurance policies, attorney fees
   17  may not be awarded under s. 626.9373 or s. 627.428 in favor of
   18  any person or entity seeking relief against an insurer pursuant
   19  to an assignment agreement, but may be awarded only under s.
   20  57.105 or s. 768.79 in favor of any person or entity seeking
   21  relief against the insurer pursuant to an assignment agreement.
   22         (3) An assignment agreement is not valid unless it meets
   23  all of the following requirements:
   24         (a)The assignment agreement is in writing and is executed
   25  by all named insureds;
   26         (b) The assignment agreement contains a provision that
   27  permits all named insureds to rescind the assignment agreement
   28  without any penalty or rescission or cancellation fee within 7
   29  business days after the date the assignment agreement is
   30  executed by all named insureds;
   31         (c) The assignment agreement contains a provision requiring
   32  the assignee or transferee to provide a copy of the executed
   33  assignment agreement to the insurer no later than 3 business
   34  days after the assignment agreement is executed by any named
   35  insured; and
   36         (d) The assignment agreement contains a written, itemized,
   37  per-unit cost estimate of the work to be performed by the
   38  assignee or transferee.
   39         (4) The following provisions may not be included in an
   40  assignment agreement and are deemed to be invalid and
   41  unenforceable against the property insurer or named insureds:
   42         (a) A penalty or fee for rescission of the assignment
   43  agreement pursuant to subsection (3);
   44         (b) A check or mortgage processing fee;
   45         (c) A penalty or fee for cancellation of the assignment
   46  agreement pursuant to subsection (3); or
   47         (d) An administrative fee.
   48         (5) As to claims arising under an assignment agreement, the
   49  failure to comply with any provision of this subsection creates
   50  a presumption that the insurer is prejudiced by such failure to
   51  comply and shifts the burden in any proceeding or suit to the
   52  party seeking benefits, rights, or proceeds from the insurer to
   53  demonstrate that the insurer was not prejudiced. The assignee or
   54  transferee must do all of the following:
   55         (a) Maintain records of all services provided under the
   56  assignment agreement;
   57         (b) Cooperate with the insurer in the investigation of a
   58  claim;
   59         (c) Provide the insurer with any and all records and
   60  documents requested related to services provided and permit the
   61  insurer to make copies;
   62         (d) Deliver a copy of the executed assignment agreement to
   63  the insurer no later than 3 business days after the assignment
   64  agreement is executed by all named insureds; and
   65         (e) Concurrently with any request for payment of benefits
   66  under the insurance policy, provide the insurer with a written,
   67  itemized, per-unit cost statement of services actually performed
   68  pursuant to the assignment agreement.
   69         (6)As to claims arising under an assignment agreement, an
   70  assignee must, as a condition precedent to filing a suit under
   71  the policy:
   72         (a) If required by the insurer, submit to examinations
   73  under oath and recorded statements conducted by the insurer or
   74  the insurer’s representative which are limited to matters
   75  related to the services provided, the costs of services, and the
   76  assignment or transfer; and
   77         (b) Participate in an appraisal or other alternative
   78  dispute resolution method in accordance with the terms of the
   79  policy.
   80         (7)An activity in compliance with subsections (5) and (6)
   81  does not constitute practice as a public adjuster pursuant to
   82  part VI of chapter 626.
   83         (8) Notwithstanding any other law, the acceptance by a
   84  person of any assignment agreement constitutes a waiver by the
   85  assignee or transferee, and any subcontractor of the assignee or
   86  transferee, of any and all claims against all named insureds for
   87  payment arising from the specified loss, except that all named
   88  insureds remain responsible for the payment of any deductible
   89  amount provided for by the terms of the insurance policy and for
   90  the cost of any betterment ordered by all named insureds. This
   91  waiver remains in effect notwithstanding any subsequent
   92  determination that the assignment agreement is invalid or the
   93  rescission of the assignment agreement by all named insureds.
   94         (9) This section does not permit an assignment agreement to
   95  modify or eliminate any term, condition, or defense relating to
   96  any managed repair arrangement provided for in the insurance
   97  policy to which the assignment agreement relates.
   98         (10) This section does not apply to:
   99         (a) An assignment, transfer, or conveyance granted to a
  100  subsequent purchaser of property who acquires an insurable
  101  interest in the property following a loss;
  102         (b) A power of attorney granted to a management company,
  103  family member, guardian, or similarly situated person which
  104  complies with chapter 709 and which may include, as part of the
  105  authority granted, the authority to act on behalf of a principal
  106  as it relates to a property insurance claim; or
  107         (c) Liability coverage under a property insurance policy.
  108         (11) This section applies to assignment agreements that are
  109  executed after July 1, 2018.
  110         Section 2. To ensure that insurers are incorporating
  111  adjusted loss trends into rates after July 1, 2018, a property
  112  insurer that is subject to s. 627.0645, Florida Statutes, in the
  113  year after July 1, 2018, may not certify a rate pursuant to s.
  114  627.0645(3)(b), Florida Statutes, but must make a full filing
  115  pursuant to s. 627.0645(3)(a), Florida Statutes, to meet the
  116  annual filing requirement under that section.
  117         Section 3. This act shall take effect July 1, 2018.
  119  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  120  And the title is amended as follows:
  121         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  122  and insert:
  123                        A bill to be entitled                      
  124         An act relating to the assignment of property
  125         insurance benefits; creating s. 627.7152, F.S.;
  126         defining the term “assignment agreement”; prohibiting
  127         certain awards of attorney fees to certain persons or
  128         entities in suits brought against insurers based on
  129         claims arising under property insurance policies;
  130         providing that attorney fees may be awarded to such
  131         persons or entities only under specified provisions;
  132         providing that an assignment agreement is not valid
  133         unless specified requirements are met; prohibiting
  134         certain provisions in an assignment agreement;
  135         specifying requirements for an assignee or transferee;
  136         requiring an assignee to meet certain requirements as
  137         a condition precedent to filing suit under a policy;
  138         providing construction; providing applicability;
  139         providing that certain property insurers, within a
  140         specified timeframe, must make full annual base rate
  141         filings with the Office of Insurance Regulation rather
  142         than certifying rates; providing an effective date.