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Westmont Wire

Florida’s Assignment of Benefits Bill Makes it to the Governor’s Desk

As a follow up to last week’s Wire regarding a Florida bill reforming existing assignment of benefits (“AOB”) laws, the Florida Senate passed House Bill 7065. On April 24, 2019, the Senate approved the bill and sent it to Governor Ron DeSantis’ desk for his signature.

HB 7065 allows insurers to offer residential or commercial property or automobile insurance policies with restrictions on the AOB, in whole or in part. The AOB reformations contained in the Bill are intended to slow down the vast increase in the filing of AOB cases throughout Florida.

For any questions regarding House Bill 7065, or for updates on the bill’s progress, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc

Florida House Passes an Assignment of Benefits Reform Bill

On April 11, 2019, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill attempting to create a reduction in the number of alleged assignment of benefits abuse cases. If it makes it through the remaining regulatory hurdles, HB 7065 would allow insurance companies to restrict assignments of benefits, in whole or in part, on residential or commercial property policies and automobile policies. Additionally, HB 7065 requires the third-party assignee to perform certain pre-lawsuit duties in order to seek direct payment from the insurance company, such as providing complete records of the repair.

The Florida Senate has a similar bill, Senate Bill 122, currently sitting with the Senate Rules Committee. If approved, the bills will be reconciled and presented to the Governor for his signature. The insurance industry has been seeking legislation to curb abusive assignment of benefits cases for a number of years.

For any questions regarding House Bill 122, or for updates on the bill’s progress, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.

Louisiana Issues Directive Clarifying Position on Property Insurance Rates

On March 22, 2019, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (“LDI”) issued Directive 215 clarifying its position on La. R.S. § 22:1460(I)(1)(c), which prohibits the grouping of higher classified public fire protection areas with lower classified public fire protection areas in order to determine fire insurance rates.

Directive 215 specifies that insurers shall not apply the same premium or use the same factor to calculate premiums for any two fire protection areas. The Directive goes on to state that all insurers authorized to write fire insurance, including fire and allied lines for personal or commercial property and homeowners’ insurance policies, must adhere to La. R.S. § 22:1460(I)(1)(c) and comply with the rates and rules of the Property Insurance Association of Louisiana (“PIAL”), subject to certain exceptions under La. R.S. § 22:1468.

The LDI mandates that insurers authorized to write fire and allied lines or homeowners’ insurance review their rate manuals and rules currently in place to ensure compliance with Directive 215 and La. R.S. § 22:1460(I)(1)(c). Any insurer not in compliance with the new regulations must file with the LDI updated rates by August 1, 2019 to be effective on or before January 1, 2020.

For questions regarding Directive 215 and La. R.S. § 22:1460(I)(1)(c), or for assistance in any rate filing matters, please contact Westmont Associates, Inc.


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