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Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate Hosts Forums to Improve Homeowners Claim Process

3/19/2013
Claims Journal

Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Smith Westcott and Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services is offering Florida homeowners an opportunity to improve the insurance claim-handling process by sharing their experiences.

The first three forums will be held at 6:30 p.m. March 21 in Orlando, March 26 in Tampa and March 27 in Jacksonville with additional forums scheduled throughout the state in April and May.

“Often consumers are confused and intimidated in the claim-handling process,” Westcott said. “This is an opportunity for consumers to share their experiences to help improve the system for everyone.”

Westcott is appointed by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, who also oversees the Department of Financial Services. Most recently, Westcott has been a vocal advocate when it comes to inappropriate use of consumer credit information to deny a claim; more consumer protections for policyholders in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation, the state’s insurer of last resort; and more disclosure for homeowners regarding force-placed lender coverage.

Tasha Carter, Director of the Division of Consumer Services, will join Westcott at the forums. The Division of Consumer Services operates the CFO’s Insurance Consumer Helpline. Last year, the division received more than 325,000 consumer calls and helped recover more than $22.5 million for Florida policyholders in claim payments and premium refunds.

“We step into the shoes of consumers and represent them directly in their dispute,” Carter said. “We want Floridians to know they have someone in their corner when it comes to protecting their families, homes and hard-earned dollars.” 

Source: Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate