Florida recently enacted House Bill 837, which presents challenges for residents with insurance claims.
The law limits when and how homeowners and policyholders can file a claim. It is important for Floridians to understand how these changes impact their rights.
Damage calculations and insurer immunity
HB 837 changes the method of calculating damages in many cases. Compensation now focuses on the amount paid rather than the billed amount. This can lead to lower compensation for victims. The law also grants insurers immunity from bad faith claims under certain conditions. For instance, if they tender the policy limit within 90 days of a claim notice, they are immune, regardless of any initial bad faith handling.
This law impacts more than just homeowners
One of the law’s major changes involves the statute of limitations for car accident claims, reduced from four years to two. Shortening the timeframe adds pressure when the physical and emotional impact of the accident can be disruptive. Furthermore, plaintiffs must be less than 50 percent at fault to recover damages. These changes make it difficult for many to receive fair compensation.
Limited options for homeowners
In the past, Governor DeSantis attributed the spike in insurance premiums to an increase in lawsuits; however, this assertion does not align with the actual outcomes of the law. For example, limiting the ability of Floridians to seek compensation in malpractice and motor vehicle accident cases has not resulted in lower premiums. Changing homeowner insurance claims to restrict policyholders has a similar impact. Despite the promise of reduced insurance expenses, costs remain high for Florida residents.
Policyholders in Florida may now find themselves with limited options for seeking fair compensation. HB 837 primarily benefits insurance companies by reducing their liabilities and making it more challenging for individuals to file claims.