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Wednesday, June 30, 2021

New Florida Laws Go into Effect on July 1

 By Kerry Smith

Three bills from the 2021 final report on the Legislature become effective Thursday, including a new property insurance law and $900M to help the environment.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida Realtors® advocated for a number of issues in the 2021 session of the Florida Legislature, including three that were signed by Gov. DeSantis and go into effect on Thursday, July 1.

Property insurance: The first, SB 76, is a comprehensive property insurance bill that implements several measures intended to address rising insurance costs within the state, by generally tightening some issues that can lead to rising insurance costs, including:

  • Limiting some of the things contractors may do in relation to insurance claims for roof damage
  • Limiting the fees attorneys representing claimants may receive
  • Requiring policyholders to file claims within three years of a loss
  • Strengthening Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) oversight of companies affiliated with Florida property insurers
  • Requiring Florida residential property insurers to file a comprehensive annual report with OIR regarding closed claims
  • Increases the 10% cap on Citizens rate increases by 1% annually beginning in 2022, until the cap reaches 15% in 2026

Environment: As part of the state budget, nearly $900 million will also be available to help the environment on July 1. This year’s fiscal budget includes money for:

  • Everglades restoration: $487 million
  • Springs protection: $50 million
  • Beach projects: $100 million
  • The Wastewater Grant Program: $116 million
  • The Resilient Florida Grant Program: $29 million

The federal American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 passed during the pandemic also includes a total of $1.08 billion in federal funding that has been allocated for several of the environmental programs.

Unlicensed activity: The Florida Legislature also allocated up to $500,000 to be used during the new fiscal year to prevent unlicensed real estate activity.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

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