Property insurance rates are on the rise with insurers reporting $1.6 billion in losses last year. And one of the biggest drivers of rate increases is the extraordinary number of roofing claims in Florida. Florida lawmakers are hoping legislation passed recently will help lessen the blow, but even with the proposed changes, rates may likely keep increasing in the short term.

The recently passed legislation clarifies insurance coverage related to roof damage and replacement; creates a uniform period for filing a claim; requires the insured to notify the insurer before filing a lawsuit; and changes how attorney fees are handled in litigation.

The bill allows insurers to offer homeowners policies that adjust roof claims to actual cash value if the roof is older than 10 years and allows property insurers to offer homeowners the option of purchasing a stated value limit for roof coverage. It also creates a uniform two-year period for filing a property claim, supplemental claim, or reopened claim, versus the current three-year statute of limitations in Florida.

Under the bill, insurers must be notified of claims in detail and given sufficient time to inspect properties before lawsuits are filed.

The bill also changes how insurers are obliged to cover insured’s attorney fees. Whereas currently insurers must pay a fee even if the insured only recovers a small amount, the new legislation means insurers’ obligations will be directly related to how successful the claim was and sets out a “strong presumption” that fee awards should be limited to a reasonable lodestar fee structure.

The legislation is now awaiting the governor’s signature, and we will continue to keep you updated. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this information, please contact us. We are here to assist you and happy to answer any questions you have.

Gulfshore Insurance is a Naples, Florida based insurance agency specializing in liability insurance, property insurance, workers compensation insurance, vehicle insurance, business income interruption insurance, cyber insurance, commercial umbrella insurance, home and homeowners insurance, car and auto insurance, boat and yacht insurance, property insurance, umbrella insurance, valuables insurance for fine art, jewelry, wine, and more. Navigating insurance requires an experienced and trusted insurance agent who understands your business risks and exposures. Gulfshore Insurance services Naples, North Naples, Marco Island, Bonita Springs, Fort Myers, Sarasota, Lido Beach, Longboat Key, Bradenton Beach, and Southwest Florida. We have office locations in Naples, Fort Myers, Fort Lauderdale, and Sarasota.

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