When politicians uphold their promises, we should applaud them. Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater was noted in my post last week, Public Adjuster Arrest, Umpire Ethics, and Good Faith Opinions–An Intriguing Story:
‘This is institutionalized bad faith,” said Sen. Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach of the insurer, Australia-based QBE Group and its representatives, Florida Intercoastal Underwriters, a wholly owned subsidiary of insurance agency Brown & Brown Inc.
Atwater said representatives of the state Office of Insurance Regulation have told him an investigation into the claims practices of the condominium writer and its partners is under way.
He also said he plans to expand property insurance law to force insurers who delay payments to owe interest on claims. (emphasis added)
While Florida Senate President, Jeff Atwater was able to pass the following law providing for interest following claim delay:
5)(a) Within 90 days after an insurer receives notice of an initial, reopened, or supplemental property insurance claim from a policyholder, the insurer shall pay or deny such claim or a portion of the claim unless the failure to pay is caused by factors beyond the control of the insurer which reasonably prevent such payment. Any payment of an initial or supplemental claim or portion of such claim made 90 days after the insurer receives notice of the claim, or made more than 15 days after there are no longer factors beyond the control of the insurer which reasonably prevented such payment, whichever is later, bears interest at the rate set forth in s. 55.03. Interest begins to accrue from the date the insurer receives notice of the claim. The provisions of this subsection may not be waived, voided, or nullified by the terms of the insurance policy. If there is a right to prejudgment interest, the insured shall select whether to receive prejudgment interest or interest under this subsection. Interest is payable when the claim or portion of the claim is paid. Failure to comply with this subsection constitutes a violation of this code. However, failure to comply with this subsection does not form the sole basis for a private cause of action.1
The importance of the provision is the concept of having claims closed within 90 days of the "notice of the claim." The interest starts on the date of the "notice of the claim."
We often criticize our political leaders. It is our American right to do so. We should also be quick to publicly applaud political leaders for progressive acts – especially when they include fulfilling campaign promises that are so often forgotten after the election is over.
Positive Thought for the Day:
The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.
– Benjamin Franklin
1 Fla. Statute § 627.70131. Insurer’s duty to acknowledge communications regarding claims; investigation.