"We want to make certain that Floridians have access to property insurance that is both reliable and affordable. Right now we have a situation in our state where homeowners are paying more for their property insurance, and yet insurance companies are suffering massive losses," said
"This legislation ensures there is a clear understanding between homeowners and their insurance companies regarding when a roof replacement will be covered in full and establishes a clear and reasonable two-year time period for filing a claim," said
With the rising cost of property insurance in
To address the proliferation of litigation that has driven up the cost of property insurance across the state, the bill requires detailed notice of property insurance claims prior to litigation and changes how attorney fees are awarded. Before a lawsuit is filed, the insurer must be notified of the claim in detail and be given sufficient time to inspect the property before a lawsuit is filed.
Currently, an insurer must pay a reasonable attorney fee to the insured's attorney, even if the insured only recovers a small amount in the litigation. Under this legislation the insurers' obligation to pay the insured's attorney fees will be directly related to how successful the insured was in recovering the amount demanded in the litigation. If the claimant recovers at least 80 percent, the insurance company must pay all reasonable attorney fees. If the claimant recovers 20 percent or more of the demand but less than 80 percent, the insurer will be required to pay the same percentage of fees related to the recovery that the claimant recovered in the action. For example, if the claimant demanded
The bill also adopts the federal court standard for awarding attorney fee multipliers in claims arising under property insurance policies and directs courts to presume that the Lodestar fee is reasonable and provides that multipliers will only be awarded in rare and exceptional circumstances.