Florida loses another policyholder advocate. On Tuesday, Robin Smith Westcott resigned from her appointed position as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate. Ms. Westcott will leave her consumer post on October 31, 2013 to work for an advisory organization for insurance companies. Westcott will take a job as the vice president of governmental affairs for the American Association of Insurance Services.

In her work as the ICA, Robin Westcott has formed and is leading a working group that is drafting the Homeowners’ Policy & Claims Bill of Rights. This 21 member panel has been meeting since early summer and addressing serious consumer insurance issues that have been highlighted by Robin Westcott from her statewide consumer open house forums and evaluations of the unfair treatment of policyholders that appears to be trending now in the state. As a member of this group, I have posted about the details of the meetings. It has really been a pleasure of working with Robin and her team. I really enjoy when she directly calls out many of the bad practices insurance companies are committing during our televised meetings. She did not mince words about how Florida’s consumers were being burned by carriers that use unscrupulous tactics to avoid taking responsibility. Watch a few videos clips of our sessions in Tallahassee and the Clearwater here or view the complete meetings here.

Robin Westcott has been very vocal about improper insurance practices of post-loss underwriting. Our prior posts about Universal Property and post-loss underwriting relate to the work of Westcott’s office:

When Sean Shaw left the post as Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate, he came to Merlin Law Group helping policyholders directly. Sean Shaw continues his advocacy and has also founded Policyholders of Florida. Shaw was quoted by the Palm Beach Post and The Florida Current about Westcott’s departure:

Robin Westcott was a great voice for policyholders, probably a little too great for some people,” said former state insurance consumer advocate Sean Shaw, a Tampa attorney who represents policyholders. “I hate that she won’t be up there anymore, it’s a huge loss. Unfortunately, this also follows the departure of [former legislator now Pasco Co. tax collector) Mike Fasano. It’s been a tough few weeks for consumers.