The Florida Senate Banking and Insurance Committee held a public hearing last Tuesday. The video above is my very brief testimony at the hearing where I questioned the Hurricane Irma Closed Claim statistics provided by Florida’s Insurance Commissioner, David Altmaier. The Commissioner was a math teacher before joining the Office of Insurance Regulation. I have no idea what training he has had regarding what constitutes wrongful claims practices and he has never reached out to any policyholder consumer groups I am familiar with.

Florida’s insurance commissioner was pretty upset with the hearing, I think the 24% of closed claims following Hurricane Irma is a statistic which is completely misleading if he was referring to homeowner and commercial property insurance claims. He also had a Pensacola restoration contractor suggest that his office was simply missing the unfair claims practices some insurers engage in as a general practice. Maybe math classes do not teach insurance leaders how to find insurers that may abuse policyholders?

Our law firm of now over fifty attorneys represents policyholders nationally. Unlike Florida’s insurance commissioner, who has his lobby filled with insurance company lobbyists, our waiting rooms and phones are filled with policyholders having problems getting paid following a property insurance loss. We hear from contractors and public adjusters about all kinds of problems insurance companies create for policyholders during the claims process.

Perhaps Commissioner Altmaier or one of his deputies would like to spend a day with us and a day with that Pensacola restoration contractor? If he and his office are truly looking for evidence of problems facing many Hurricane Irma policyholders, we can help show him and his staff.

  • shirley heflin

    Dear Chip:

    Call me paranoid but there’s lots of reasons why Florida’s Insurance Commissioner is clueless; he’s not the first in that position to fit that bill. Gee, the word “lobbyists” comes to mind.

    Respectfully,
    SHIRLEY HEFLIN
    Tampa, FL