Florida Senate - 2014 SENATOR AMENDMENT Bill No. CS for CS for SB 708 Ì766328@Î766328 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) 2 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: 7 627.7142 Homeowner 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: 33 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. 47 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.... 79 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. 107 108 Section 10. Except as otherwise expressly provided in this 109 act, this act shall take effect July 1, 2014. 110 111 ================= 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.