New laws in the state provide some accountability toward insurers, but consumers are also limited.
Based on the massive number of complaints filed by Florida home insurance customers following Hurricane Ian, regulators warned insurers that they would not be allowing the same situation to develop following Hurricane Idalia.
Regulators received complaints about insurers from nearly 8,000 victims of Hurricane Ian.
As a result, following the destruction left by Hurricane Idalia, state regulators warned home insurance companies of possible punishment if claims were not properly managed.
“We’re gonna be watching,” said Governor Ron DeSantis even before the storm made landfall. “We want to make people whole who pay for this service and I think they deserve to have their claims honored.”
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation issued a statement to residential property at the start of the week. It was intended to make certain that the actions of those insurers would be in compliance with the new state law designed to improve transparency and enhance the performance of the industry.
The memo to home insurance companies was mean to ensure they would comply with the new law.
“Insurers’ claim handling practices should not only comply with required provisions of Florida law, but also do everything possible to respond to the needs of affected Floridians, restore a sense of normalcy, and facilitate restoration and recovery in impacted communities,” said the Office of Insurance Regulation in the memo.
Examples of insurers responding quickly to claims have already been reported by local media in the state. Policyholders affected by both Hurricane Ian and Idalia have initially reported a much more expedient response from their insurers.
That said, consumers are remaining cautious, as they also know that other new laws in the state have limited their capacity to fight back against insurers when they believe that those insurers have not upheld their part of the bargain.
As a component of the home insurance industry reforms recently passed by the Florida legislature, one-way attorney’s fees have been abolished. Homeowners are being advised to carefully document damage and the entire claims process in order to ensure that if an insurer must be taken to court, the policyholder will have what is needed to prove that they are owed the amount from the claim.