TALLAHASSEE, FL, MAY 3, 2023 — The Florida Legislature this week passed legislation supported by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) to address growing fraud by dishonest glass repair facilities that lead to large legal fees and soaring insurance rates. The bill, SB 1002, sponsored by Senator Linda Stewart (D-Orlando) and Representative Griff Griffitts (R-Panama City Beach), will help ensure passenger safety and protect consumers from predatory auto glass claims and litigation. The legislation now moves on to the Governor’s office to be signed into law.
“The legislation passed by Florida lawmakers this week will help reduce fraudulent activity, improve safety conditions in Florida, and shield consumers from rising insurance rates,” said David J. Glawe, President and CEO of NICB. “NICB is especially grateful to the Florida Senate and House, as well as Senator Stewart and Representative Griffitts for their leadership on this critical issue. These reforms will go a long way toward protecting consumers from criminal actors and irresponsible litigation. NICB is proud to work together with our member companies, and Florida state and local law enforcement, to help detect, prevent, and deter insurance crimes, including auto glass fraud.”
Auto glass lawsuits in Florida increased by almost 4,000% from 2011 to 2021. Florida was also the leading state for auto glass claims in 2020 with nearly half a million claims filed. NICB reviews thousands of suspicious auto glass claims submitted by bad actors, and in combination with Arizona, Florida accounted for 74% of all questionable auto glass claims filed in the United States that year. The average glass repair in the United States in 2020 cost $294, compared with the average repair cost of $436 in Florida, representing a 59% premium for insurance claims involving auto glass. Fraudulent conduct ultimately impacts every consumer as unlawful claims lead to higher insurance premiums.
In 2022, NICB joined the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, the Florida Justice Reform Institute, and other stakeholders to help launch an initiative known as Fix the Cracks. The mission of the Fix the Cracks initiative is to address the growing problem of auto glass fraud and abuse by helping to educate the public and seeking meaningful reform to the law, including removing the assignment of benefits from Florida statute and prohibiting glass shops from offering inducements to consumers.
Learn more about Fix the Cracks here.