Consumer Advocate seeks to weigh in on insurance challenge
State Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha'Ron James is seeking to file a friend-of-the-court brief in a constitutional fight about a new law that forces life insurers to take additional steps to determine if policyholders have died.
United Insurance Company of America, The Reliable Life Insurance Company, Mutual Savings Life Insurance Company and Reserve National Insurance Company filed a constitutional challenge in May to the law, which was approved by the Legislature and Gov. Rick Scott earlier in the year.
James filed a motion Friday in Leon County circuit court seeking permission to submit a brief in support of the law, which the motion described as a "significant piece of consumer protection legislation."
Also last week, attorneys for state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and the Florida Department of Financial Services filed an initial document disputing the allegations in the lawsuit.
The insurers are asking a judge to block retroactive application of the law to policies that were issued dating back to 1992.
In part, the insurers argue that the additional requirements for determining if policyholders have died violate the companies' constitutional due-process rights and impair already-existing insurance contracts.
Supporters of the law said earlier this year that some life insurers had avoided paying benefits by not doing enough to determine whether policyholders had died.
News Service of Florida