By: Chip Merlin
Property Insurance Coverage
Sean Shaw and I often talk about those who are truly insurance advocates for Florida policyholders. Robin Westcott took over the job for Sean Shaw as Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate. Sean now works at Merlin Law Group, representing policyholders where the rubber meets the road rather than in politics, where politicians try to make everybody happy and where rubber rarely meets the road. Sean and I have very interesting discussions about how efficacy of Robin Westcott’s advocacy in support of policyholders, as well as the support of others in powerful political positions.
I met Robin Westcott last year when she showed up for a political rally that Sean Shaw organized to protest outrageous rate increases by Citizens Property Insurance Corporation. Here is a picture of me that day in the very hot Florida sunshine, and Sean Shaw with Robin Westcott:
That day, Westcott and I discussed a practical method to reduce Citizens’ policies. Before any Citizens policy would be written and for which the policyholder's agent could not find a replacement private carrier, the policyholder's risk should be offered to any admitted private carrier on the internet. It sounded good to me. The only problem is that, for all I know, her idea went nowhere except between us. Why not? My educated guess is that insurance agents would hate that situation---especially if they lost their fee.
Robin Westcott understands that motives and incentives are important for positive change to occur; she recognized this in her pro-consumer stand in Consumer Advocate Slams Citizens Insurance Over Inspections. We applaud her for her stance and hope that she becomes much more vocal in the future.