While a bill in Florida has been getting a lot of attention because it would do away with the Assignment of Benefits (AOB) many glass shops use to get paid, it’s an amendment to the proposed legislation that could have even wider implications.
The amendment to HB 541 currently making its way through committees would permit insurance companies to offer a deductible option when it comes to fixing windshield damage.
There are only a handful of states in which insureds with comprehensive auto insurance coverage don’t have to worry about paying deductibles for damaged windshields. Florida is one of those zero-deductible states. According to Florida statutes, deductible provisions of car insurance policies providing comprehensive or combined-additional coverage cannot be applied to damaged windshields. That means motorists with sufficient coverage won’t pay out of pocket for a portion of the cost of the windshield’s repair or replacement.
HB 541, introduced by Rep. Philip Griffitts in January 2023, would prohibit policyholders from entering into assignment-of-benefit (AOB) agreements starting with issuances on or after July 1, 2023. On March 14, the Insurance and Banking Subcommittee found the measure “favorable” and advanced it to the Civil Justice Subcommittee. The Insurance and Banking Subcommittee also made some amendments to the proposed legislation, one of which pertains to deductibles for damaged windshield claims.
Insurance companies would be allowed to offer $250 deductibles when issuing or renewing comprehensive coverage, though the customer would have the right to decline that offer.
“The bill allows an insurer, when issuing or renewing a policy providing comprehensive coverage or combined additional coverage, to offer an insured or applicant a deductible of $250 for claims of damage to the windshield of a motor vehicle,” according to the Insurance and Banking Subcommittee’s analysis. “The insured or applicant may decline the offer of the deductible.”
“The bill also establishes that, if a deductible for comprehensive coverage or combined additional coverage is applied to a loss that includes other damage in addition to windshield damage, no windshield damage deductible may apply,” the subcommittee continues.