Florida Windshield Bill Banning Assignment of Benefits Moves Closer to Law

We can remain hopeful that the Florida Legislature will soon reign in one of the worst abuses in the private passenger auto insurance market in Florida, which stems from the longstanding law banning restrictions on Assignment Of Benefits (AOB).  Windshield glass claims are frequently brought as lawsuits at a time before insurers are given the opportunity to effect the repairs or make a good faith offer, thereby tacking on the attorney fees to the cost of the claim.  It appears relief from this abuse is perhaps on its way.  The  Insurance Journal reported this past Wednesday (April 12, 2023) that:

Bills that would ban assignment of benefits for windshield repairs moved a step closer to becoming law this week after they passed their third and final committee stops. A late amendment to the bills would bar insurance companies and agents from recommending repair shops and would allow managed repair plan endorsements.

Senate Bill 1002, sponsored by state Sen. Linda Stewart and others, was approved unanimously by the Senate Rules Committee Tuesday. The companion bill, House Bill 541, was passed by the House Commerce Committee, setting the stage for a floor vote in both chambers in the next week or so.

Both bills would end AOBs in windshield repair and would forbid shops from offering gifts to auto owners, practices that insurers have said have grown out of control in recent years and have led to a surfeit of claims lawsuits. A coalition of insurance companies, consumer advocates and anti-fraud advocates have pushed for the legislation.