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Insurers, homeowners push to end frivolous lawsuits

Estimates show homeowners’ property insurance rates could climb tenfold over the next 10 years.

Florida property insurers recently delivered more than 1,000 signed petitions from Florida homeowners protesting frivolous lawsuits to state Rep. Mike Beltran at the Florida Capitol.

The petitions were delivered in support of SB 914 and HB 7071, which address Florida’s unfair legal climate and reduce the burden of excessive lawsuits on Florida homeowners.

In the past two weeks, more than 1,000 Floridians have signed the petition to fight out-of-control lawsuits that are increasing the cost of homeownership for Florida families. Estimates show that homeowners’ property insurance rates could climb tenfold over the next 10 years.

HB 7071 and SB 914, introduced by Sen. Jeff Brandes, would alleviate homeowners’ property insurance rates by cutting back on excessive attorney fees and end fee multipliers. The proposed legislation requires that attorney fees for claims involving property insurance must be fair and reasonable.

In a recent poll, 87% of Floridians polled were especially concerned about the fee multiplier that allows attorneys to collect up to 30 times what a family may get in an insurance dispute.

According to the 2019 Lawsuit Climate Survey: Ranking the States by the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, Florida ranks 46 out of 50 and is one of the top five worst states for unfair and unreasonable legal environments.

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