LEGISLATIVE ALERT - Senate Bill 260
Senate Bill 260 has been filed in the 2010 Florida Legislature, sponsored by Senator Mike Bennett of Bradenton. This marks the third year in a row that the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has drafted and submitted this or a similar bill, and the second year in a row it has been sponsored by Senator Bennett. At this time there is no House companion. Here are the essential provisions of the bill:
- Florida would convert to a "file and use" state by which each title insurer would file a separate set of rates for approval by the OIR, with the state out of the business of setting a single promulgated rate for all title insurers
- Title agents would receive no part of the title insurance premium, but instead
- agents would charge for primary title services, closing services and title searches or components thereof actually performed by the agent, all of which charges would be
- filed with the OIR, which would make all such charges available to the public by internet posting or other means, and
- if an insurer or agent is negligent in performing their activities, the insurer is liable to the insured for damages up to three times the amount of coverage.
Contact your state Senator and let them know the devastating effects the passage of this bill would have on your practice and the jobs lost because of its provisions. You can email them stating your opposition or visit them at their offices back in their communities. If you need phone numbers, street or email addresses, or even who your guy or gal is in Tallahassee, go to Online Sunshine, Florida Senate, scroll down the left side until you come to "Know Your Legislators", put in your zip code, click go and there's all the information you should need. Remember, the 2010 session is scheduled to end April 30, so please make your contacts and deliver your message as soon as you can.
If you would like additional information, need a speaker for a group, or would like someone to accompany you to a meeting with your Senator, then don't hesitate to call or email me. We need to let our legislators know how really ugly this bill is, particularly at a time when the real estate industry is struggling to remain afloat in Florida. Let's make our message so strong that we won't have to deal with another SB 260 in 2011 or thereafter.
Senior Vice-president/Chief Legal Officer
Attorneys' Title Fund Services, LLC
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