Plan to Limit Attorney Fees In FL Stalls
The Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee for now has scuttled a proposal to limit attorney fees in cases involving the insurance practice known as assignment of benefits (AOB). The committee tabled SB 122 after it concluded the measure would fail if brought up for a vote. The 2019 session of the Florida Legislature will begin March 5.
In assignment of benefits, homeowners in need of repairs sign over benefits to contractors, who ultimately pursue payments from insurance companies. Insurers contend that the practice has become riddled with fraud and litigation, while plaintiffs’ attorneys and other groups say it helps make sure claims are properly paid.
Insurers and others contend that fee limits are needed because of an increase in AOB litigation that is driving up insurance rates. Lawmakers have repeatedly considered proposals to address the issue, but have not been able to reach an agreement. Even though the bill, which focused only on attorney fees that insurers pay in many AOB disputes, has stalled, it could resurface.