Imagine if we had truly knowledgeable advocates for insurance consumers in our legislatures. Many politicians advertise they are for policyholders as election day approaches, but they refuse to push any agenda other than the insurance industry’s the rest of the time. In Florida’s past legislative session, Florida Senator Don Gaetz, sponsored three significant pieces of insurance consumer legislation protecting the rights of policyholders regarding the fair treatment of claims. The person helping to write that legislation, his son Matt Gaetz, is now running for the Florida House of Representatives and he deserves support from those who want strong laws protecting Floridians from slow, frustrating, and wrongful insurance claim handling.

One of the bills Matt Gaetz helped draft was the following:

The Legislature finds and declares that an insurer has a fiduciary duty to treat those it insures fairly and in good faith.

Guess who opposed a law that made insurance companies act fairly and in good faith? The insurance industry, of course! Why would the insurance industry want to change the status quo? State Farm lobbyists and other insurance industry lobbyists bitterly opposed a rule that would require them to act in the manner that they advertise.

The three bills Matt Gaetz helped draft and then provided to his father, Don Gaetz, for filing were the following:

  1. SB 964 – Insurer has a fiduciary duty to treat those it insures in good faith
  2. SB 960 – Civil Remedy against Citizens Property Insurance Corporation
  3. SB 962 – Requiring insurance companies to adopt and implement standards to follow when adjusting claims to reach a proper settlement

We have sent out an invitation for a Matt Gaetz fundraising event at our home next Monday September 28, 2009, from 6 pm to 8 pm. The Host committee and other supporters of Matt are:

  • Chip and Kim Merlin
  • Senator Don Gaetz
  • Representative Rachel Burgin
  • Senator Mike Fasano
  • Chris Floyd
  • Larry and Lynn Keefe
  • Tom Lee
  • Ron Pierce

This is the last of a number of political events I have been involved supporting people who have shown a dedicated interest for policyholders. Matt Gaetz is young, energetic, and understands the issues facing policyholders with claims. He was at the 2009 Windstorm Conference and has actively advocated for policyholders when their claims have been delayed and denied. We need political representatives who will stand up to the insurance lobby in Tallahassee when it comes to protecting policyholder rights. We need somebody who has a proven record of trying to help and not just talking about helping like so many do. We need to get Matt Gaetz elected, and I am asking for your help.

I look forward to seeing you at my home in Tampa next Monday night to show support for Matt, a person that does not just “talk the talk.”