DeSantis signs windshield lawsuit crackdown


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Posted May 31, 2023 | Florida News Service

In a victory for auto insurers, Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill that seeks to curb lawsuits over insurance claims for windshield damage. The measure (SB 1002) was one of 27 bills that DeSantis signed, according to his office. Lawmakers passed the bills during the legislative session that ended May 5.

The windshield-related bill will bar a controversial practice known as “assignment of benefits,” or AOB, that insurers contend fuels lawsuits over claims. Also, the bill will prevent glass shops from offering such things as gift cards and rebates to motorists making claims. Assignment of benefits involves policyholders signing over claims to contractors, who then pursue payments from insurers.

Contractors say assigning benefits can help consumers, who might not have experience dealing with insurance companies. Also, operators of independent glass shops have argued they sometimes need to file lawsuits because insurers don’t fairly pay for their work. The bill will prevent insurers from requiring policyholders to use particular companies for windshield replacements.

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