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CFO Jeff Atwater Appoints Watchdog to Serve as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate

7/20/2011

Contact: Alexis Lambert 
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE—Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater today announced the appointment of attorney and insurance watchdog Robin Westcott to serve as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate.  CFO Atwater signaled that Westcott’s vast insurance knowledge as well as her career-long experience safeguarding Florida’s consumers will be a tremendous asset to the insurance-buying public.
 
Over the last several years, Westcott has repeatedly called on the insurance industry to hand over data on various insurance products important to consumers, including auto insurance and sinkhole coverage, and demanded accountability from insurance companies charging excessive fees for servicing policyholders through affiliated companies. 
 
“Robin will be an ardent, outspoken and persistent advocate for Florida’s insurance consumers,” said CFO Atwater.  “She is committed to holding insurance companies accountable and to ensuring consumers get exactly what they pay for and are protected from fraud and abuse. She has seen firsthand the tactics used to game the system and simply won’t stand for it.”
 
“I’m honored that CFO Atwater has given me the opportunity to continue to advocate for Florida’s insurance consumers—a passion I have dedicated my career to,” said Westcott.  “I am excited and committed to ensuring Florida’s consumers have the best products at the most competitive prices.”
 
Westcott said her first goal is to address cost drivers hurting Florida’s consumers who are paying escalating auto and property insurance rates.  
 
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 Office of Insurance Regulation, most recently serving as the Acting Deputy Commissioner of Property and Casualty. 
 
Westcott will also continue to serve as the Executive Director of the Medicaid and Public Assistance Fraud Strike Force.
 
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, a statewide elected official and officer of the Florida Cabinet, oversees the Department of Financial Services.  CFO Atwater’s priorities include fighting financial fraud, abuse and waste in government, reducing government spending and regulatory burdens that chase away businesses, and providing transparency and accountability in spending.