There have been several bills filed in the House and Senate that would certainly weaken legislation meant to help consumers be treated fairly and honestly.
As our insurance premiums keep rising, we continue to be covered for less and less. As I wrote in my last blog post, how could this happen and where is the accountability? Why are insurance companies never held accountable for their bad behavior for delays and non-payment of covered claims?
I always thought that when we pay our insurance premiums, we would be covered should we sustain damage to our property. This is not happening and our legislators who were elected by us, to protect us, are not doing so. They are only protecting big insurance companies.
How is this Ethical?
A recent story was published in The Washington Post slamming insurance companies for slashing Hurricane Ian payouts far below damage estimates when their own adjusters wrote larger estimates. One adjuster said his stomach dropped when he saw his estimate drastically whittled down with entire portions removed. See news story by NBC2.
As a true consumer advocate, I have witnessed this unconscionable behavior by insurance companies when they remove covered damages the field adjuster and I agree is damaged.
Last week, news media exploded when our former President came out against Gov. DeSantis for the “Worst Insurance Scam in the Entire Country by bailing out insurance companies and leaving Florida homeowners not able to repair their damaged homes”. Sadly, he is not wrong.
Published reports state that Gov. DeSantis received more than $3 million dollars in donations from Insurance company executives and agents. CFO Patronis, who regulates these same companies, received almost $2 million.
It is also truly mind boggling to me how our legislators are not standing up for consumer rights but are, instead, trying to remove your rights.
More Protections Taken Away
In a special session called by Gov. DeSantis in December 2022, a very important protection in place for countless years was taken away from every consumer in Florida.
If you had a dispute with your insurance company and they did not pay enough for your damage and they delayed or denied your claim, you had the option to file a lawsuit against them, and your attorney fees would be covered by the carrier. Not any longer.
Even while insurance company executives were taking big bonuses and collecting large salaries, they were also delaying, underpaying, and denying valid claims, and complaining to legislators that attorneys and public adjusters are the root of the problem and that they are losing money.
Legislators Can Right The Wrong
Big insurance companies want to blame everyone for their losses, yet they never point the finger at themselves for their poor claims management, claim delays and nonpayment of covered insurance claims.
Florida legislators can do something about it by holding insurance companies accountable and stop ignoring their bad behavior and how poorly they treat consumers. They should give back the consumer protections we have lost and start protecting us the way they used to.
Protect Your Rights
The bills filed contain more restrictions that will limit your access to help if you choose to get help. This should be your choice, not the choice of legislators or big insurance companies. Your voice matters - call your legislators today in opposition of HB 1185 and SB 1398. Click here to locate your legislator.
We are all consumers, we pay our insurance and we expect that the legislators that were elected by us, their constituents, would protect us and not big insurance! This is not happening, and anti-consumer bills HB 1185 & SB 1398 filed last week are far from protecting consumers.
Our insurance premiums continue to increase year after year, but our coverage keeps eroding, and we are covered for less and less. Big insurance companies want to blame everyone for their losses, yet they never point the finger at themselves for their poor claims management, claim delays and nonpayment of covered insurance claims.
What Is Going On?
Legislators want to take more of your rights away should you have a property damage insurance claim and want to restrict your ability to get help when you need it most. From the language in these bills, I believe they expect you to determine and document all your damages in critical times without the help of a public adjuster. Shouldn’t that be your choice and not theirs? Could you imagine having to get on your own roof and prove it was damaged?
Why Is This Allowed?
Yesterday, I called all our legislators and left messages asking them to oppose these bills and explained a current claim where my elderly client sustained tornado damage to her property and needed my help throughout the claim process. Her roof is irreparable, the damage is extensive, and the tile is no longer available amongst other damages to her home.
We provided the insurance company with a full report from a local contractor with proof confirming this and demanded they pay to replace her roof. Although the insurance company asked for this report, they continued to ignore the findings and requested additional roof inspections by local roofers.
Due to the continued delays and additional inspections, which confirmed what we had already confirmed, her insurance company went out of business before a payment for the roof replacement could be issued. However, during the process of delaying and underpaying their policyholder’s claims, the insurance company executives still received exorbitant bonuses all while under the watchful eye of the Office of Insurance Regulation. How could this happen?
Why aren’t insurance companies held accountable for their bad behavior? Why are the numerous consumer complaints filed with leadership being ignored? After all, our very own CFO said on television he would help, call him first. Yet, there is no help because they are tragically understaffed, nor will they get on your roof or fight with your insurance company on your behalf. Time and time again we see there is no action against insurance companies – proof as my above client’s complaint still has gone unanswered.
There have been very minimal complaints about public adjusters, I can count them on one hand, in comparison to the numerous complaints against insurance companies.
Protect Your Rights
Public Adjusters in Florida are already highly regulated more than any other state. These bills contain more restrictions that will limit your access to help if you choose to get help.
As consumers, small business owners, and true consumer advocates for 17 years, we have always put our client's needs before our own. We work tirelessly to prepare and submit claim packages, conduct all inspections with your insurance company and negotiate fair and proper claim settlements for you, our clients.
What Can You Do?
The time is now, we need your help. Please contact our legislators in opposition to these bills. Just click the link below to access their contact information.
If you have any questions about these bills, please contact us and we will be happy to discuss them with you.