June 22, 2024

FL – Citizens Insurance Above the Law?

Shaw says the reasons Citizens Insurance gets so many complaints is, by law, the company doesn’t have to follow the same rules as private insurance companies. Under state law, Citizens is not subject to ‘bad faith.’

“Bad faith is the hammer that hangs over insurance companies that says you have to do things that are under the statute — you have respond to my phone call in a certain period of time, you have to be communicating with me about my claim, you have to keep me in the loop. And Citizens is not subject to that statute.”

Shaw says, to make matters worse, this past legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill overhauling property insurance which caps fees paid to public adjusters at 10 percent with cases involving Citizens.

“A public adjuster is someone who will help you file your claim and charge you a contingency. So they will charge you a percentage of what they can get you. Why do you have to hire one? Because you think the insurance company isn’t treating you right.”

But under the new law, public adjusters get less if they go after Citizens and therefore have less incentive.

“If you have Citizens, they can only charge 10 percent.  But if you have anybody else, they can charge 20 percent. So again, the state-run insurance company that is not subject to bad faith you can only charge half of what you can charge for the private market. So they are really protecting and coddling the state-run insurance company. This is really an academic discussion until you have a claim, you’re the one who’s tree falls on your roof and the insurance company is not responsive.”

Read the rest of the article here: http://www.myfoxtampabay.com/dpp/news/investigates/citizens-bad-faith-111411







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