Letters to the Editor

Letter: Florida lawmakers must protect consumers, not the insurance industry

Re the Sept. 17 Miami Herald/Tampa Bay Times story “Why are 18,000 insurance claims from Hurricane Michael still open?:” Florida’s insurance commissioner, David Altmaier, defended insurance companies for their egregiously slow pace of reimbursing families so they can rebuild after Hurricane Michael.

His excuses are common for the insurance industry. But that doesn’t make them right.

It’s true that insurance companies struggle with the sheer volume of claims after a disaster like Hurricane Michael, but these claims are not adjusted properly or efficiently.

Common tactics among carriers are low-balling claims and hiring unlicensed insurance claim adjusters, whose job is to keep the carriers happy — not to fairly and promptly compensate those suffering.

Insurance companies purposefully complicate the process and use that against homeowners to avoid paying.

I, as an attorney, frequently see one denial on roof claims, blaming old age or wear and tear; yet, carriers happily accept premiums to insure these roofs.

Their modus operandi MO is to blame the insured.

Every year, the insurance lobby flexes its muscles, spending exorbitant amounts of money lobbying to strip consumer protections against these tactics.

The Office of Insurance Regulation and the Insurance Consumer Advocate were created to supervise this industry, not be a shill advancing their interests.

It’s past time they put consumers first.

Insurance companies can do better, and it’s our lawmakers’ job to ensure they do.

Gina Kimmel,