ICA forms homeowners’ policy, claims Bill of Rights Working Group

Published: Friday, July 12, 2013 at 11:23 AM.

Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Robin Smith Westcott, appointed by Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, has launched a new working group to discuss potential improvements to the homeowners’ insurance claim process with the sole purpose of helping to better serve Florida homeowners who suffer a financial loss. 

The Homeowners' Policy & Claims Bill of Rights Working Group is comprised of representatives of consumer organizations and industry representatives. The idea for the group stemmed from the feedback that Westcott received when she collaborated with Tasha Carter, Director of the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Consumer Services, on a series of Insurance Consumer Forums. These forums held recently throughout the state provided a platform for Florida homeowners to discuss their experiences with filing a claim.  Many described long and frustrating processes that impeded their families’ ability to recover. 

“Consumers should not be victimized by poor claims handling and unscrupulous business practices by those seeking to exploit homeowners when they are most venerable,” Westcott said.

The following issues will be discussed by the working group:

• Adjusting & Investigating the Claim — Examinations Under Oath

• Post-Claim Underwriting & Material Misrepresentation on the Application

• Solicitation of Consumers within 48–72 Hours of a Loss and Policyholders’ Requirement to Mitigate Damages

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