Florida House Representative John Tobia (R) has introduced bill 669, which could void the ability for companies, such as automotive glass retailers, to seek the assignment of benefits from their customers. This could have ramifications for Florida automotive glass companies, which use these assignment of benefits from their customers to sue insurance companies over alleged short pays, according to Linda Rollinson of Superior Auto Glass of Tampa Bay.
“When I have short pays, or when the third-party administrator or insurance company pays me less than what I think is fair for a job, I give all my paperwork to my attorneys, along with the proper assignment of benefits. My attorneys can then go after the insurance companies for a fair price,” says Rollinson.
“This bill definitely affects our industry,” says Rollinson.
The bill addresses property contractors, specifically, but Rollinson says it can also be applied to automotive glass retailers.
“It is an act relating to assignment of post-loss insurance policy benefits; providing that an assignment or agreement that transfers authority to adjust, negotiate, or settle a claim is void; prohibiting assignment of an insurable interest except to subsequent purchasers after a loss; authorizing an insurance policy to prohibit assignment of post-loss benefits; providing exceptions; providing an effective date,” according to a copy of the bill on the Florida House of Representative’s website.
“[A]ny assignment or agreement that purports to transfer the authority to adjust, negotiate or settle any portion of a claim to such a contractor or subcontractor, or that is otherwise in derogation of this section, is void,” according to the bill.
The bill was introduced by Tobia on February 9, 2015.
The Insurance and Banking Subcommittee has passed the bill. The Civil Justice Subcommittee is slated to consider the legislation on March 24.
To view a copy of the bill, click here.