2012 FLORIDA HOUSE BILL PROPOSES AMENDMENTS TO INSURER BAD FAITH STATUTE

A bill introduced into the Florida House of Representatives on October 20, 2012 proposes changes to the state’s insurer bad faith law that are far less sweeping than those advanced in 2011 by HB 1187 and SB 1592, both of which encountered solid opposition and failed to pass. 2012 HB 0427 seeks to amend section 624.155, Florida Statutes, to add the following provisions:
1. A civil remedy notice (CRN) would be required as a prerequisite to the initiation of claims for both statutory and common-law bad faith.
2. The CRN must identify the common-law duty allegedly breached, if the claim is one for common-law bad faith.
3. If the claim is one for failure to pay or to tender monies, the CRN must include the amount of such monies.
4. The insurer’s tender of the amount demanded in the CRN or policy limits constitutes cure or the alleged violation, irrespective of the circumstances giving rise to the violation.
5. If the claimant files the CRN and the insurer tenders policy limits or the amount demanded in the CRN, the insured is entitled to a general release from the claimant.
6. If the insured files the CRN and the claimant accepts the insurer’s tender, the insured is entitled to a general release from the claimant.
7. The filing of a CRN tolls the statute of limitations for both statutory and common-law bad faith claims for 65 days.