I want to thank everyone who helped us achieve a hard fought victory in my August 30th primary for the Florida House of Representatives. My law firm colleagues have been with me every step of this journey. They never wavered in their support and were there to offer whatever assistance I needed on my cases. In addition, my friends with FAPIA put their blood, sweat and tears into this campaign. Not only did they help me to gather the necessary resources to run a winning campaign, they personally came to Tampa and got their hands (and shoes dirty).
Last Tuesday night, I held my head in my hands almost crying after Sean Shaw confirmed he won election to Florida’s House of Representatives by a little more than a hundred votes. I could see the relief in Sean’s eyes as well. Waiting for a jury verdict and results from an election have certain similar emotional similarities.
For those of us that practice in the area of property damage in Colorado, June 6, 2012, is a day with much notoriety. A large wind and hail storm passed through the state, causing extraordinary damage. Even though it was classified as a catastrophic event, many insurers still challenged damages, so I represented a high volume of clients from this storm. However, this was not the only thing that happened on this date in Colorado. Governor Hickenlooper also signed into effect Senate Bill 12-038, “Concerning Measures to Protect Consumers who Engage a Roofing Contractor to Perform Roofing Services on Residential Property.” The full act is available online, but I wanted to draw your attention to certain parts of it as they have been topics of many recent phone calls.
In April I advised that Representative Jimmy Martin introduced Alabama House Bill 181 on February 11, 2016, for the regulation of public adjusters in Alabama.
Under a new law that takes effect July 1, 2016, insurers may offer a new type of personal lines residential sinkhole coverage. Florida Governor Rick Scott signed CS/CS/SB 1274 into law, which created Section 627.7151, Florida Statutes, allowing insurance companies, at their option, to provide limited sinkhole coverage for a “sinkhole loss” to homeowners—which is a lower threshold of damage than "catastrophic ground cover collapse"—and is defined as "structural damage to the covered building, including the foundation, caused by sinkhole activity."
As many readers know, Alabama does not currently license public adjusters. The Alabama State Bar takes the position that the actions of a public adjuster constitute the unlicensed practice of law.
In January of this year, House Bill. No 1991 was introduced to the Hawaii legislature that—according to the Hawaii’s Insurance Commissioner—would "define the current manner and process in which insurers are able to adjust and make payments on claims."1
You cannot make this stuff up. Anyone who reads this blog knows how frustrated I get with the insurance industry’s constant complaints that “[Fill in the Blank] is responsible for rising premiums.” The [Fill in the Blank] is always something different depending on what year it is—sinkholes, water claims, fraud, trial lawyers, hurricanes, reinsurance, political instability, public adjusters.
Since the 2016 Florida Legislative Session began in January, this blog has been following two topics very closely: Appraisal/Umpires and Assignment of Benefits. Although the door has not completely closed on possible Assignment of Benefits, it appears that there will be no action taken on the Appraisal/Umpire bills.
Less than an hour ago, the Florida House just passed House Bill 79 by a vote of 92-22. The Senate Bill has not been voted on yet and there are still some possible changes that may occur. The full House bill as passed today can be found here.