Introduction to Florida Insurance Laws
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation is the main governing body that oversees insurance companies and most insurance laws in the Sunshine State, except for automobile insurance laws, which are overseen by the Florida Department of Highway Safety. In the event of a dispute between an individual and an insurance company, or if a complaint is filed against an insurance company, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation will step in and investigate the alleged wrongdoing. Florida insurance laws cover a wide variety of topics, since the rules and regulations that cover home owner's insurance are going to vary greatly from laws covering automobile insurance. Because of these different rules and regulations, it's important to note that laws about this particular topic of interest are not only going to be different than other states, but they can also change on their own from year to year, as well.
Florida Traffic Insurance Laws
The Florida Department of Highway Safety is the governing body that determines specific rules for automobile insurance laws in the Sunshine State. In Florida, once an individual registers a vehicle, he or she must have an insurance policy approved specifically by the State of Florida. Florida "no fault" insurance, also referred to as personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, is the minimum insurance required by state law. A minimum of $10,000 in coverage is required, and this insurance not only covers one individual, but can also cover a family using the same vehicle. Bodily Injury Liability (BIL) is another form of insurance coverage that covers individuals who are found at fault in an auto accident. Be aware of the differences between these laws and corresponding policies.
Florida Health Insurance Regulations
There are many regulations governing health insurance in Florida. For example, all such policies are renewable, so long as the applicant did not willingly provide false information to obtain the coverage. However, as of 2009 there is also a clause protecting insurance companies which allows companies to deny coverage based on pre-existing conditions. A pre-existing condition means a condition that the patient had prior to getting insurance. Under the state law in Florida, any condition that the applicant had within 24 months before buying the policy can be counted by the insurance company as a pre-existing condition. This means that no matter how long the person has had an insurance policy, if the person holding the policy has any problems later that are related to that previous condition (even if it is years later) then that person is not covered. This is why it is important to always know all the regulations governing benefits execution.
The Florida Home Insurance Issue
There is a huge issue with home owner's insurance in Florida that is absolutely killing many home owners financially, while preventing others from buying a home and helping the battered state housing market to recover. That is cost. Tampa is one city that exemplifies this issue. Despite not having any amount of serious hurricane damage in over five years, insurance costs have skyrocketed, with many people reporting over 100% increase in that time. Making payments of $1,000 to $3,000 a month is bad enough without having another 1k a month just to spend on insurance. These issues are hammering the housing market in the state, and making it difficult for many homeowners who desperately want protection to afford it. Even Business Week magazine has ran a story on the issues home owners are facing in the Sunshine State.
Florida Health Insurance Considerations
There are many considerations to make when looking at Florida health insurance plans. It is harder to keep up with the laws and regulations for health insurance since individual companies can differ widely in policies, and the recent passage of a National Health Plan might complicate things even further in the future. The state does provide limited health coverage for children and the elderly through Medicaid programs that are available. Major considerations for a good policy in Florida should include regular physicals, emergency coverage, and reasonable co-pays.
The Office of Insurance Regulation in Florida
The Office of Insurance Regulation is the governing body in the state of Florida that is responsible for overseeing the regulation and enforcement of insurance laws in the state. The Office not only takes complaints from consumers unhappy with their insurance providers, but also has the power to file legal complaints against insurance companies on behalf of the state. The Office also provides public records of the top insurance providers of each type (home, auto, medical) of insurance in the state of Florida, as well as records of any financial reviews or business licenses revoked. If you find yourself a Florida resident and in need of assistance on any insurance matter, this is the address of the office you most likely will want to contact for further help:
The Office of Insurance Regulation
200 East Gaines St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Introduction to Florida Insurance Laws