Insurance Consumer Advocate
Robin Smith Westcott, Esq.
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater appointed Robin Smith Westcott
to serve as the state’s Insurance Consumer Advocate in July 2011 with
the expectation that she be “committed to holding insurance companies
accountable and to ensuring consumers get exactly what they pay for
and are protected from fraud and abuse.” Meeting that challenge head-on,
Westcott is a leading voice at hearings and advocacy meetings on unfair
rate requests and company tactics, most recently pointing out inequities
in Citizens Property Insurance Corporation’s mitigation inspection program,
prompting consumer-friendly improvements.
Westcott is committed to representing Florida policyholders in insurance
decisions, fighting for the right balance between the need to ensure
the claims-paying ability of the state’s insurance market and the need
to assure that Florida consumers are charged insurance premiums that
are fair and justified. As a spokesperson for Florida consumers, Westcott
- Spotlighted a new, troubling trend
of homeowners’ insurance companies using credit information after
a claim has been reported to accuse policyholders of misrepresentation
on applications, sometimes after collecting premiums for years.
- » In a
letter to Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty,
Westcott said the tactic should be considered an unfair trade
practice because it puts consumers in a precarious position
and threatens homeowners’ financial stability.
- Fought for consumer-focused protections and improvements to
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation.
Pushed for improved communication and information for policyholders
and reinstatement of mitigation credits improperly removed through
Citizens’ mitigation inspection program.
Advocated for a more thorough review of proposed depopulation
Fought against higher rates for new policyholders.
Provided analysis demonstrating that higher savings should
be generated from the sinkhole portion of rates due to the reforms
of Senate Bill 408.
Educated regulators and policyholders on the growing adequacy
of Citizens’ rates and encouraged policyholders to shop the
private sector for coverage.
- Identified needed reforms to Florida’s Personal Injury Protection
Assembled a working group to pinpoint needed reforms to
Florida’s Personal Injury Protection program. The
working group’s well-documented report was released in December
2011, and many of the report’s findings are reflected in legislation
that passed in 2012.
Provided key input to actuaries contracted by the Office
of Insurance Regulation to study the effects of PIP reform legislation
on premiums, resulting in greater estimated savings for auto
- Closed loopholes allowing workers compensation fraud in the
Money Service Business Workers’ Comp Fraud Work Group, whose
research assisted in the successful passage of strong legislation
improving investigation and prosecution of workers’ compensation
- Advocated on behalf of consumers regarding force-placed lender
Testified before the National Association of Insurance Commissioners
against questionable practices by the banking industry to place
homeowners in costly policies.
- Cautioned the Legislature on changes to the Florida Hurricane
Studied and outlined the factors that impact insurance rates
for Florida consumers due to changes to the state’s Catastrophe
Fund coverage and offered key steps to reduce exposure and thus
costs to consumers.
Advocated on behalf of seniors for protections in law requiring
disclosures on annuity sales.
Argued for the need to provide clear and accurate information
to Florida’s seniors regarding insurance products and to maintain
Florida’s place as a leader among states in seeking to adopt
meaningful legislation for our senior population.
Westcott began her career in 1993 with the Florida Department of
Insurance, Division of Rehabilitation and Liquidation. She served with
the department until 2001, when she entered private practice. Westcott
returned to the public sector in 2002 with the Florida Agency for Workforce
Innovation, where she served as Assistant General Counsel and Counsel
to the Florida Partnership for School Readiness. In 2004, she returned
to the Florida Department of Financial Services, Office of Insurance
Regulation, serving in various leadership roles including Director of Property and Casualty Financial Oversight and Acting Deputy Commissioner of Property and Casualty before being appointed as the Insurance Consumer Advocate.
Westcott also served as the Executive Director of the Medicaid and
Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force.