Section 627.0629, Florida Statutes 2009
627.0629 Residential property insurance; rate filings.--
(1)(a) It is the intent of the Legislature that insurers must provide savings to consumers who install or implement windstorm damage mitigation techniques, alterations, or solutions to their properties to prevent windstorm losses. A rate filing for residential property insurance must include actuarially reasonable discounts, credits, or other rate differentials, or appropriate reductions in deductibles, for properties on which fixtures or construction techniques demonstrated to reduce the amount of loss in a windstorm have been installed or implemented. The fixtures or construction techniques shall include, but not be limited to, fixtures or construction techniques which enhance roof strength, roof covering performance, roof-to-wall strength, wall-to-floor-to-foundation strength, opening protection, and window, door, and skylight strength. Credits, discounts, or other rate differentials, or appropriate reductions in deductibles, for fixtures and construction techniques which meet the minimum requirements of the Florida Building Code must be included in the rate filing. All insurance companies must make a rate filing which includes the credits, discounts, or other rate differentials or reductions in deductibles by February 28, 2003. By July 1, 2007, the office shall reevaluate the discounts, credits, other rate differentials, and appropriate reductions in deductibles for fixtures and construction techniques that meet the minimum requirements of the Florida Building Code, based upon actual experience or any other loss relativity studies available to the office. The office shall determine the discounts, credits, other rate differentials, and appropriate reductions in deductibles that reflect the full actuarial value of such revaluation, which may be used by insurers in rate filings.
(b) By February 1, 2011, the Office of Insurance Regulation, in consultation with the Department of Financial Services and the Department of Community Affairs, shall develop and make publicly available a proposed method for insurers to establish discounts, credits, or other rate differentials for hurricane mitigation measures which directly correlate to the numerical rating assigned to a structure pursuant to the uniform home grading scale adopted by the Financial Services Commission pursuant to s. 215.55865, including any proposed changes to the uniform home grading scale. By October 1, 2011, the commission shall adopt rules requiring insurers to make rate filings for residential property insurance which revise insurers' discounts, credits, or other rate differentials for hurricane mitigation measures so that such rate differentials correlate directly to the uniform home grading scale. The rules may include such changes to the uniform home grading scale as the commission determines are necessary, and may specify the minimum required discounts, credits, or other rate differentials. Such rate differentials must be consistent with generally accepted actuarial principles and wind-loss mitigation studies. The rules shall allow a period of at least 2 years after the effective date of the revised mitigation discounts, credits, or other rate differentials for a property owner to obtain an inspection or otherwise qualify for the revised credit, during which time the insurer shall continue to apply the mitigation credit that was applied immediately prior to the effective date of the revised credit. Discounts, credits, and other rate differentials established for rate filings under this paragraph shall supersede, after adoption, the discounts, credits, and other rate differentials included in rate filings under paragraph (a).
(2)(a) A rate filing for residential property insurance made on or before the implementation of paragraph (b) may include rate factors that reflect the manner in which building code enforcement in a particular jurisdiction addresses the risk of wind damage; however, such a rate filing must also provide for variations from such rate factors on an individual basis based on an inspection of a particular structure by a licensed home inspector, which inspection may be at the cost of the insured.
(b) A rate filing for residential property insurance made more than 150 days after approval by the office of a building code rating factor plan submitted by a statewide rating organization shall include positive and negative rate factors that reflect the manner in which building code enforcement in a particular jurisdiction addresses risk of wind damage. The rate filing shall include variations from standard rate factors on an individual basis based on inspection of a particular structure by a licensed home inspector. If an inspection is requested by the insured, the insurer may require the insured to pay the reasonable cost of the inspection. This paragraph applies to structures constructed or renovated after the implementation of this paragraph.
(c) The premium notice shall specify the amount by which the rate has been adjusted as a result of this subsection and shall also specify the maximum possible positive and negative adjustments that are approved for use by the insurer under this subsection.
