Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate’s Homeowners’ Policy and Claims Bill of Rights Working Group To Review Draft Recommendations at 10 a.m. (ET) Tomorrow
Jul 29, 2013
The Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate’s Homeowners’ Policy and Claims Bill of Rights Working Group (“Working Group”) will hold a conference call tomorrow, July 30, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss draft recommendations to be included in a final report.
Reprinted below, the recommendations are based on feedback received during Working Group meetings held for two consecutive days this month.
Dial-in information for tomorrow morning’s call, which is scheduled to run an hour and a half, is: (850) 413-1558, Conference ID: 94583
A Colodny Fass& Webb representative will attend the meeting and provide a complete report.
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass& Webb.
HOMEOWNERS’ POLICY & CLAIMS BILL of RIGHTS WORKING GROUP DRAFT RECOMMENDATIONS – JULY 29, 2013
Solicitation of Consumers within 48 – 72 Hours of a Loss / Policyholders’ requirement to mitigate damages –
- Require licensure or registration of water remediation companies to provide emergency service/ mitigation services, and a designation for eligible contractors as a disaster restoration contractor.
- Adopt industry standards for the water extraction and remediation.
- Include a standard “cooling off” period of 72 hours for contractual services beyond emergency remediation measures.
- For all emergency mediation, any contract for services must have a detailed, itemized statement of the scope of work and quote for all materials and services to be rendered. Any variance for an additional 20% or more from the original scope of services and quote must be presented to and approved by the homeowner or any assignment beyond the initial quote is invalid.
- Companies should not be restricted from sending an adjuster immediately upon notification of a claim.
- A company claims adjuster should make an initial inspection of the property and provide the consumer with an initial estimate within 36 hours of notification of a loss. Failure to inspect and deliver the initial estimate will result in a presumption that all charges for remediation and repairs made within the 36 hours after the notification are valid and payable for covered claims.
- A permit is required for all repairs beyond the initial emergency mediation in order for payment of any proceeds under an insurance policy.
Assignment of Claims and Unauthorized Adjusting of Claims
- Assignments of benefits for any repairs should be restricted to Coverage A, dwelling policy limits.
- In order to be a valid assignment, the assignee or homeowner must notify the insurance company in writing within 72 hours of the execution of the assignment.
- Additional review and enforcement for DFS in unauthorized adjusting cases, with clearly defined limitation for contractors barred from adjusting.
Adjusting and Investigating the Claim – Examinations Under Oath
- Establish statutory standards for scheduling and conducting EUO’s.
- Codify existing case law for conducting EUO’s.
- Limit the number of recorded statements taken of the homeowner.
Post-Claim Underwriting & Material Misrepresentation on the Application
- Limit the review of underwriting rules regarding credit or criminal history to the 90-day underwriting period and disallowing the use of these issues as “material misrepresentation” at the time of a claim.
Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)
- Combining the mediation, neutral evaluation and appraisal processes to reflect a stronger alternative dispute resolution process for consumers.
- Increase regulatory review by DFS with stronger licensing requirements, qualification criteria, and standards of conduct.
- Adoption of rules of new ADR process to include rules similar to the Rules of Civil Procedure that give more structure to the process. (e.g. requirements for disputes regarding coverage and damages be separately stated, certain document requests and/or notices provides prior to ADR.)
- Enforceability of property owner presence for all ADR proceedings.
Insurers’ Right to Repair – Safeguards and Warranties
- Establish standards for Right to Repair Programs and for Managed Repair Programs.
- Required warranties for work provided under Right to Repair.
- Establish dispute resolution for parties not satisfied with work performed under these programs.
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