The American Policyholders Association Board of Advisors meeting resulted in me writing two blogs today. While Doug Quinn was explaining a program providing whistleblowers an avenue to report illegal claims activity, which I noted in Are You an Employee in the Insurance Industry Who Is Upset About Unethical and Illegal Claims Activity?, the information about Citizens Property Insurance claims adjusters systemically backdating letters for about two months caught my attention.
Our law firm had just received a letter from Citizens Property Insurance, where the letter date was approximately 60 days before the envelope containing the letter was sent. Public adjuster George Quintero of Vanguard Public Adjusters was complaining about numerous letters from Citizens Property Insurance, which were severely backdated. I have attached as a footnote some redacted letters that Quintero provided.1
My thoughts were:
If a government controlled insurance company will allow its claims adjuster, whose conduct is reviewed by claims managers, to deceitfully send out letters which are severely backdated on a systemic basis, what else is Citizens Property Insurance hiding regarding its claims handling? Maybe some people working at Citizens who want to change the claims culture would be willing to share the internal claims conduct that is wrongful or unethical.
Nobody should be holding their breath that politicians or other government regulators are going to honestly investigate, find, and then embarrassingly report on the wrongful and hardnosed claims practices which many policyholders suffer from Citizens Property Insurance. Citizens Property Insurance is the only insurance company not subject to Florida unfair claims practice lawsuits because of governmental immunity.
My bet is that this has happened hundreds if not thousands of times—I cannot imagine that the practice of backdating letters, probably to hide evidence of claims delay and inactivity, is isolated. I wonder if the claims department will report to the Citizens Board of Directors about this and other problems being complained about by their policyholders at the next Citizens Board meeting.
Thought For The Afternoon
There can be no faith in government if our highest offices are excused from scrutiny — they should be setting the example of transparency.