FLORIDA LEGISLATURE PASSES AOB REFORM BILL AND AN ADDITIONAL LAST MINUTE AMENDMENT — NOW WHAT?
Restoration and water mitigation professionals across Florida received a punch in the gut after a hard-fought seven-year battle with the insurance industry and more recently, the new governor and his cabinet, when the Legislature passed HB7065/SB122 AOB Reform on April 24. And if that wasn’t bad enough for the industry, the Governor and state CFO pushed an additional amendment that was added to the HB337 Insurance Omnibus bill that was adopted the last day of the session to address seminars on how to beat the clock on the AOB law, making Section 10 (Attorney Fee provision) of the AOB bill effective on becoming law (when the governor signs the legislation), rather than July 1, 2019.
These bills, expected to be signed by the governor, will significantly curtail the use of AOB and hand over control of emergency mitigation and restoration decisions to insurance companies. It is our opinion that once it does become law, use of AOB in Florida by mitigation and restoration professionals will become economically nonviable. Insurance Litigation Group has worked with AOB contractors for more than 15 years and is determined to advise them, going forward, on how to ensure they get paid for their work and can continue operating in this new and restrictive environment.
What can be done now?
We believe the language in the amendment to HB337 was rushed, poorly worded and vague and can be challenged in court. At some point, lower court judges will rule on this matter. Ultimately it will be decided in Florida’s Appellate courts. Prior to Friday’s amendment, we were advising clients that they have nothing to worry about on AOBs signed prior to July 1.
Since the new amendment passed, our advice is to send us your files and supporting documentation now, so you don’t get caught up in the vagueness of the new amendment. We have the capacity and legal muscle to handle thousands of files and are working overtime to get these cases filed for our AOB clients.
Then what can be done after July 1?
We have studied the bills thoroughly and believe we have a sound strategy for our mitigation and restoration clients that will help them survive and thrive in the new pro-insurance company environment. Give us a call today to discuss our recommended contract language and litigation strategy going forward.
For more information please call 786-529-0090 or email us at email@example.com how we can assist you today.