“He clothes his hands with lightning and commands it to strike its mark.” Job 36:32
A momentous change in property insurance claims has unfolded in Florida with the introduction of Senate Bill 2-A (https://www.flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2022A/2A). This new legislation, which took effect on December 16, 2022, has significantly altered the landscape of attorney fee coverage. In the past, insurance companies were held accountable for paying attorney fees when they wrongfully denied claims. However, the enactment of SB 2-A has absolved insurance companies from this responsibility, even in cases where claims were improperly denied.
The previous law was founded on the premise that attorney fees were necessary due to insurers’ failure to handle claims appropriately, thus necessitating litigation. With the advent of SB 2-A, insurers can now exploit this legal provision to minimize expenses associated with litigation, as they will only be liable for the amount awarded in the claim itself.
Since the inception of SB 2-A, any insurance policies issued or renewed in Florida after December 16, 2022, will be subject to the changes imposed by the new law. Policies initiated or renewed prior to this date will continue to be governed by the previous legislation. Consequently, claims related to events such as Hurricane Ian will still fall under the purview of the previous law, and the new changes will not apply.
If you find yourself needing to file a property insurance claim in Florida and your policy became effective after the aforementioned date, you will now bear the burden of your own attorney fees, regardless of the outcome of your case. This means that your attorney will either need to receive a percentage of any recovery you obtain through property insurance litigation or you will have to personally cover the fees.
Regrettably, this change in the law may hinder your ability to fully recover from the incident in question, regardless of whether you win or lose your case. Even if your claim is successful, the compensation you receive will likely be less than what you would have obtained prior to the implementation of this new law. In the unfortunate event that your case is unsuccessful, you will still be responsible for the attorney fees associated with the litigation, which could further impede your ability to repair the damages you have suffered.
It is crucial to recognize that Florida’s insurance laws undergo frequent changes. At Boltz Legal, our dedicated team is committed to staying abreast of these modifications in order to effectively represent our clients’ interests. Although alterations like this are not uncommon, it is ultimately the policyholders who bear the brunt of the consequences when they are wronged by their insurance companies. Nevertheless, we remain proud to stand by your side and provide legal representation in property insurance litigation if you believe your claim has been unjustly denied. Our goal is to ensure that you receive the support and advocacy you deserve in navigating the complexities of Florida’s evolving insurance landscape.