(3) A rate filing made on or after July 1, 1995, for mobile home owner's insurance must include appropriate discounts, credits, or other rate differentials for mobile homes constructed to comply with American Society of Civil Engineers Standard ANSI/ASCE 7-88, adopted by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development on July 13, 1994, and that also comply with all applicable tie-down requirements provided by state law.
(4) The Legislature finds that separate consideration and notice of hurricane insurance premiums will assist consumers by providing greater assurance that hurricane premiums are lawful and by providing more complete information regarding the components of property insurance premiums. Effective January 1, 1997, a rate filing for residential property insurance shall be separated into two components, rates for hurricane coverage and rates for all other coverages. A premium notice reflecting a rate implemented on the basis of such a filing shall separately indicate the premium for hurricane coverage and the premium for all other coverages.
(5) In order to provide an appropriate transition period, an insurer may, in its sole discretion, implement an approved rate filing for residential property insurance over a period of years. An insurer electing to phase in its rate filing must provide an informational notice to the office setting out its schedule for implementation of the phased-in rate filing. An insurer may include in its rate the actual cost of private market reinsurance that corresponds to available coverage of the Temporary Increase in Coverage Limits, TICL, from the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund. The insurer may also include the cost of reinsurance to replace the TICL reduction implemented pursuant to s. 215.555(17)(d)9. However, this cost for reinsurance may not include any expense or profit load or result in a total annual base rate increase in excess of 10 percent.
(6) Any rate filing that is based in whole or part on data from a computer model may not exceed 15 percent unless there is a public hearing.
(7) An insurer may implement appropriate discounts or other rate differentials of up to 10 percent of the annual premium to mobile home owners who provide to the insurer evidence of a current inspection of tie-downs for the mobile home, certifying that the tie-downs have been properly installed and are in good condition.
(8) EVALUATION OF RESIDENTIAL PROPERTY STRUCTURAL SOUNDNESS.--
(a) It is the intent of the Legislature to provide a program whereby homeowners may obtain an evaluation of the wind resistance of their homes with respect to preventing damage from hurricanes, together with a recommendation of reasonable steps that may be taken to upgrade their homes to better withstand hurricane force winds.
(b) To the extent that funds are provided for this purpose in the General Appropriations Act, the Legislature hereby authorizes the establishment of a program to be administered by the Citizens Property Insurance Corporation for homeowners insured in the high-risk account.
(c) The program shall provide grants to homeowners, for the purpose of providing homeowner applicants with funds to conduct an evaluation of the integrity of their homes with respect to withstanding hurricane force winds, recommendations to retrofit the homes to better withstand damage from such winds, and the estimated cost to make the recommended retrofits.
(d) The Department of Community Affairs shall establish by rule standards to govern the quality of the evaluation, the quality of the recommendations for retrofitting, the eligibility of the persons conducting the evaluation, and the selection of applicants under the program. In establishing the rule, the Department of Community Affairs shall consult with the advisory committee to minimize the possibility of fraud or abuse in the evaluation and retrofitting process, and to ensure that funds spent by homeowners acting on the recommendations achieve positive results.
(e) The Citizens Property Insurance Corporation shall identify areas of this state with the greatest wind risk to residential properties and recommend annually to the Department of Community Affairs priority target areas for such evaluations and inclusion with the associated residential construction mitigation program.
(9) A property insurance rate filing that includes any adjustments related to premiums paid to the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund must include a complete calculation of the insurer's catastrophe load, and the information in the filing may not be limited solely to recovery of moneys paid to the fund.
History.--s. 13, ch. 93-410; s. 7, ch. 95-276; s. 7, ch. 96-194; s. 4, ch. 97-55; s. 99, ch. 2000-141; ss. 34, 42, ch. 2001-186; ss. 3, 9, ch. 2001-372; s. 20, ch. 2002-293; s. 1067, ch. 2003-261; s. 5, ch. 2005-111; s. 14, ch. 2006-12; ss. 19, 44, ch. 2007-1; s. 12, ch. 2008-66; s. 9, ch. 2009-87.