With Florida property insurers trying to curb lawsuits, a Leon County circuit judge has refused to block a decision by Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier that could steer at least some disputes away from courtrooms.
Judge Angela Dempsey last week rejected a request by contractors for a preliminary injunction against Altmaier’s decision early this year to approve policy changes proposed by American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida.
The changes involve trying to shift claims disputes to mediation and arbitration, rather than civil lawsuits.
The changes offer premium discounts to policyholders who agree to use mediation and, if that doesn’t resolve the disputes, to go to binding arbitration. Customers would have to pay their attorney fees in disputes that go to mediation and arbitration.
Contractors are often heavily involved in claims disputes, as they can be assigned insurance benefits and pursue payments.