The insurance and reinsurance industry would have welcomed “reforms that helped the industry today” in Florida’s property insurance market, according to the CEO of CaseGlide, as notices of intent to litigate claims rose 10% in the state in May.
That’s according to the latest data update from CaseGlide, which tracks property insurance related litigation trends in the state of Florida.
The number of new litigated claims actually declined in May 2022 by 14% from April figures.
The 4,047 litigated claims in Florida’s insurance market is a decline from April’s 4,702 and the drop is a clear contrast to a steady three-month increase that occurred from February through April.
But, it’s unlikely the decline is an immediate impact of the property reforms enacted by the legislature in Florida and these are expected to take longer to deliver any meaningful benefits to insurance and reinsurance interests operating in the state.
“May was a concerning month for the Florida homeowners insurance industry. As most in the industry know by now, the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bills 2D and 4D, which included some much-needed litigation reform,” CaseGlide CEO Wesley Todd explained.
Adding that, “We believe, however, that it will likely take several quarters before insurers see any benefits and that many insurers would have welcomed reform that helped the industry today. It will be interesting to see how the plaintiff attorneys respond in the short- and long-term, and we will continue to monitor the changes to keep our clients and the industry informed.”
There was a month-over-month decrease in litigated claims in May for all of the 16 largest Florida insurers CaseGlide tracks, with four showing declines between 20% and 35%.
Seven had month-over-month drops in litigated claims of between 10% and 20%, and the remaining five between 1% and 9%.
However, Notices of Intent to Initiate Litigation (NOIs) increased by 278, or 10% in May 2022, to 3,077—up from April’s figure of 2,799. But, combined new litigated cases and NOIs decreased 5% month-over-month from April’s figures.
The percentage of new litigated cases that feature an assignment of benefit (AOB) claim remained static at 36% in May, meaning that AOB percentages of new litigation continue to remain higher than at any month in 2021.
Finally, Miami-Dade County remains the Florida leader, in percentage of new litigation at 22%, followed by Broward at 16%, Palm Beach at 8%, Orange at 7% and Hillsborough at 6%.
With carriers in Florida calling for meaningful change, more meaningful than has currently been enacted in the reforms, and reports suggesting it could be years for the reinsurance market to regain full-confidence in Florida, Todd’s comments are aligned with how the industry views the outcome of the recent legislative Special Session.
More Florida property insurance reform therefore feels essential and inevitable.
But the next Florida session where reforms can be tabled isn’t until May 2023, right in advance of the reinsurance renewals again.
As a result, it would not be a surprise if there are calls for another special session to try and rectify Florida’s issues well in-advance of its insurers needing to go through another difficult reinsurance renewal season.
Read our coverage of Florida’s property insurance crisis below: