Chip Merlin and FAPIA Executive Director Nancy Dominguez

The largest public adjuster conferences are with the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (FAPIA). Nancy Dominguez is the Executive Director pictured with me at this past weekend’s conference. Two major themes resonated at the conference—insurance protection gaps and forgotten catastrophe-victim policyholders.

Nancy Dominguez made the following comment about insurance coverage gaps:

Coverage gaps are the single most important issue facing policyholders everywhere, not just Florida. This is a widespread and growing problem that can only be dealt with as a strong united force of consumer advocates preventing the insurance industry from wrongfully competing and harming their own policyholder customers in the process. I encourage all public adjusters to build awareness about this issue with their current and past clients.

FAPIA is joining ranks with the American Association of Public Insurance Adjusters (AAPIA) stating that this is the single most important problem its members and insurance customers face.

Chip Merlin & Craig Drillich, president of the Florida Association of Public Insurance Adjusters

Craig Drillich has been an excellent leader for FAPIA. He had an opinion article, Insurance Policyholders Being Left Behind Following Major Storms, published by the Sun-Sentinel about the plight of policyholders following catastrophes. He stated, in part:

Many elected officials and regulators have an opinion about how insurers treat their policyholders and end up changing their mind when they personally experience an insurance claim involving unnecessary delays or denials.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that former Florida House Speaker Allan Bense, a Hurricane Michael survivor himself, describing his insurance claim handling experience as a “beat down” as he expressed genuine concern for the average working man and woman that are “getting murdered” dealing with their insurers trying to get paid.

That’s not the way the insurance claim process was supposed to work, but this level of frustration by policyholders is more common today than I have ever experienced in my three decades as an insurance professional.

It is more important than ever that we have trained professionals available to help make sure big insurance keeps their promise of dealing in “good faith with their insureds.
Lawmakers should reject insurance industry plans that will hurt insured Floridians in their greatest time of need.

I respectfully call on Florida’s representatives and state senators to put themselves in the shoes of all those people who are still waiting to be paid for their legitimate losses when an insurance industry lobbyist approaches them with their latest proposed anti-consumer legislation.

FAPIA’s leadership and vision is strong because they place the interests of their customers first. As long as they do so, continue to raise their competence, and separate themselves from public adjusters that put money in front of customer interests, they will be champions for policyholders at the time the policyholders need help the most.

Thought For The Day

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.
—Franklin Roosevelt