The Florida Republican leadership is in bed with the insurance industry. Republican Donald Trump said so yesterday, as noted in yesterday’s post, Donald Trump and Chip Merlin Agree—Ron DeSantis and Florida Republican Leadership Has Sold Out to Insurance Company Lobbyists. An example of this is Florida’s public records of consumer complaints about public adjusters versus complaints about insurance companies. 

Florida’s current Republican leadership is trying to pass insurance industry written laws that make it more difficult to hold insurance companies accountable for bad faith and wrongful claims practices. They and the insurance lobby are also trying to crack down on public adjusters who help policyholders get full and fair treatment by passing laws that make it much more difficult for public adjusters to make money doing this. In reality, by making laws that restrict lawyers and public adjusters from helping consumers who have been mistreated, the Republican leadership helps wrongful acting insurance companies.  

I have public records which show that from September 2017 through November 2022, consumers filed 99 complaints about public adjusters. Guess how many complaints were filed against insurance companies during that same period? 105,000 Florida consumer complaints were filed against insurance companies.1

With proven public record statistics of 99 versus 105,000, I bet you would think the Florida Republican leadership would be writing a lot of laws cracking down on insurance company misconduct and allowing more lawsuits to be filed against those wrongful and cheating insurance companies, right? But just the opposite is happening. 

Florida politicians are writing laws against public adjusters and making it more difficult for policyholders to file lawsuits against insurance company bad faith. Florida’s legislature has responded by holding two special sessions, which did nothing to hold insurers accountable. Instead, they provided statutory protections to carriers from their own policyholders being able to fight back.

When an insurer accepted premium payments and promised to pay you fully and fairly – then broke that promise – Florida laws protected policyholders who had to go to court by making insurers pay their attorney fees. All lawsuits are not “frivolous,” as insurance propaganda tries to make people believe. If insurers paid legitimate claims, there would be no need for litigation. They should also fight truly “frivolous” claims. However, a disagreement over how much is owed, whether policy interpretation excludes coverage for a loss, and claims about insurer misconduct are not “frivolous” disputes. Yet, the insurance lobby and Republican political leaders use the word “frivolous” to describe all lawsuits against insurance companies—as if the 105,000 complaints filed by consumers are “frivolous” as well. 

None of the legislation passed requires insurers to reduce premiums in Florida. Trump called out his fellow republicans for this fact as well. They are passing laws that take away policyholder rights, and the policyholders get nothing in return. Worse, there has been an insurer bailout to the tune of millions of taxpayer dollars, along with new statutes that will make it even more difficult for policyholders to get paid what they’re owed.

Insurance policy contracts in Florida have dramatically changed, reducing coverage for Floridians, all under the watch of former Office of Insurance Regulation Commissioner David Altmaier, who resigned in December to accept a position with a large insurance company. Trump noted this fact as well. 

Facts are facts—99 versus 105,000. The legislature is now using the minimal 99 complaints as a basis to wrongfully change public adjuster laws while closing its eyes to the 105,000 complaints against insurance company misconduct and making it more difficult for the policyholders to obtain redress for those complaints.  

Trump is right to call out his fellow Republicans. This is shameful.  

Thought For The Day 

Never, never, never give up.

—Winston Churchill

1 Reason Field and Resolutions for All Company complaints from 1/1/2017 through 11/15/2022.