Florida Senate - 2014                          SENATOR AMENDMENT
       Bill No. CS for CS for SB 708
                              LEGISLATIVE ACTION                        
                    Senate             .             House              
                Floor: 5/AD/2R         .                                
             04/23/2014 10:22 AM       .                                

       Senator Bean moved the following:
    1         Senate Amendment (with title amendment)
    3         Delete lines 356 - 549
    4  and insert:
    5         Section 9. Effective October 1, 2014, section 627.7142,
    6  Florida Statutes, is created to read:
    7         627.7142Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights.—An insurer
    8  issuing a personal lines residential property insurance policy
    9  in this state must provide a Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights to
   10  a policyholder within 14 days after receiving an initial
   11  communication with respect to a claim, unless the claim follows
   12  an event that is the subject of a declaration of a state of
   13  emergency by the Governor. The purpose of the bill of rights is
   14  to summarize, in simple, nontechnical terms, existing Florida
   15  law regarding the rights of a personal lines residential
   16  property insurance policyholder who files a claim of loss. The
   17  Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights is specific to the claims
   18  process and does not represent all of a policyholder’s rights
   19  under Florida law regarding the insurance policy. The Homeowner
   20  Claims Bill of Rights does not create a civil cause of action by
   21  any individual policyholder or class of policyholders against an
   22  insurer or insurers. The failure of an insurer to properly
   23  deliver the Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights is subject to
   24  administrative enforcement by the office, but is not admissible
   25  as evidence in a civil action against an insurer. The Homeowner
   26  Claims Bill of Rights does not enlarge, modify, or contravene
   27  statutory requirements, including, but not limited to, ss.
   28  626.854, 626.9541, 627.70131, 627.7015, and 627.7074, and does
   29  not prohibit an insurer from exercising its right to repair
   30  damaged property in compliance with the terms of an applicable
   31  policy or ss. 627.7011(5)(e) and 627.702(7). The Homeowner
   32  Claims Bill of Rights must state:
   34                          HOMEOWNER CLAIMS                         
   35                           BILL OF RIGHTS                          
   36         This Bill of Rights is specific to the claims process
   37         and does not represent all of your rights under
   38         Florida law regarding your policy. There are also
   39         exceptions to the stated timelines when conditions are
   40         beyond your insurance company’s control. This document
   41         does not create a civil cause of action by an
   42         individual policyholder, or a class of policyholders,
   43         against an insurer or insurers and does not prohibit
   44         an insurer from exercising its right to repair damaged
   45         property in compliance with the terms of an applicable
   46         policy.
   48         YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO:
   49         1. Receive from your insurance company an
   50         acknowledgment of your reported claim within 14 days
   51         after the time you communicated the claim.
   52         2. Upon written request, receive from your
   53         insurance company within 30 days after you have
   54         submitted a complete proof-of-loss statement to your
   55         insurance company, confirmation that your claim is
   56         covered in full, partially covered, or denied, or
   57         receive a written statement that your claim is being
   58         investigated.
   59         3. Within 90 days, subject to any dual interest
   60         noted in the policy, receive full settlement payment
   61         for your claim or payment of the undisputed portion of
   62         your claim, or your insurance company’s denial of your
   63         claim.
   64         4. Free mediation of your disputed claim by the
   65         Florida Department of Financial Services Division of
   66         Consumer Services, under most circumstances and
   67         subject to certain restrictions.
   68         5. Neutral evaluation of your disputed claim, if
   69         your claim is for damage caused by a sinkhole and is
   70         covered by your policy.
   71         6. Contact the Florida Department of Financial
   72         Services Division of Consumer Services’ toll-free
   73         helpline for assistance with any insurance claim or
   74         questions pertaining to the handling of your claim.
   75         You can reach the Helpline by phone at...toll free
   76         phone number..., or you can seek assistance online at
   77         the Florida Department of Financial Services Division
   78         of Consumer Services’ website at...website address....
   80         YOU ARE ADVISED TO:
   81         1. Contact your insurance company before entering
   82         into any contract for repairs to confirm any managed
   83         repair policy provisions or optional preferred
   84         vendors.
   85         2. Make and document emergency repairs that are
   86         necessary to prevent further damage. Keep the damaged
   87         property, if feasible, keep all receipts, and take
   88         photographs of damage before and after any repairs.
   89         3. Carefully read any contract that requires you
   90         to pay out-of-pocket expenses or a fee that is based
   91         on a percentage of the insurance proceeds that you
   92         will receive for repairing or replacing your property.
   93         4. Confirm that the contractor you choose is
   94         licensed to do business in Florida. You can verify a
   95         contractor’s license and check to see if there are any
   96         complaints against him or her by calling the Florida
   97         Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
   98         You should also ask the contractor for references from
   99         previous work.
  100         5. Require all contractors to provide proof of
  101         insurance before beginning repairs.
  102         6. Take precautions if the damage requires you to
  103         leave your home, including securing your property and
  104         turning off your gas, water, and electricity, and
  105         contacting your insurance company and provide a phone
  106         number where you can be reached.
  108         Section 10. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this
  109  act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2014.
  111  ================= T I T L E  A M E N D M E N T ================
  112  And the title is amended as follows:
  113         Delete lines 23 - 34
  114  and insert:
  115         establishing a Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights for
  116         residential property insurance policyholders;
  117         providing that such bill of rights does not provide a
  118         cause of action; providing effective dates.