Construction company calls for new property insurance law
A case that challenges a new Florida Property Insurance Act Filed by a Hillsborough County construction company has found its way to federal court.
In the case heard by the senior US district judge Mark Walker On Friday, Gale Force Roofing and Restoration, LLC argued that the new measure violates the First Amendment. As of Saturday morning, Judge Walker did not publish a verdict on court records.
In June, the company filed a lawsuit to challenge part of the law that was enacted to prevent contractors from advertising to induce property owners to file roof damage claims on the grounds that it was against protection violate freedom of expression.
The legislator has passed the measure end of April in an attempt, advocates argue, to address rising property insurance rates. Proponents of the bill argued that questionable roof damage claims played a significant role in the cost increase.
The statement (SB76), sponsored by Bradenton Republican Sen. Jim Boyd, wanted to crack down on contractors, push customers to make unnecessary repairs and bill insurance providers. It also tried to cut legal fees related to challenged claims that land in court.
In the lawsuit, the Gale Force Roofing and Restoration said it is promoting inspections of storm damage to roofs that it can no longer perform under the new law, which is considered “prohibited advertising”. The law came into force on July 1st.
The company also alleges in the lawsuit that the law is aimed at reducing the number of insurance claims filed, rather than to combat fraud.
But lawyers from the State Department of Business and Professional Regulation Secretary Julie Brown – the defendant in the case – denies that the law’s limitations violate the rights of the First Amendment.
The file states, for example: “Targeted digital advertising or e-mails, door hangers or personally handed brochures are prohibited if and only if they encourage a homeowner to make an umbrella insurance claim. Radio and television advertising is allowed because it is not aimed at a ‘specific person’. “
The filing also states that Florida has a “compelling government interest” in ensuring homeowners are protected from skyrocketing insurance rates and have access to coverage. The document states that contractor fraud drives costs up.
Florida Intelligence contributed to this report.