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Fla. consumer advocate to examine homeowner claims


Associated Press: Chipley Foster Folly News (FL), Florida Capital News (FL), Miami Herald (FL), Panama City News Herald (FL), Tampa Bay News 9 (FLTV), WJXT Channel 4 Duval County (FLTV), WOKV Jacksonville (FL), WPEC News 12 Palm Beach County (FLTV), WWSB ABC 7 Sarasota (FLTV)

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida's insurance consumer advocate wants to look at how insurers are handling claims from homeowners.

Robin Smith Westcott announced Wednesday the creation of a working group that will meet later this month. The group will be asked to come up with recommendations, including whether legislators should change state laws that cover policyholders.

Westcott, who was appointed by Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, says she was prompted to put together the group after hearing from frustrated homeowners at recent forums.

She said in a statement that consumers should not be victimized by poor claims handling or by those seeking to exploit homeowners following a loss.

Westcott said the working group will meet July 17 and 18. It will include representatives from both consumer organizations and the insurance industry.