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.