Insurance company lawyers and lobbyists are a crafty crew. Kelly Kubiak got word from me after I learned late Tuesday afternoon that Florida legislators needed to hear from her early Wednesday morning regarding a proposed law that would let delaying, denying and wrongful acting insurance companies obtain a “get out of free jail card” so long as a claim was paid 20-60 days after appraisal. Kelly changed her schedule and travelled up to Tallahassee to do work For the PolicyholderTM.

State Farm is using its own policyholders’ premiums to pay for huge lobbying costs against its own customers. A chief lobbyist against consumers and for property insurers not being held accountable for their wrongful conduct is Holland & Knight’s Mark Delegal.

Delegal is a lawyer simply doing his job and plying his trade as a superb lobbyist. But, in this case, he’s pushing a law that would effectively let wrongful and unethically acting insurance companies that break the law through delay, denial, and untimely payment of insurance claims do so without accountability. Under his proposed law, so long as the matter drags out through an appraisal and then the insurer pays the appraisal award within the policy grace period—Usually 20-60 days—the wrongful insurer would now be exempt from laws protecting insurance consumers since 1982.1

This proposed bill represents bad public policy. It is very harmful to policyholders as well as to insurers that act in good faith and timely pay their claims. Guilty and cheating insurers are treated just the same as law abiding insurers. Policyholders with insurers that delay, underpay and fail to act in good faith are left with no recourse despite having to endure claims not being fully and timely paid.

I spoke with insurance company attorney and insurance claims expert John Pappas about the proposed law. He reminded me that during the Windstorm Insurance Conference panel which he participated, John opined that if an insurer learned of reasons to pay more on a claim at any time, the insurer should pay more promptly as a matter of good faith. Honest and ethical claims handling would demand it.

While I can certainly understand the different viewpoints and the difficulty of finding the proper laws to reform issues relating to the Assignment of Benefit contracts currently pending before the legislature, this proposed law is simply bad for policyholders and honest acting insurance companies. Laws and ethical standards without any accountability are worthless. Indeed, when we take away accountability, some otherwise good faith acting insurers will be even more prone to act wrongfully and disregard their ethical obligations.

Why should we make laws that support bad players and wrongful actors? Policyholders with delayed and wrongfully denied Hurricane Irma and Michael claims are already upset and angry. Wait until they hear what their own insurers are trying to get legislators to gut their legal rights.

Could policyholders show up and protest their treatment in Tallahassee as I noted policyholders did in Austin after Hurricane Ike?

Here is the full video where Kelly Kubiak testified.

Here is a link to the proposed law.

Thoughts For The Day

This is the fundamental problem with the ruling class in Washington, D.C. – the party bosses, the K Street crowd, the lobbyists who control all these politicians. They will do anything to maintain their power. They will do anything. They will say anything.
—Corey Lewandowski

And

I have had lobbyists, and I have had some very good ones. They could do anything.
—Donald Trump
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1 Fla. Stat. §626.9541.

  • Edward Fako

    Kelly Kubiak is a superb Attorney to have represent the Rights of Policy Holders Chip. It was a pleasure meeting her in person and you again at the Windstorm Network Conference.

    This issue is Sooo Constructively Essential to the well being of Thousands Upon Thousands of Policy Holders, regardless of the few bad actors who excessively use the AOB/AOC for illicit means.

    Just moments ago, I finished reading the 51 page Petitioners Brief in;
    RESTORATION 1 OF PORT ST. LUCIE, a/a/o John and Liz Squitieri, v. ARK ROYAL INSURANCE COMPANY.

    I found the 160+ year Case Law and logic seemingly irrefutable, yet the Insurers continue to throw more darts at the designated target.

    I Sincerely Pray that the Legislature has as much legal, Citizen Protection Common Sense And Empathy to continue allowing disaster victims to Assign their claim rights to get their lives back in order in as timely of a fashion as possible.

    The repercussions of creating an institutionally intended Delay on proceeding with Emergency Repairs would be heart breaking, to say the least. No Contractors would take on immediate mitigation repair work without a guarantee of payment rights, which now would likely increase the severity and extent if damages ensuing the original loss. This could lead to the still ongoing victimization of Friends And Neighbors, aka, Policy Holders being disparaged in similar fashion to those still suffering in the wake of Superstorm Sandy and Hurricane Katrina. REVOLTING!!!

    I personally sense that this is the Insurance Carriers collective desire though, by Force Placed Program Preferred Vendor Requirements implemented Contractually right in the Policy to limit and curtail their financial expenses in the claims payouts segment of their accounting of profits and losses.

    Now, it’s time to watch Kelly testifying on video. Thank You ALL For Your Perseverance And Diligent Support!!!

    Sincerely,

    Ed Fako
    InsuranceClaimAppraisals@gmail.com

    • Ed,
      Thank you for your kind comments.
      I would encourage you and everybody to contact legislators about this issue. Here
      are some tips from the Florida Senate about effective communications.

      https://www.flsenate.gov/About/EffectiveCommunication

      • Edward Fako

        Thank You Chip,

        I will immediately post about how to have conscientious voices heard, to voice their opinions on this very important issue that can have a profound affect on hundreds of thousands of disaster victims over the next decades.

        What tips do you suggest that allows the comments to be most widely heard, felt and acted on in addition to contacting the Legislature Link?

        Are there multiple venues to contact to sent the same unified messages to the decision makers in the Legislature?

        What about PAC Committee Members or Lobbyists? Would any of those associates be worthwhile pursuing?

        Sincerely,

        Edward Fako
        Director, National Contracting and Claims Association
        NCCAassociation@gmail.com
        Insurance Appraisal Umpiring Affilliates
        InsuranceClaimAppraisals@gmail.com

        • Edward,

          Anything you can do personally and to help motivate others to take action, write and speak up and be heard being against this law would be very helpful.

          Thank you!