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 the insurer pursuant
   19  to an assignment agreement.
   20         (3) An assignment agreement is not valid unless it meets
   21  all of the following requirements:
   22         (a)The assignment agreement is in writing and is executed
   23  by all named insureds;
   24         (b) The assignment agreement contains a provision that
   25  permits all named insureds to rescind the assignment agreement
   26  without any penalty or rescission or cancellation fee within 7
   27  business days after the date the assignment agreement is
   28  executed by all named insureds;
   29         (c) The assignment agreement contains a provision requiring
   30  the assignee or transferee to provide a copy of the executed
   31  assignment agreement to the insurer no later than 3 business
   32  days after the assignment agreement is executed by any named
   33  insured; and
   34         (d) The assignment agreement contains a written, itemized,
   35  per-unit cost estimate of the work to be performed by the
   36  assignee or transferee.
   37         (4) The following provisions may not be included in an
   38  assignment agreement and are deemed to be invalid and
   39  unenforceable against the property insurer or named insureds:
   40         (a) A penalty or fee for rescission of the assignment
   41  agreement pursuant to subsection (3);
   42         (b) A check or mortgage processing fee;
   43         (c) A penalty or fee for cancellation of the assignment
   44  agreement pursuant to subsection (3); or
   45         (d) An administrative fee.
   46         (5) As to claims arising under an assignment agreement, the
   47  failure to comply with any provision of this subsection creates
   48  a presumption that the insurer is prejudiced by such failure to
   49  comply and shifts the burden in any proceeding or suit to the
   50  party seeking benefits, rights, or proceeds from the insurer to
   51  demonstrate that the insurer was not prejudiced. The assignee or
   52  transferee must do all of the following:
   53         (a) Maintain records of all services provided under the
   54  assignment agreement;
   55         (b) Cooperate with the insurer in the investigation of a
   56  claim;
   57         (c) Provide the insurer with any and all records and
   58  documents requested related to services provided and permit the
   59  insurer to make copies;
   60         (d) Deliver a copy of the executed assignment agreement to
   61  the insurer no later than 3 business days after the assignment
   62  agreement is executed by all named insureds; and
   63         (e) Concurrently with any request for payment of benefits
   64  under the insurance policy, provide the insurer with a written,
   65  itemized, per-unit cost statement of services actually performed
   66  pursuant to the assignment agreement.
   67         (6)As to claims arising under an assignment agreement, an
   68  assignee must, as a condition precedent to filing a suit under
   69  the policy:
   70         (a) If required by the insurer, submit to examinations
   71  under oath and recorded statements conducted by the insurer or
   72  the insurer’s representative which are limited to matters
   73  related to the services provided, the costs of services, and the
   74  assignment or transfer; and
   75         (b) Participate in an appraisal or other alternative
   76  dispute resolution method in accordance with the terms of the
   77  policy.
   78         (7)An activity in compliance with subsections (5) and (6)
   79  does not constitute practice as a public adjuster pursuant to
   80  part VI of chapter 626.
   81         (8) Notwithstanding any other law, the acceptance by a
   82  person of any assignment agreement constitutes a waiver by the
   83  assignee or transferee, and any subcontractor of the assignee or
   84  transferee, of any and all claims against all named insureds for
   85  payment arising from the specified loss, except that all named
   86  insureds remain responsible for the payment of any deductible
   87  amount provided for by the terms of the insurance policy and for
   88  the cost of any betterment ordered by all named insureds. This
   89  waiver remains in effect notwithstanding any subsequent
   90  determination that the assignment agreement is invalid or the
   91  rescission of the assignment agreement by all named insureds.
   92         (9) This section does not permit an assignment agreement to
   93  modify or eliminate any term, condition, or defense relating to
   94  any managed repair arrangement provided for in the insurance
   95  policy to which the assignment agreement relates.
   96         (10) This section does not apply to:
   97         (a) An assignment, transfer, or conveyance granted to a
   98  subsequent purchaser of property who acquires an insurable
   99  interest in the property following a loss;
  100         (b) A power of attorney granted to a management company,
  101  family member, guardian, or similarly situated person which
  102  complies with chapter 709 and which may include, as part of the
  103  authority granted, the authority to act on behalf of a principal
  104  as it relates to a property insurance claim; or
  105         (c) Liability coverage under a property insurance policy.
