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Gallagher Appoints Steve Burgess as Insurance Consumer Advocate


CONTACT: Tami Torres

TALLAHASSEE - Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced today that he has re-appointed Steve Burgess as the state's insurance consumer advocate. Burgess, who served as the state's first insurance consumer advocate in the early 1990s, replaces Elsie Crowell who recently retired. In his new role, Burgess will represent Florida citizens on insurance matters before state lawmakers, regulators and other stakeholders.

"Steve's return to this important post is a win-win for the department and Florida's insurance consumers," said Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. "He brings extensive on-the-job experience and a wealth of expertise on consumer and insurance issues."

"I am honored to work again with CFO Gallagher to assist and protect Florida's insurance consumers and help address some of the emerging issues in Florida's insurance market, including the cost and availability of homeowners and health insurance," said Burgess.

The Florida Legislature created the insurance consumer advocate's post in 1990 to represent the interests of the public, with the authority to appear before the Division of Administrative Hearings, the Department of Financial Services, and the Office of Insurance Regulation, including any forum in matters that arise under the Department's jurisdiction.

In addition to participating in the legislative process and selected rate issues, Burgess will serve on various boards, including Florida Workers' Compensation Joint Underwriting Association, National Council on Compensation Insurance (NCCI) Workers' Compensation Appeals, and the Statewide Subscriber Assistance Panel. For the past seven years, Burgess has been the Deputy Public Counsel with the Office of Public Counsel on consumer issues before the Florida Public Service Commission.

Burgess received his B.S. in Accounting from Florida State University and a J.D. degree from Florida State University Law School. From 1979 to 1990, Burgess was employed by the Office of Public Counsel and represented consumers in public utility disputes. During that time, Burgess represented consumer interests in cases before the Public Service Commission, Department of Administrative Hearings, the First District Court, the Florida Supreme Court, the U.S. Treasury Department and the IRS.