As we approach March 5th and the official start of the 2013 Legislative Session, I want to highlight five bills that have already been filed. Please note that there are other bills that have been filed and numerous bills that will be filed in the future; visit to stay abreast of events in Tallahassee.

HB 107 DIAZ (SB 96 companion)

-Citizens Property Insurance Corporation Rates: Provides that restrictions on Citizens Property Insurance Corporation annual rate increases apply to both new & renewal policies; deletes obsolete provisions.

HB 909 WOOD (no Senate Companion yet)

– Requires residential property insurance rate filings to include actuarially reasonable surcharges, debits, or adjustments; deletes provisions that authorize rate filings for residential property insurance to include rate factors & premium adjustments that reflect local building code enforcement; requires corporation to prepare report for calendar year relating to loss ratio attributable to losses that are not catastrophic; authorizes homeowners’ insurance policies to prohibit assignment of rights & benefits; prohibits residential property insurer from being liable for damages & attorney fees with respect to appraisal loss process; revises definition of term "structural damage"; authorizes insurers to renew policies of policyholders who maintain sinkhole coverage; requires notification of policyholders when renewal of policy removes sinkhole coverage & instead offers coverage for catastrophic ground cover collapse; bars claims for sinkhole loss unless insurer is notified within specified period after date of sinkhole loss; deletes exception to prohibition against insurer’s liability for attorney fees with respect to neutral evaluation process.

SB 792 LEGG (no House Companion yet)

-Providing that an insurer may not nonrenew a property insurance policy if it paid the limits for sinkhole damage and the policyholder made the repairs and paid for any additional costs, etc.

SB 386 ABRUZZO (HB 433 companion)

-Requiring the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to have an inspector general, etc.

HB 825 WOOD (no Senate companion yet)

Deletes provisions that, with respect to personal & commercial lines residential risks, allow policyholders of corporation or policyholders removed from corporation through assumption agreement to remain eligible for coverage from corporation for certain period; revises authority & procedures for establishing rates for coverage provided by corporation; provides that annual percentage cap applicable to rate increase for single policy of corporation applies only to renewals; creates exceptions with respect to such limitation for personal lines residential policies that cover dwellings for specified insured values when such policies are renewed during certain time periods; requires corporation to prepare report for each calendar year relating to loss ratio attributable to losses that are not catastrophic for residential coverage provided by corporation.