The Florida Senate has passed a major property-insurance bill that targets roof-damage claims and litigation against insurance companies. Supporters of Senate Bill 76 say it will slow insurance rates for homeowners. They said private insurers are dealing with large financial losses that have led to rate increases and customers shifting to the state-backed Citizens Property Insurance Corporation for coverage. Critics say changes in the bill, including allowing insurers to limit amounts paid for roof damage, would hurt consumers and that the measure does not guarantee rates will decrease. The Senate bill would create what is described as a “reimbursement schedule” that would allow insurers to sell policies that would provide reduced payments for repairing or replacing roofs over 10 years old. Insurers could reimburse 70% of the costs for metal roofs over 10 years old and 40% of the costs for concrete-tile and clay-tile roofs. With the legislative session slated to end April 30th, the Senate will have to reach agreement with the House.

Weekly buzz