, More Florida insurance changes are on the horizon. House Bill 799 is one bill among several recently passed and going into effect. We’ll bring you up to speed on this bill.
One significant change brought about by the bill is the requirement for insurance companies to consider the impact of wind uplift prevention mitigation techniques when filing residential property insurance rate filings. This provision emphasizes the importance of implementing measures to prevent wind damage and encourages insurance companies to take these factors into account when determining insurance rates for residential properties.
Citizens Rate Increases
Another notable change pertains to the exclusion of new policies issued by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (Citizens) after November 1, 2023, from the annual rate increase cap. This means that rate increases on these policies can now go up to 50%. However, it is important to note that this exclusion specifically applies to policies for non-primary residences and properties previously covered by companies that became insolvent.
Furthermore, the bill establishes specific requirements for securing flood insurance based on the replacement cost of the structure or unit dwelling. For properties covered by Citizens, the deadlines for obtaining flood insurance are as follows:
This table outlines the different thresholds for the replacement cost of the structure or unit dwelling and the corresponding deadlines by which flood insurance must be secured. Properties with higher replacement costs have earlier deadlines for obtaining flood insurance. Other personal lines of residential properties insured by Citizens have until January 1, 2027, to secure flood insurance.
It’s important to note that certain Citizens policy types are exempt from this requirement. Policies that do not cover wind damage and condominium unit owners are an example.
Additionally, House Bill 799 enables Citizens to enter into contracts with the Division of Administrative Hearings. This allows for the resolution of claim disputes between Citizens and policyholders through this administrative process. This provision aims to streamline the claims resolution process and ensure fair and efficient handling of disputes.
Effective October 1, 2023, insurance companies that issue wind coverage and require policyholders to have flood insurance must verify the presence of flood insurance at the time the policy is issued or renewed. Master flood policies are deemed acceptable for this purpose.
No Flood No Wind Claim
Failure to comply with the requirement of having flood insurance may result in the denial of a wind damage claim by the insurance company. To further emphasize this requirement, policyholders are now required to sign a written acknowledgement of their understanding of the need for flood insurance.
More Florida insurance changes that may be on the way are companies that provide wind coverage may soon require flood insurance. We have heard of companies implementing this. We will be following to see if this bears out. If it does, will they require it in zones like X that are not required to have flood insurance?
Other Bills Passed
Senate Bill 154 tackles condominiums and co-ops. AdditionallySenate Bill 1002 covers Vehicle windshields and how the repair process will work. Senate Bill 7052 brings in new oversight to insurance companies in Florida. House Bill 837 brings changes to the way lawsuits are filed aimed at bringing down the cost of insurance. House Bill 881 brings more discounts to eligible homes in Florida.
Lastly, House Bill 1185 adds consumer protection for things like solar panels, adjusters, when deductibles apply, and when an insurance company can cancel your policy.
These changes are aimed at providing consumers with more protection at less cost. Insurance has become the 800-pound gorilla in the room in Florida. Together the legislature and the governor worked at improving the situation.
You can read more about these bills at https://www.myfloridacfo.com/division/ica/propertyinsurancechanges
For your real estate questions, Always Call the Ellis Team at Keller Williams Realty 239-489-4042. Real estate is more complicated than ever. It pays to hire a seasoned agent who can guide you through the complexities and keep your deal together.
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