March saw a resurgence in the number of litigated property insurance claims at Florida’s largest P&C insurers, while litigated claims related to the assignment of benefits (AOB) increased at their fastest rate since 2019, according to CaseGlide.
There is “cause for concern” as the data shows Florida’s property insurance litigation crisis is far from over.
With metrics increasing on all counts, while Notices of Intent to Initiate Litigation (NOIs) are accelerating, the situation is clearly not improving, despite attempts to reform legislature in recent years.
CaseGlide’s March 2022 data shows that the number of newly litigated claims increased by 12% from February figures.
The number dipped slightly in February, but March’s figure of 4,551 has become the second highest number of new litigated cases registered since a sharp drop off after Senate Bill 76 took effect in July of 2021.
January 2022’s 4,595 remains the highest monthly total during that period, suggesting the trend of higher litigation levels is setting in for 2022.
CaseGlide said that of the 16 largest Florida insurers that it monitors regularly, all but four showed a month-over-month increase in March 2022.
One insurer was flat compared to February figures, and three showed declines between 5% and 14%.
Of the insurers that showed an increase, two saw litigated cases rise more than 30% month-over-month, and five were between 20% and 30%.
Across the same group of large Florida insurers, Notices of Intent to Initiate Litigation (NOIs) increased 484 or 12%, to 3,395, up from February’s total of 2,740.
Importantly, NOIs have increased every month since July 2021 when this data first became available.
Taken together, new litigated cases and NOIs increased 17% month-over-month from February’s figures, CaseGlide said.
Also key to how well Florida’s property insurance market is functioning, assignment of benefits (AOB) cases as a percentage of total new litigated cases in March 2022 rose to 37%, from 34% in February.
AOB claims continue to come from the top 10 AOB contractors in the state, which together represented 31% of all AOB-related new litigated claims, with the top contractor linked to 10%.
It’s the highest figure for the AOB percentage of total cases since August of 2019, when it reached 44%.
“The trend line for combined new litigation and NOIs has been on an upward trajectory since December,” Wesley Todd, CEO of CaseGlide said.
“Add to that the increase in percentage of AOB, the highest we’ve recorded since mid-2019, and we continue to see cause for concern for the industry in Florida.
“We’re also monitoring closely the call for a proposed property insurance special session in the Florida legislature and will comment on that as the situation progresses.”
In March 2022, Miami-Dade County represented 25% of new litigated cases, Broward County was 16% and Hillsborough County, Palm Beach County, and Orange County were each 7%.
Florida’s insurance market woes could deepen this year, if litigation rates continue to remain high and no legislative changes are made.
Should the state be struck by hurricane activity this year, it could cause a glut of new litigated claims, piling on the pressure on an already fragile property insurance ecosystem.
Read coverage of Florida’s property insurance crisis below: