Homeowners Insurance Reforms Aims to Give Residents More Options, Crack Down on Frivolous Lawsuits

May 23, 2022 Updated 10:28 AM ET

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May 23, 2022 Updated 10:27 A.M. ET

TALLAHASSEE (FLV) –  Florida lawmakers hope to provide residents and insurance companies with much needed relief as the state’s property insurance market continues to crumble. 

State lawmakers are in Tallahassee for a special session this week to address the failing homeowners insurance market. Florida residents are facing skyrocketing home insurance rates and are being left little to no insurance options.

FedNat Insurance Co. is the most recent company to announce it will cancel 68,000 policies. Those residents are scrambling with 45 days left to find another insurer before hurricane season. 

Lawmakers dropped legislation Friday that aims to address the frail market. Two pieces of legislation are set for the Senate Appropriations Committee Monday morning. 

The legislation will provide $2 billion in reinsurance relief to insurance companies that supporters said will ultimately help policyholders over the next two years.

The legislation also provides $150 million to the My Safe Florida Home program. The program will provide homeowners with grants for hurricane retrofitting and will provide premium discounts. 

Insurance companies would also be banned from denying coverage based on the age of a roof that is less than 15 years old. Insurance companies could not deny claims without sufficiently communicating why. Consumers would be able to more easily access information and records during the claim adjustment process. 

The legislation aims to crack down on fraudulent roof claims. Higher insurance rates are many times due to frivolous lawsuits against insurance companies that eventually put them out of business. Florida has 8% of the property claims nationwide but 78% of the litigation nationwide. 

The legislation makes it a third-degree felony for a contractor who knowingly defrauds part of an insurance deductible applicable to payment to the contractor for repairs to a property covered by a property insurance policy. It would be a third-degree felony to intentionally file an insurance claim that has false, fraudulent, or misleading information. 

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