Two bills introduced in the Florida state legislature that would have required an inspection of a windshield’s damage by an insurer before it’s repaired or replaced weren’t voted on in the current 60-day session, which ended on March 9.
In December 2017, Florida Rep. Rene Plasencia proposed an amendment to Section 1, Section 627.7288 of the Florida Statutes that read, “A policy under this section may require an inspection of the damaged windshield of a covered motor vehicle before the windshield repair or replacement is authorized by the insurer.”
The bill would have authorized “a motor vehicle insurance policy providing comprehensive or combined additional coverage to require an inspection of the damaged windshield of a covered motor vehicle before the windshield repair or replacement is authorized by the insurer; providing an effective date.”
That piece of legislation had been pre-filed, or submitted for introduction or first reading before the 2018 session began.
In January, Sen. Dorothy Hukill introduced an identical bill in the state Senate to combat assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse in Florida, which insurers claim has caused the spike in the number of lawsuits against them by auto glass shops in recent years. That legislation cleared a Senate committee with some changes.
Sen. Greg Steube revised the bill to include a deadline for the inspection, which would be performed by a licensed adjuster who is also an employee of the vehicle owner’s insurance company. From the moment the claim is filed, the insurer would have 24 hours to complete the inspection.
Sen. Rob Bradley also added language that would allow the auto glass shop to complete the repair or replacement without an inspection if the windshield’s damage compromised the vehicle’s structural integrity or would leave the driver susceptible to a ticket because it violated the state’s law.