  106         (11) This section applies to assignment agreements that are
  107  executed after July 1, 2018.
  108         Section 2. (1)Within 60 days after the effective date of
  109  this section, the Office of Insurance Regulation shall enter
  110  into a contract with an independent consultant to calculate the
  111  savings expected as a result of this act. The contract must
  112  require the use of generally accepted actuarial techniques and
  113  standards in determining the expected impact on losses and
  114  expenses. By September 15, 2018, the office shall submit to the
  115  Governor, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the
  116  House of Representatives a report concerning the results of the
  117  independent consultant’s calculations.
  118         (2)By October 1, 2018, an insurer writing property
  119  insurance in this state shall make a rate filing with the Office
  120  of Insurance Regulation. A rate certification does not satisfy
  121  this requirement. If the insurer requests a rate in excess of a
  122  10 percent reduction as applied to the current rate in its
  123  overall base rate for property insurance, the insurer must
  124  include in its rate filing a detailed explanation of the reasons
  125  for its failure to achieve a 10 percent reduction.
  126         (3)By January 1, 2020, an insurer writing property
  127  insurance in this state shall make a rate filing with the Office
  128  of Insurance Regulation. A rate certification does not satisfy
  129  this requirement. If the insurer requests a rate in excess of a
  130  25 percent reduction as applied to the rate in effect as of July
  131  1, 2018, in its overall base rate for property insurance since
  132  July 1, 2018, the insurer must include in its rate filing a
  133  detailed explanation of the reasons for its failure to achieve a
  134  25 percent reduction.
  135         (4)If an insurer fails to provide the detailed explanation
  136  required by subsection (2) or subsection (3), the Office of
  137  Insurance Regulation must order the insurer to stop writing new
  138  property insurance policies in this state until it provides the
  139  required explanation.
  140         (5)The sum of $200,000 of nonrecurring revenue is
  141  appropriated from the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund to the
  142  Office of Insurance Regulation for the purpose of implementing
  143  the requirements of subsection (1) during the 2017-2018 fiscal
  144  year. Any unexpended balance of the appropriation at the end of
  145  the fiscal year shall be carried forward and be available for
  146  expenditure for that purpose during the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
  147  Notwithstanding s. 287.057, Florida Statutes, the office may
  148  retain an independent consultant to implement the requirements
  149  of subsection (1) without a competitive solicitation.
  150         (6)This section shall take effect upon this act becoming a
  151  law.
  152         Section 3. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
  153  act and except for this section, which shall take effect upon
  154  this act becoming a law, this act shall take effect July 1,
  155  2018.
  157  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  158  And the title is amended as follows:
  159         Delete everything before the enacting clause
  160  and insert:
  161                        A bill to be entitled                      
  162         An act relating to the assignment of property
  163         insurance benefits; creating s. 627.7152, F.S.;
  164         defining the term “assignment agreement”; prohibiting
  165         certain awards of attorney fees to certain persons or
  166         entities in suits based on claims arising under
  167         property insurance policies; providing that an
  168         assignment agreement is not valid unless specified
  169         requirements are met; prohibiting certain provisions
  170         in an assignment agreement; specifying requirements
  171         for an assignee or transferee; requiring an assignee
  172         to meet certain requirements as a condition precedent
  173         to filing suit under a policy; providing construction;
  174         providing applicability; requiring the Office of
  175         Insurance Regulation, within a specified timeframe, to
  176         contract with an independent consultant to calculate
  177         expected savings as a result of this act; requiring
  178         the contract to require the use of certain actuarial
  179         techniques and standards; requiring the office to
  180         submit a certain report to the Governor and the
  181         Legislature by a specified date; requiring property
  182         insurers to make rate filings with the office by
  183         specified dates; providing construction; requiring an
  184         insurer to include a certain explanation in its rate
  185         filing under certain circumstances; requiring the
  186         office to order an insurer that fails to provide such
  187         explanation to stop writing new property insurance
  188         policies until it provides the explanation; providing
  189         an appropriation; authorizing the office to retain the
  190         consultant without a competitive solicitation;
  191         providing effective dates.