Florida Governor DeSantis signs new consumer protection legislation

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed new consumer protection legislation that will “expand the state’s home hardening and hazard mitigation programs, and further protect consumers against bad actors.”

DeSantis also announced the approval of an additional $100m in the 2023–24 General Appropriations Act for the My Safe Florida Home Program which provides grants to Florida homeowners for hurricane retrofitting, making homes safer and more resistant to hurricane damage and bringing the state’s combined investment to $250m over the past year.

“Since taking office, Florida has instituted a series of reforms to increase consumer choice and accountability in our insurance market,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “[The bills] reinforce our commitment to Florida policyholders by investing in hazard mitigation programs and instituting a series of accountability measures that protect consumers from predatory insurer practices.”

Senate Bill 7052 enacts several consumer protection measures that further increase competition and accountability in Florida’s property insurance market.

Some of this bill’s highlights include: Requiring property insurance mitigation discounts be updated at least every five years; prohibiting any altering or amending of an adjuster’s report without providing a detailed explanation for any reduction of the estimate of the loss.

As well as increasing the maximum administrative fines that may be levied by the OIR on insurance companies by 250% generally, and 500% for violations stemming from a state of emergency such as a hurricane.

DeSantis also signed bill HB 799, which expands mitigation discount programs for policyholders by requiring a property insurer’s residential rate filing to allow for mitigation discounts which reduce the potential for windstorm losses.

It also requires residential property insurers to provide reasonable discount, credit, or appropriate reduction in deductibles for wind uplift prevention measures as a part of their rate filings; and clarifies provisions included in Senate Bill 2A related to Citizen’s Property Insurance Corporation flood insurance coverage requirements.

The third bill, HB 881, expands eligibility for the My Safe Florida Home Program, ensuring more Floridians can participate. The program, signed by DeSantis last year, aims to to help single-family homeowners protect their homes against hurricanes.

House Speaker Paul Renner, commented: “The insurance legislation signed by Governor DeSantis today increases accountability of insurers and transparency in the marketplace.

“It not only empowers homeowners but also cultivates market-driven competition, ultimately leading to lower costs. By establishing clear standards, fostering consumer trust, and promoting fair practices, we can pave the way for a resilient and affordable insurance landscape that benefits homeowners and their communities.”

The post Florida Governor DeSantis signs new consumer protection legislation appeared first on ReinsuranceNe.ws.

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