• Florida Office of Insurance Regulation Rulemaking Continues on Florida Property Insurance Claims Mediation Program; August 12 Hearing Scheduled
  • July 16, 2015 | Author: Megan M. Grant
  • Law Firm: Colodny Fass, P.A. - Sunrise Office
  • After a Rule Development Workshop held earlier this year, substantial changes have now been proposed for Rule 69O-166.031 entitled "Mediation of Property Insurance Claims."

    In the next step of the rulemaking process, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation ("OIR") announced yesterday, July 14, 2015, that a Rule Hearing will be held in Tallahassee on August 12, 2015 at 9:30 a.m. if requested by a member of the public by August 4.

    In its Notice, the OIR explained that the proceeding is necessary to address the invalidity of a portion of Rule 69O-166.031 as the result of the ruling in State Farm Florida Ins. Co v Unlimited Restoration Specialists, Inc., 84 So. 3d 390 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012). Further amendments to OIR Rule 69O-166.031 eliminate redundancies already contained in the DFS version governing the mediation program.

    The Rule currently governs the administrative requirements of section 627.7015, F.S. regarding the mediation of residential and commercial property insurance claims. The Florida Department of Financial Services ("DFS"), which administers the corresponding statutory mediation program, adopted Rule 69J-166.031, F.A.C. to address its various aspects comprehensively.

    At one point, OIR Rule 69O-166.031, F.A.C. was identical to the DFS version. Over time, however, the DFS version was amended separately. Since much of the OIR Rule is now redundant and thus unnecessary, Rule 69O-166.031 is being amended to merely cross reference the DFS Rule and maintain the penalty for an insurer's failure to appear at a mediation conference.