Auto Glass AOB, Personal Injury Repeal on Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance Agenda Tomorrow
Date Published: 12-04-2017
The Florida Senate Committee on Banking and Insurance ("Committee") meets tomorrow, December 5, 2017, with a packed agenda of insurance-related bills for consideration.
To access the meeting materials, click here.
The agenda includes the following bills:
SB 150 by Senator Tom Lee relating to Motor Vehicle Insurance
SB 150 would repeal Florida's Motor Vehicle No-Fault Law ("No-Fault"), which requires every owner and registrant of a motor vehicle in Florida to maintain $10,000 in Personal Injury Protection ("PIP") insurance coverage. SB 150 would replace the PIP coverage mandate with a medical payments coverage mandate of $5,000. Medical payments coverage under the bill would provide substantially similar coverage to current PIP medical benefits, except that it would provide reimbursement for 100 percent of covered medical losses, whereas PIP reimburses only 80 percent of covered medical losses. The bill would also eliminate the limitations on recovering pain and suffering damages from PIP policyholders.
SB 150 also would enact financial responsibility requirements for damages for liability on account of accidents arising out of the ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle in the amount of:
- Beginning January 1, 2019, through December 31, 2020, $20,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one crash, and subject to that limit for one person, $40,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in any one crash.
- Beginning January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2022, $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one crash, and subject to that limit for one person, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in any one crash.
- Beginning January 1, 2023, and thereafter $30,000 for bodily injury or death of one person in any one crash, and subject to that limit for one person, $60,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in any one crash.
The bill retains the current $10,000 financial responsibility requirement for property damage.
The repeal of No-Fault and the financial responsibility requirements for bodily injury would take effect January 1, 2019.
SB 396 by Senator Dorothy Hukill relating to Motor Vehicle Insurance Coverage for Windshield Glass
SB 396 provides that an automobile insurance policy may require an inspection of a damaged windshield before the windshield repair or replacement is authorized by the insurer. Current Florida law provides that the deductible provisions of an automobile insurance policy providing comprehensive or combined additional coverage do not apply to damage to a windshield covered under the policy. While current law does not prohibit insurers from requiring inspections, SB 396 affirmatively states that an insurer may require an inspection before authorizing windshield repair or replacement.
SB 678 would require a landlord of residential real property to provide notice in the rental agreement whether the tenant is required to obtain renters insurance and, if so, to specify the coverage required. If the rental agreement does not require renters insurance, the rental agreement would be required to provide a statement regarding the benefit of purchasing renters insurance.
SB 386 by Senator Rene Garcia relating to Consumer Finance
SB 386 allows consumer finance loans made pursuant to Chapter 516, F.S. to be repaid in installments due every two weeks, semimonthly or monthly. Under current Florida law, only monthly installment payments are allowed. SB 386 would require that such a loan be repaid in approximately equal periodic installments, but the final payment may be less than the amount of the prior installments. The bill clarifies that the maximum delinquency charge for each payment in default at least 10 days may not exceed $15. SB 386 would take effect on July 1, 2018.
SB 660 by Senator Jeff Brandes relating to Florida Insurance Code Exemption for Nonprofit Religious Organizations
SB 660 would amend Florida law governing health care-sharing ministries to reflect changes in how these entities operate. A health care-sharing ministry is a health care cost-sharing arrangement among persons of similar and sincerely held beliefs, administered by a not-for-profit religious organization.
Some health care sharing ministries act as a clearinghouse to allow one or more members to directly pay the medical expenses of another member. Others receive funds from members and use those funds to pay authorized medical expenses when members request payment. While these entities help participants pay for health care services, they are not insurance companies and are not regulated by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
Participants in health care sharing ministries are exempt from the tax penalty for failure to obtain health insurance in federal law. Current law limits participation in the health care-sharing ministry to those who share the same religion. SB 660 would allow participation by those who "share a common set of ethical or religious beliefs." It also would mandate that the health care-sharing ministry provide for the financial or medical needs of a participant through contributions from other participants. Current law requires the health care sharing ministry must provide for financial or medical needs by direct payments from one participant to another.
The bill allows direct payments but also allows payments from a fund to a participant. It would require on a monthly basis that the health care-sharing ministry provide participants with the amount of qualified needs actually shared in the previous month. It also creates an annual audit requirement that does not exist in Florida law.
The bill requires a more extensive notice to participants that the health care-sharing ministry is not an insurance company and that no participant is required by law to assist others with medical expenses.
SB 376 by Lauren Book relating to Workers' Compensation Benefits for First Responders
SB 376 would revise Florida workers' compensation benefits and standards for determining benefits for employment-related mental or nervous injuries of law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or paramedics. If passed, the bill would generally increase the likelihood of eligibility for such injured workers to receive workers' compensation indemnity benefits for post-traumatic stress disorder.
SB 376 would also authorizes the payment of indemnity benefits pursuant to ch. 440, F.S. to a law enforcement officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic that experiences post-traumatic stress disorder unaccompanied by a physical injury if certain conditions are met.
SB 162 by Senator Greg Steube relating to Payment of Health Care Claims
SB 162 would prohibit health insurers and health maintenance organizations ("HMOs") from retroactively denying a claim at any time if the insurer or HMO verified the eligibility of an insured or subscriber at the time of treatment and provided an authorization number. Provisions of the bill apply to policies or contracts issued or renewed on or after January 1, 2018. Medicaid managed care plans would be exempt from the provisions of the bill.
Currently, a health insurer or HMO may retroactively deny a claim because of an insured's ineligibility up to one year after the payment of the claim. Under existing law, the patient is responsible for those claims, which potentially exposes the physician to financial risk if the patient does not pay the claims, the Committee legislative analysis notes.
The Committee also pointed out that SB 162 would have an estimated negative fiscal impact of $166,347 on the current fully-insured HMO plan in the State Group Insurance.
Should you have any questions or comments, please contact Colodny Fass.
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