Taylor Day Law

The Briefing

Author: Jacquelyn Mereness

Gov. Ron DeSantis OKs Bill On Assignment of Benefits Reform

Gov. Ron DeSantis OKs Bill On Assignment of Benefits Reform

            After 7 years of failed attempts, Governor Ron Desantis recently signed a bill to reform Assignment of Benefits (“AOB”) in Florida.  In general, AOB agreements allow policyholders to give up their insurance contract rights to third-parties in exchange for quick repairs and relief from the hassle of dealing with claims.             In recent years, many contractors have taken advantage of Florida’s unique one-way attorney’s fee-shifting statute for insurance coverage litigation.  The rule incentivized contractors to, via the AOB mechanism, charge property owners’ outrageous amounts and to then pursue needless, often frivolous, and expensive litigation against insurance companies.             According to the new bill, an AOB must: (1) Be in writing and executed by and between the assignor and the assignee; (2) Contain a provision that allows the assignor to rescind the assignment agreement without a penalty or fee by submitting a written notice of rescission signed by the assignor to the assignee within 14 days after the execution of the agreement, at least 30 days after the date work on the property is scheduled to commence if the assignee has not substantially performed, as at least 30 days after the execution of the agreement if the agreement does not contain a commencement date and the assignee has not begun substantial work on the policy; (3) Contain a provision requiring the assignee to provide a copy of the executed assignment agreement to the insurer within 3 business days after the date on which  the assignment agreement is executed or the […]

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State Farm Wins at 2nd DCA in PIP Payment Dispute

The 2nd DCA recently ruled in favor of State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company in a long-awaited decision!  In State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company v. MRI Associates of Tampa, Inc., d/b/a Park Place MRI, No. 2D16-4036 (Fla. 2nd DCA May 18, 2018), there was a dispute regarding how much should be paid for MRIs performed on State Farm insureds after motor vehicle accidents.  The case stems from 19 MRI claims resulting from motor vehicle accidents in 2013 where the insured had Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) coverage with State Farm.  State Farm paid the submitted bills pursuant to its policy language, which allows State Farm to limit the payments to the schedule of charges.  Despite the clear language of the policy, the MRI provider challenged the reduced charges, arguing that State Farm’s policy did not properly notify the insureds of its election to pay bills via the schedule of maximum charges. According to the opinion, “[t]he circuit court ruled that State Farm’s personal injury protection (PIP) policy failed to clearly and unambiguously elect to limit reimbursement payments to the schedule of maximum charges” described in the No-Fault statute.  The 2nd DCA reversed that holding, and found that the express language of State Farm’s PIP policy clearly and unambiguously elected to limit reimbursement payments for medical expenses to the schedule of maximum charges pursuant to the No-Fault statute. Although we are pleased the 2nd DCA took the correct position regarding State Farm’s policy language and an insurer’s right to limit reimbursement […]

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