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Enforcing Existing Laws Could Solve Florida’s Property Insurance Crisis

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If you are one of Florida's 14 million homeowners, homeowner insurance rates are rising at an unprecedented rate and the end is on the horizon. Insurance companies have increased tariffs by 111%, coverage has been reduced or gone bankrupt, homeowners are paying bills and are not to blame for pushing the weak insurance market.

It is easy to see why no new insurance laws have been passed this year and why some lawmakers and insurance companies have called for changes or special legislative sessions as the market collapses, but the reality is that lawmakers have made great strides in insurance reform in The past. . In the last years.

Last year alone, SB 76 and SB 1598 were signed to provide more protection for consumers and prevent fraudulent activity that raises rates. SB 76 is disappointed to see an interim injunction issued soon by a federal judge to prevent the execution of a key element in the fight against fraud.

It will take at least 18 months to see the impact of the new bill on the market, but it will take longer to see the full impact of the expected SB 76 decision. Instead of introducing new bills that can reduce insurer liability and increase costs, for homeowners, we need to focus on existing strong law enforcement agencies.

There are five areas where action can be taken without additional legislation leading to faster and more effective change for homeowners and the insurance market as a whole:

Insufficient application

Florida has passed a number of bills in recent years, including criminal penalties and high fines for involvement in unauthorized claims or advertising to engage in activities that require licensing and regulation.

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A state investigator recently discovered that state attorneys, even if state regulators investigate, do not always pursue false accusations. This prevents fraud investigators from using their limited resources to file lawsuits against certain persons.

the story goes on

bad actor We all pay the price with fewer choices and higher rewards. We must commit to giving homeowners sufficient time and resources to enforce and enforce insurance laws.

allegation of fraud

Filing an unlicensed lawsuit is a fraud and a third-degree crime in Florida. While encouraging insurance companies not to get involved in unlicensed litigation, the need to license and regulate recovery companies will go a long way in eliminating fraud in our state.

insurance rate

Insurers in Florida are being unfairly exploited by unlicensed and unregulated bad actors who artificially increase the frequency and intensity of claims, resulting in higher tariffs with less coverage. Lawyers need to understand how fraud affects not only those involved in a lawsuit, but all consumers in Florida. Reducing in-country fraud, in turn, will reduce rewards. Last year's report by Florida Consumer Insurance Lawyers revealed insurance fraud

With rising premiums, the average home costs $ 400-700 a year.

Florida Hurricane Disaster Fund

Increase access to hurricane funds in Florida so that insurers do not have to buy expensive reinsurance from foreign organizations and do not cover the costs of insurers. This can have a serious impact on insurance rates.

Legal disputes

When insurance companies do not pay their debts and are fair in the case of legal claims, claims are encouraged, which only prolongs the litigation process and makes claims more open and unnecessary. Insurers should be encouraged not to challenge legal claims and policyholders, including litigants, should be encouraged to make fair payments to avoid disputes.

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As an advocate for insurers, the Florida State Insurance Regulators Association is looking for a strong insurance market, but not one with low coverage and high costs for homeowners.

As the hurricane season draws to a close and the insurance market continues to decline, it is up to state attorneys and insurance companies to act quickly and do their best to reduce fraud and litigation and help balance the market. application.

Chris Curie is chairman of the board of directors of the Florida State Insurance Regulators Association. Insurance focuses on consumer protection.

This article was originally published in the Palm Beach Post: Existing Law Enforcement Agencies Will Put Pressure on Insurance Rates

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