Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Steve Burgess

Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Steve Burgess brings a wealth of consumer advocacy to his position. He was an excellent choice by Florida CFO Jeff Atwater. He spoke at the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA) Fall Convention.

Burgess talked about the need that policyholders that are underpaid have "professional and well trained" public adjusters. From the consumer’s standpoint, he talked about the need for professional standards to be upheld. He stressed that policyholders being shortchanged need effective and ethical advocates. At the same time, he also stressed that the cost of such advocacy must be of concern.

Burgess spoke about the costs of insurance premiums and the rates of insurance. "The marketplace and policyholders are best served by effective advocacy." Yet, he cautioned that these costs must be done efficiently because rates are always of concern in a global sense.

I can understand his position. Consumers want insurance that costs as little as possible yet pays a maximum amount following a loss. I am not certain that wish is reasonable. In this world, you usually get what you pay for. Cheap insurance usually provides cheap terms and poor service.

I entirely agree with and applaud Steve Burgess on his call for all adjusters to adhere to the highest ethical standards. Competence, training, and professional conduct should be the first concern of the public adjusting community. "Ethics" was a major point of his remarks, and it was well received.

Finally, Burgess noted the growing number of complaints about the restoration construction industry. This industry has little oversight. He has a legion of examples and questioned whether insurance companies should be subject to assignment of benefits to contractors. He said over 100 cases were currently assigned for investigation regarding improper insurance restoration actions and work. He noted that multiple subcontractors have full assignment of benefits and otherwise engage in the unauthorized practice of public adjusting.

It was a good speech, and Steve Burgess obviously has a good working knowledge of insurance and the problems faced by policyholders. I am optimistic that the insuring public will be well served by Steve Burgess.

Positive Thought for the Day

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”
        ― Anne Frank