Contact: Benjamin Tomchik(202) 828-7129
WASHINGTON, D.C. March 16, 2017 – The American Insurance Association (AIA) issued the following legislative and regulatory outlook for property-casualty insurers in Florida. With the state’s 2017 legislative session having begun, AIA staff is available to help reporters recap and break down important policy issues.
A statement from Ron Jackson, AIA’s vice president for state affairs, southeast region, follows:
“As the Florida legislature begins their 2017 session, urgent legislative action is needed to reverse the harmful effects of the state supreme court’s decision in Castellanos v. Next Door Co. This ruling practically eliminated the long-standing attorneys’ fee schedule and is hastening a return of uncapped attorneys’ fees and excessive litigation that plagued the Florida market prior to reform.
Failure to adequately address the incentives for litigation will destabilize Florida’s well-functioning workers’ compensation system, harming local business as a result. It will trigger the type of crisis that resulted in the passage of the 2003 workers’ compensation reforms. We’ve already seen the adverse effect of the Castellanos decision with NCCI’s 14.5% rate hike which will hurt Florida businesses.
AIA, working with Associated Industries of Florida, is urging policymakers to remedy the crisis by joining the majority of states where claimants are responsible for the payment of their attorneys’ fees.
We are also continuing to support efforts to reform the state’s auto insurance system. AIA has long advocated that Florida’s Personal Injury Protection (PIP) law should be repealed and replaced by a bodily injury liability system. Doing so would help to reduce flagrant fraud and abuse in the legal system. As part of that effort, AIA believes Florida should enact sensible reforms to the state’s third-party bad faith system and address the issue of uninsured motorists. AIA hails the filing of HB 461 by Rep. Bill Hager which is intended to address all three of these issues.”
Celebrating its 150th year in 2016, The American Insurance Association (AIA) is the leading property-casualty insurance trade organization, representing approximately 320 insurers that write more than $125 billion in premiums each year. AIA member companies offer all types of property - casualty insurance, including personal and commercial auto insurance, commercial property and liability coverage, specialty, workers' compensation, homeowners' insurance, medical malpractice coverage, and product liability insurance.
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PUBLIC AFFAIRS DIRECTOR