Last year our Florida legislators decided to restrict the ability of many small businesses in the State of Florida from earning a decent wage, and restricting their ability to market their services. Our legislators sided with the insurance companies over hard working Floridians still feeling the effects of the worst recession of our generation.
On the other hand, our legislators made it easier for insurance companies to raise the rates of your homeowners policy despite the unprecedented run of 6 straight years without a hurricane strike in the State of Florida. Indeed, insurance rates are going up for Floridians despite a record 6 Hurricane free years.
Insurance companies are raising rates, and our legislators have made it easier for them to raise rates, because insurance companies have complained for years that public adjusters are simply getting too much money from the insurance companies when they submit a claim as opposed to what they pay when a homeowner submits a claim without the assistance of a public adjuster.
As part of a sweeping law that Florida’s legislators passed, public adjusters who represent Citizens policy holders are prohibited from getting paid for their services until Citizens actually makes an offer. The law also limits what public adjusters can charge after that initial offered is received.
Public adjusters are hired by policyholders to prepare, file or complete claims. The new law restricts fees for public adjusters representing Citizens policyholders to 10 percent over the original amount the insurer offered for a claim.
A lawsuit was recently filed challenging that law. One of the reasons for the challenge is that the law in question is vague. It is vague because the law does not define an “original offer.” However, Citizens has apparently taken the position it is a written offer after the insurer has adjusted and investigated the claim.
In other words, the law does not permit public adjusters to get paid for performing inherent and necessary tasks until Citizens has made a nebulous, vague and undefined “original offer.”
The same law also restricts and caps the fees a public adjuster can charge for their services on claims involving Citizens. But those restrictions on fees do not apply to claims against other insurance companies.
Our Miami insurance dispute lawyers handle insurance claims for homeowners. Our attorneys represented insurance companies before 2006, when we opened a firm dedicated to fighting for the rights of consumers. We understand how insurance companies work. And we have the knowledge and experience necessary to represent homeowners in disputes over an insurance claim.