Auto glass shops working under an “assignment of benefits” from their customers would be barred from collecting attorneys’ fees if the Florida State Legislature approves a bill that was filed late last month.
Florida Senate Bill 1038 provides that an assignment agreement is not valid unless it meets certain conditions and excludes certain language. Specifically, an assignment would not be considered valid unless it:
- Was in writing and executed by all named insurers;
- Allows all named insureds to resend the assignment agreement without any penalty or cancellation fee;
- Requires the assignee to provide a copy of the signed agreement to the insurer no later than three business days after it was executed;
- Contains a written, itemized, per unit cost estimate of the work to be performed.
In addition, the bill would prohibit the following provisions from being included:
- A penalty or fee precision of the assignment;
- A check or processing fee;
- A cancellation fee or penalty; an administrative fee.
The proposed law goes on to say that the failure to comply with any provision creates the presumption that the insurer is prejudiced and shifts the burden from the insurer to the glass shop.
The bill also says that the glass shop as the assignee must:
- Maintain records of all the services it provided;
- Cooperate with an insurer in the investigation of the claim;
- Provide the insurer with any and all records or documents that the insurer requests related to the claim;
- Submit to examinations under oath and recorded statements conducted by the insurer or its representative if the insurer requires it;
- Participate in an appraisal or alternative dispute resolution method.
The bill also says that the acceptance by a glass shop of any assignment agreement constitutes a waiver of any and all claims against all named insureds for payments arising from the specific loss.
The bill was introduced in the Florida legislature on March 7, 2017. It would take effect July 1, 2017 if passed.