Florida Legislation Changes Residential Property Mediation Notice Requirements
Oct 3, 2019
During the 2019 session, the Florida Legislature passed CS/CS/CS/HB 301. The bill gives a residential property insurer the option of notifying the policyholder of the right to mediation through the property insurance mediation program at the Department of Financial Services (DFS) at the time of issuance and renewal of the policy or at the time a claim is filed. The Governor signed the bill on June 18, 2019, and it has been codified as chapter 2019-108, Laws of Florida. The bill became effective July 1, 2019.
Pursuant to Section 627.7015, Florida Statutes, the DFS administers a mediation program for disputed first-party property claims. Prior to July 1, 2019, an insurer was required to notify the policyholder of its right to participate in the mediation program at the time a first-party claim was filed. Beginning July 1, 2019, the insurer has the option of notifying the policyholder of the right to mediation at the time of issuance and renewal of the policy or at the time a claim is filed.
Based on this new law, Florida property insurers should consider reviewing their policy forms and renewal notices to ensure that notice of the right to mediation is included, which could minimize, if not eliminate, any potential litigation regarding whether mediation notices have been provided timely after a claim has been filed.
About the Authors
Wes Strickland is a Shareholder at Colodny Fass and heads the firm’s Insurance Regulatory & Transactions Practice in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at (850) 321-3475 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Michael Billmeier is a Partner in the firm’s Insurance Regulatory & Transactions Practice Group and its Governmental Consulting Practice Group. He can be reached at 850-701-3113 or email@example.com.