The American Property Casualty Insurance Association is hoping for some substantial policy to pass in the 2020 Legislative Session.
Top of their list: Legislation to curb the volume and lower the frivolity of lawsuits filed against insurers.
The focus of the reforms would be on laws that facilitate policyholders suing insurers that have acted unfairly or dishonestly when handling insurance claims. According to APCIA, there is merit behind the intent of the law, but that’s rarely the case for the lawsuits leveraging it.
“Florida’s legal climate is one of the worst in the country, and rampant lawsuit abuse fueled by some plaintiffs’ attorneys is dramatically driving up costs for consumers and businesses,” said Logan McFaddin, assistant vice president of state government relations for APCIA.
“Reforming Florida’s current bad faith law is the No. 1 priority for APCIA this session, as well as working with lawmakers to reform the workers’ compensation system and address AOB abuse in auto glass repairs. Consumers’ rights to seek legal action will remain protected, but it is past time to implement reforms that will reduce lawsuit abuse, curb frivolous tactics, and begin to restore fairness to Florida’s legal system.”
As far auto glass AOB being, the issue was kneecapped in the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee, which voted down the reform package (SB 312) in December. But APCIA believes the window hasn’t fully shut a reform bill getting passed in 2020.
“The Governor and Florida Legislature took steps last session to protect homeowners from AOB property scams, and now lawmakers have an opportunity to bring similar protections to Florida motorists,” McFaddin said. “APCIA urges Florida lawmakers to put a stop to AOB auto glass abuse during the 2020 Legislative Session.”
APCIA also outlined its secondary objective: “legislation that removes the American Law Institute’s (ALI) Restatement of the Law, Liability Insurance’s recognition as an authoritative reference on Florida’s liability insurance law.”
If that sounds like legalese, it is. The ALI textbook helps attorneys and judges brush up on sections of the law. The problem, APCIA says, is that the current go-to text doesn’t give them a fair shake.
APCIA is the primary national trade association for home, auto, and business insurers. It promotes and protects the viability of private competition for the benefit of consumers and insurers, with a legacy dating back 150 years. APCIA members represent all sizes, structures, and regions — protecting families, communities, and businesses in the U.S. and across the globe.