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Sha'Ron James

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PIP, worker's comp, AOB bills stall as session ends


Date: May 05, 2017
Source: Palm Beach Post
Author:  Charles Elmore


A chance to save Florida drivers up to $81 per car on their insurance bills collapsed along with attempts to curb attorney’s fees in worker’s compensation and property-insurance claims as state legislators failed to reach agreement Friday evening.

Legislators are scheduled to end the session Monday by passing the budget but have said they will not take up other issues then.

The House passed a bill 89-29 to repeal the state’s no-fault car insurance system after nearly 50 years, requiring bodily injury liability coverage instead, which most states do. That could have could brought down rates about 6 percent, an actuarial study last year found. But a Senate bill did not make it to the floor.

Attempts to hold down rates for worker’s compensation and property insurance by limiting attorney’s fees also failed.

Property insurers say lawyers for contractors who get consumers to sign over control of insurance payments — known as assignment of benefits or AOB — are inflating claims like roof and plumbing leaks and driving up rates.

“Florida’s hardworking families should remember this – the Florida Senate chose to side with anti-consumer special interests, instead of stepping up and protecting consumers from an AOB loophole that has attracted plaintiffs’ attorneys like gold rush miners,” said Edie Ousley, vice president of public affairs for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, one of the groups supporting changes to the law. “Their failure to act means homeowners will be forced to spend more on property insurance in the coming year and home ownership will become less affordable for many Floridians.”