Originally published by Consumer Protection Coalition |
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (April 17, 2019) – The Consumer Protection Coalition today applauded the Senate Rules Committee for advancing a bill by Sen. Doug Broxson to stop abusive Assignment of Benefits practices that are harming consumers and resulting in costly litigation.
“This is a big step forward for consumers,’’ said Edie Ousley, vice president of public affairs for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which spearheads the coalition. “We are extremely grateful that members of the Senate Rules Committee took a stand against AOB abuse and the harmful impact it is having on Florida’s consumers. We hope this vote sends a signal to the entire Legislature that the status quo is no longer acceptable and something must be done to stop unscrupulous vendors from using AOB to boost their profits at the expense of hardworking Floridians.’’
The Rules Committee’s passage of Senate Bill 122 now sends the bill to the full Senate for consideration. The House companion bill, HB 7065 by Rep. Bob Rommel, has passed the full House of Representatives and is now in Senate Messages. With today’s amendment to SB 122, both bills are now identical.
Both bills provide commonsense protections for consumers, including allowing policyholders the right to rescind an AOB without penalties. It also revises the awarding of one-way attorney fees, which are fueling AOB lawsuits.
AOB reform for auto glass was included in a prior version of the Senate bill but was removed to match the House bill. The CPC encourages lawmakers to include auto glass in the final legislation.
The CPC thanks Sen. Broxson and Rep. Rommel for their leadership in bringing forward AOB reform bills to their respective chambers. Gov. Ron DeSantis, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Citizens Property Insurance Corp. President and CEO Barry Gilway have all expressed the need for AOB reform this legislative session.