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The Florida Senate on Tuesday passed Senate Bill 2A, Property Insurance, by Sen. Jim Boyd, R-Bradenton, legislation that is designed to improve the property insurance marketplace for homeowners, according to a statement from the office of the president of the Senate.
The bill is intended to ensure policyholders have access to quality, affordable private market property insurance. The bill requires insurers to more promptly communicate, investigate and pay valid claims.
Anticipated shortages in the reinsurance market are addressed through a new optional state reinsurance program.
Excessive litigation, known to drive up costs, is addressed by eliminating one-way attorney fees for property insurance and instead allowing both parties the opportunity to obtain fees through the offer of judgment process.
The bill also strengthens the regulatory authority of the Office of Insurance Regulation over property insurers, the statement said.
Sen. Boyd, chair of the Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance, said in the statement that “we are trying to stabilize a market that is in freefall,” with reinsurance shrinking in the global markets as costs rise.