With insurers arguing that a practice known as “assignment of benefits” is driving up costs, a Senate Republican filed a proposal Tuesday that could lead to required inspections before damaged windshields get repaired or replaced.
The bill (SB 396), filed by Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, will be considered during the 2018 legislative session, which starts in January.
Assignment of benefits has been a controversial issue in recent years, primarily because of residential water-damage claims.
But it also has become an issue in claims for windshield damage.
In assignment of benefits, policyholders sign over claims to contractors, who perform work and then pursue payment from insurers.
The insurance industry contends that the practice leads to fraud and increased litigation, while contractors and plaintiffs' attorneys argue it can help make sure insurance claims get handled properly.
Hukill's bill deals only with the windshield issue.
It would allow insurers to require inspections before windshield repairs or replacements are authorized.