Once again, our lawmakers are siding with insurance companies. Representative Plakon of the Florida House has proposed legislation that takes away the Insurance Consumer Advocate’s ability to give letter grades to insurance companies based on how they treat their policyholders.
The Insurance Consumer Advocate position is established by law and is appointed by the CFO. Their job is to look out for Florida’s insurance consumers by acting as our representative in the law-making process and in various boards. Basically, the Advocate is charged with representing our best interests.
State Farm and Rep. Plakon are trying to get rid of the one independent individual who represents insurance consumers in State government. Considering the wealth of the insurance lobby, you can imagine this is quite the difficult task. It is quite the bold move to eliminate this position in light of the insurance industry’s recent push to deregulate our rates. They have also been supporting legislation that makes it harder to file a claim and get fully paid on a claim.
How have the insurance companies been able to accomplish this? Well, they have seemingly convinced lawmakers that they are losing so much money that the whole system needs to be overhauled in their favor. However, the numbers tell a different story.
For fire insurance policies, insurers made a net profit, after dividends, of $448,803,211. For homeowners and commercial property insurance, insurers made $1,666,262,684 and $49, 479,326, respectively.
Sure, insurance companies are entitled to making a profit. If they don’t make a profit then they would be unable to pay out claims. However, there’s no need to take away the Advocate’s ability to give insurers letter grades. Most importantly, there’s no need take away this power as it will only keep Floridians from understanding how fair an insurer truly is.
While this advocate in government looks out for your interests in the lawmaking process, sometimes it is necessary to hire an advocate that represents you in the courtroom. If you’re having difficulty with your insurer after filing a claim, don’t hesitate to call us so we can represent you in the claims process, and, if needed, in court.
Indeed, if you are facing a dispute over an insurance claim in Florida, contact Alvarez & Barbara, LLP toll free at 866-518-2913 for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your rights.