SB 408 Complete Summary and Bill Text: Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance To Take Up Comprehensive Residential Property Insurance Legislation

Jan 24, 2011


At its meeting tomorrow, January 25, 2011, the Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance (“Committee”) will take up Senate Bill 408, which relates to property and casualty insurance.

As of publication today, 23 amendments have been filed to SB 408, which is sponsored by Committee Chairman Garrett Richter.

The meeting, scheduled to begin at 1:45 p.m., is completely devoted to the consideration of SB 408.  If passed, the bill would create, repeal and substantially revise Florida law relating primarily to residential property insurance.

Should SB 408 be approved at tomorrow’s Committee hearing, it must pass through the Senate Committees on Budget and Rules before proceeding to the full Senate for a vote.

To view the Senate’s complete summary of SB 408, the bill text and tomorrow’s meeting agenda, click here.

Provisions in SB 408 would effect the following changes:

  • Increase the minimum surplus requirements for residential property insurers to $15 million;
  • Allow insurers offering personal lines property insurance to provide written notice of policy changes to their policyholders without having to non-renew an entire insurance policy due to a change in policy terms;
  • Modify current replacement cost coverage and actual cash value provisions relating to dwellings and personal property;
  • Require windstorm and hurricane claims to be brought within three years and sinkhole-related loss claims to be brought within two years;
  • Modify provisions related to windstorm damage mitigation discounts for residential property insurance and repeal the provision requiring the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation to develop a method correlating mitigation discounts to the Uniform Home Grading Scale;
  • Rename the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation (“Citizens”) High-Risk Account as the “Coastal Account;”
  • Extend to December 1, 2013 the requirement to reduce the boundaries of the Citizens’ High Risk Account (wind-only coverages) if probable maximum loss is not reduced at least 25 percent from the benchmark;
  • Allow an insurer seeking to take policies out of Citizens to do so in 45 days;
  • Clarify the ethics requirements for specified Citizens and provide that Citizens Board of Governors members abstain from voting under certain circumstances;
  • Allow an insurer to cancel or non-renew a property insurance policy upon a minimum of 45 days’ notice based on a finding that the insurer lacks adequate reinsurance coverage for hurricane risk and other financial factors;
  • Revise the regulation of public adjusters by placing limits on public adjuster compensation, prohibiting certain statements in public adjuster advertising and revising the contents of the public adjuster contract;
  • Remove the requirement that a property insurer must offer sinkhole coverage and eliminate application of statutes governing catastrophic ground cover collapse and sinkhole loss coverage from commercial property insurance policies;
  • Revise what constitutes a sinkhole loss;
  • Revise procedures for insurers and policyholders relating to standards for sinkhole insurance claim investigations and revise the neutral evaluation process for sinkhole disputes; and
  • Provide changes to the procedures pertaining to sinkhole reports by professional engineers or professional geologists and repeals the sinkhole database.

A representative of Colodny Fass will attend the Committee meeting and provide a full report.


Should you have any comments or questions, please contact Colodny Fass.