Florida legislators have introduced legislation allowing insurance companies to delay, deny, and underpay Floridians’ insurance claims without accountability. National Flood insurance has no such good faith standards nor accountability and the above news story shows how Floridians can be expected to be treated if the Florida legislature passes anti-consumer laws eliminating protections that have been in place since 1982 for people and businesses hurt by insurers that fail to act in good faith.

The House Bills sponsors supporting the change in these laws are:

Rep. David Santiago
District Office
849 Deltona Boulevard
Deltona, FL 32725-7137
(386) 575-0387

Rep. Holly Raschein
District Office
Suite 10
99198 Overseas Highway
Key Largo, FL 33037-2437
(305) 453-1202

Rep. Alex Andrade
District Office
Suite 401B
226 South Palafox Place
Pensacola, FL 32502-5828
(850) 595-0467

The Senate Bill is sponsored by:

Sen. Jeff Brandes
District Office
9800 4th Street North
Suite 200
St. Petersburg, FL 33702
(727) 563-2100

The various bills are the following:

I spoke with House Representative Ben Diamond about these bills. Diamond previously worked in the Office of Insurance Regulation. He indicated that many legislators are not experts with insurance and are sometimes persuaded by insurance lobbyists that are not fully explaining how changes in laws can harm their own constituents. But, those of us with education about these matters need to step up and explain why the proposed changes are very bad public policy.

I suggest that readers of this blog contact these Florida legislators to help inform them.

It is hard to imagine legislators from areas where hurricanes have struck over the past several years supporting these laws that harm their own constituents. But, the insurance lobby has dozens of lobbyists. Policyholders suffering delays and underpayments while trying to rebuild are not in Tallahassee working and have no professional lobbyists helping them. Their own representatives are there to protect them.

Even insurance company adjusters are taught that if they fail to act in good faith and harm their customers, they can be expected to get sued for it. Why would anybody want to pass a law that protects insurance companies acting in bad faith?

Emily Marlowe and Merlin Law Group represented this poor woman after she was under paid and her flood insurance benefits delayed. Even after we obtained agreements and reached a settlement, National Flood insurance still delayed payment and one reason is because National Flood insurance has no consumer protections like Florida currently does. They literally can get away with murder and deception with no civil consequence.

We know of hundreds of similar examples of underpayment, delays and denials. These instances have harmed Floridians who counted on fair treatment following Hurricanes Michael, Irma, and Matthew. From our view, insurance companies should follow ethical rules and be held accountable when they fail to do so. If people are not held accountable to following rules, what good are the rules in the first place?

Thought For The Day

Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.
—Groucho Marx