Thursday, January 26, 2012

Bad faith reform defeated: likely dead for 2012 Florida legislative session

A very streamlined version of insurance "bad faith" reform failed to pass the House Civil Justice Subcommittee this week and is presumed to be dead for the 2012 Florida legislative session.

Unlike last year's complicated bill, the 2012 version would simply subject common law bad-faith (defense of third party liability claims) to the existing "civil remedy notice" protocol of section 624.155, Florida Statutes. The bill provides for a release of the insured in certain circumstances, but makes no other major changes to the statute.

A procedural move at the end of the House hearing keeps the measure technically alive.  See House panel votes down bad-faith bill (The Current).  For detail on the bill, see House Staff Analysis on HB 427 (Jan. 24, 2012).

As a result of the House subcommittee action on HB 427 (a 7-to-8 vote against the bill), there is no reason for the Senate to take up companion bill SB 1224.

A more complex bill suffered a similar fate in the House Civil Justice Subcommittee last year, later in the session (week 6, 2011), after the companion Senate bill had passed its first vote in the Senate Judiciary Committee during week 3.  See Week 6 [2011]: "busy" week for Florida insurance reform legislation.

This summary was prepared by Perry Cone and posted at

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