With this week seeing the start of the regular session of the Florida Legislature and being Consumer Protection Week, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis showcased his consumer protection agenda, which includes protecting Floridians from unnecessary fees, working to eliminate fraud and scams, and ensuring Florida’s insurance markets aren’t flooded with unnecessary litigation.
Under our current laws, policyholders can take another’s insurance company to court if they feel their liability claim from an accident wasn’t handled in good faith. That is a very foggy standard, subjective at best. While I believe every citizen deserves to seek proper damages when necessary, this law is being abused by some lawyers using vague and unprovable accusations of bad faith to score quick settlements and lucrative fees.
"Well, in this season of opportunity, we can say there is more out there to achieve for our state – and there is no reason why we can’t seize this moment and deliver for the people of Florida."
Patronis urged Floridians to go to PrepareFL.com website which serves as a one-stop-shop for disaster preparedness information to help Floridians ensure they are prepared to weather the next storm.
“The exponential growth in AOB abuse has contributed to mounting insurance costs for Floridians for far too long,” said DeSantis. “In recent years, there have been calls for reform and today, the Legislature took action."
The bill is being championed by state Sen. Doug Broxson, R-Pensacola. An AOB is an agreement that, once signed, which transfers the insurance claims rights or benefits of the policy to a third party.
With the Legislature kicking off its regular session on Tuesday, DeSantis returned to the themes that he stressed in the campaign including the “economic opportunities that lie before us,” the “environmental challenges that require our attention” and “our obligations to education and public safety.”
Patronis announced on Monday that he wants Citizens “to host a series of roundtables with his office to hear from stakeholders on how to best tackle assignment of benefits (AOB) fraud and help keep insurance rates low.”