With a 25 to 14 vote, the Florida Senate at 2:45 pm this afternoon (Apr. 24) gave final approval to HB 7065 (http://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2019/07065), property AOB reform, after many years of advocacy and public affairs support to educate consumers and policymakers about increasing AOB abuse in the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis, who referred to AOB abuse as a “racket” during his State of the State address, is expected to sign the bill into law once it reaches his desk. The legislation is an important step toward curbing the explosion of lawsuits stemming from unscrupulous contractors and attorneys preying on consumers that has driven up the cost of property insurance for everyone.
During second reading activity on Apr. 23, the Senate substituted the House bill for the Senate one, heard the House bill on the Senate floor for the first time, and after disposing of an amendment to require rate reductions and taking questions, rolled HB 7065 to third reading and a vote for final passage scheduled for Apr. 24.
While this is quite an accomplishment, there is disappointment that the final version does not include auto glass AOB reforms. Senate Banking and Insurance Chair Doug Broxson, who carried the Senate AOB reform bill, has indicated he will bring legislation on to address auto glass AOB abuse back for the 2020 session.