Proposed Bill May Impact Floridians

A new Florida bill has been introduced in the House, and if it passes there could be changes ahead for assignment of benefits (AOB). The new bill, also referred to as H7065, provides term definitions and requirements and limitations for property insurance assignment agreements.

Some of the newly defined terms include:

  1. Assignee: a person who is assigned post-lost benefits by a named insured through an assignment agreement;
  2. Assignment agreement: a written instrument by which post-loss benefits under a residential property insurance policy are assigned in whole or in part by the policy’s named insured to a person providing services to protect, repair, restore, or replace the named insured’s property or to mitigate against further damage to the property; and
  3. Disputed amount: the difference between the assignee’s pre-suit settlement demand and the insurer’s pre-suit settlement offer.

If the new bill passes there are also two sections of additional text that must be included in future AOB agreements in bold type and in an 18 point font. This is to ensure it is clearly stated for the customer and auto glass shop.

“You are agreeing to give up certain rights you have under your insurance policy to a third party, which may result in litigation against your insurer. Please read and understand this document before signing it. You have the right to cancel this agreement without penalty within two calendar days after the date this agreement is executed. However, you are obligated for payment of any contracted work performed before the agreement is rescinded. This agreement does not change your obligation to perform the duties required under your motor vehicle insurance policy,” a portion of the text reads.

The other key point glass shops should take note of in H7065 states that:

“… An assignee may not seek payment from the assignor exceeding the applicable deductible under the policy unless the assignor has chosen to have additional work performed at the assignor’s own expense,” a portion of the bill reads.

Based on the current text, if a customer chooses to assign the benefits of their auto policy to a shop the shop can be paid directly from the insurance company. Which means, a glass shop would be unable to sue the insurance company for additional money if it believed the repair or replacement warranted more.

To view the bill’s full text, click here.

If passed, the new bill will take effect July 1, 2019.

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3 Responses to Proposed Bill May Impact Floridians

  1. Daveycrewcut-retired says:

    I would bet dollars to doughnuts that the committee that wrote this bill had a lot of outside assistance from the insurance industry. I would hope that the committee do a little research regarding the auto glass claims. First and foremost, calculate the total amount of each claim demanded by glass shops based on charges prior to any litigation. Next calculate the total cost of each claim including cost of litigation. If the cost to litigate the claim is more than the disputed amount (as defined by the proposed legislation, then obviously the insurer would have been better off simply paying the original invoice. Once an insurance company loses more than 5%-10% of litigated cases, it should become obvious that the insurer’s offers were, if not “low ball”, then not reasonable. Compare the average cost of like claims , i.e. repairs vs replacements, made by Safelite only shops to the average cost of non-Safelite shops.

    The committee should also consider adding the requirement for insurers to use unbiased entities to administer their claims or at the very least, provide an unbiased alternative claims administrator to glass shops that refuse to deal with a biased one.

    That single requirement would probably eliminate 99% of the AOB claims and with a lot less verbiage and legalese!

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