This blog has followed the procedure and politics behind the departure of Kevin McCarty as Florida’s Insurance Commissioner. Commissioner McCarty has been a wonderful servant to the people of Florida. More specifically, he has been an excellent insurance commissioner under very difficult circumstances.
In this recent article, McCarty offered some outgoing words of wisdom that reflect his fair and balanced view of Florida’s property insurance market.
State-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has warned that its customers in the tri-county area could see indefinite 10 percent rate hikes starting next year if costly water loss claims, unrelated to storms, and attorneys fees from related lawsuits are not brought under control. Several other insurers are seeking rate increases this year.
And while insurance companies blame shady contractors and attorneys, McCarty said insurers need to more quickly respond to customers with legitimate water loss claims so those customers don’t reach out to "fraudsters" first.
"They could all do a better job of communicating the importance of contacting your insurance company in the event of a loss," he said. "Let’s be candid, [contacting insurance companies] is not always easy to do. And that may be the beginning of the problem."
The comments by McCarty somewhat mirror my own thoughts on this topic. As I have often said, if the carriers quickly respond to customers and fairly adjust the claim, no one else gets involved (public adjusters, contractors, attorneys). While I disagree with the notion that “fraudsters” or “shady contractors and attorneys” are the primary cost drivers for insurance rates, I do believe that the carriers own behavior towards their insureds is part of the problem. Florida is losing an insurance commissioner who, despite the political atmosphere in Florida, understood the importance of balance over rhetoric. Thank you Kevin.