The Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate represents the public in a wide range of public forums that include health care panels, public hearings, rate filings, National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Working Groups, and statutorily appointed boards or task forces. A long term government attorney, Robin Westcott, has been named as Florida’s new Insurance Consumer Advocate. The Florida Department of Financial Services noted Ms. Wescott’s experience in a press release when she was named as Executive Director of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force:
Ms. Westcott began her legal career in 1993 with the Florida Department of Insurance, Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation. Robin served with the department until 2001 when she entered private practice. Robin returned to the public sector in 2002 with the Florida Agency for Workforce Innovation where she served as Assistant General Counsel and Counsel to the Florida Partnership for School Readiness. In 2004, Robin returned to the Office of Insurance Regulation where she is currently serving as the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Property and Casualty.
In a 2007 press release noting her appointment as Director of Property and Casualty Financial Oversight at Florida’s Office of Insurance Regulation, her experience was described:
Ms. Westcott has served as the assistant director of property and casualty financial oversight since October 2006, where she monitored companies for solvency and compliance with Florida’s financial requirements for property and casualty insurance companies.
Ms. Westcott began her public service career in 2002, working as a senior attorney with the Agency for Workforce Innovation. She joined the Office in August 2004 as a senior attorney for the legal services unit. As a leader in the legal services unit, Ms. Westcott focused on the creation and licensure of new insurance companies, acquisitions, solvency issues and a variety of other regulatory actions.
Ms. Westcott’s professional experience also includes the private practice of law with a Tallahassee firm.
It appears that Robin Westcott knows the internal operations of the Office of Insurance Regulation and has technical experience regarding the regulation of insurance. I hope Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, Jeff Atwater’s, comments about her prove accurate:
Robin will be an ardent, outspoken and persistent advocate for Florida’s insurance consumers," Atwater said in a statement. "She is committed to holding insurance companies accountable and to ensuring consumers get exactly what they pay for and are protected from fraud and abuse. She has seen firsthand the tactics used to game the system and simply won’t stand for it.
Sean Shaw was an effective Insurance Consumer Advocate, despite the fact that he had little prior experience in the field of insurance. He was effective because he actually advocated for policyholders and had the courage to stand up to the insurance industry.
I hope Ms. Westcott is truly free to speak for consumers and take action that will hold insurance companies accountable to good faith claims practices.