The majority of voters in Florida believe that lawsuits significantly contribute to the rising cost of homeownership, according to a 2019 survey. Moreover, Floridians also think that lawsuit reform is a must to keep homes affordable within the state.
The survey showed that 87% of Florida residents were particularly concerned about the multiplier fee — this encourages attorneys to take on a case since they can collect up to 30 times what you can get in an insurance dispute. As such, when insurers are required to pay hefty legal fees, the insurance rates, in turn, would also increase.
Experts forecasted that the cost of homeowners’ insurance could increase tenfold over the next decade. The worst part: higher insurance rates entail rising homeownership costs.
To combat the lawsuit issues in Florida, Senate Bill 914 has been introduced to the House. The bill already passed the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee and should keep homeowners’ insurance rates low by putting an end to multiplier fees and reducing attorney fees. The said legislation also requires attorney fees for property claims to be reasonable and fair.
Aside from the SB 914, a companion bill — PCB JDC 20-03 — was introduced to the House as well. This reflects a strong initiative to reform the legal climate in Florida considering that The Sunshine State is one of the worst places for unjust legal environments.