Op-Ed, Florida Consumers Are Under Attack in Tallahassee

The Palm Beach Post

March 7, 2020

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Every day in Tallahassee, Florida lawmakers are being inundated with legislation that flies in the face of protecting the constituents they are elected to serve.

There’s an attack on consumer rights in Florida. The attack is happening in Tallahassee. While hard-working, tax-paying consumers go about their everyday lives, there are various attacks on consumer rights happening right now in the state Capitol that could severely limit access to medical care, prevent lower insurance rates, prohibit consumer protections after a storm, and even limit access to the courts.

Every day in Tallahassee, Florida lawmakers are being inundated with legislation that flies in the face of protecting the constituents they are elected to serve.

While consumer advocates are trying to protect the system that ensures a person can seek the care they need, the insurance industry is one step ahead trying to protect their bottom line.

Time and time again we see these heartbreaking stories.

Families who think their property insurance will cover damages related to natural disasters like a hurricane. Yet more than 15,000 Floridians are still trying to have claims resolved more than a year after Hurricane Michael impacted our state and sadly, over 20,000 have had their claims closed without receiving a single penny. Many are still not able to return to their homes because there is nothing left – only a concrete slab remains.

Florida drivers pay 81 percent more than the national average for auto insurance. The Sunshine State is one of only two states that does not require auto insurance coverage for bodily injury liability, putting it far behind the rest of the country when it comes to protecting its citizens from significant economic losses and higher insurance costs for all drivers.

Florida could join the 48 other states in the country which require their drivers to buy bodily injury liability insurance, providing coverage for injuries caused to others. This would help us return to responsible roadways and lower insurance rates for all drivers. But the insurance industry continues to block legislative proposals that ensure a safer Florida and are good for all consumers.

Other proposals would limit injured Floridians from receiving adequate care and compensation when they suffer injuries caused by another party. This means limited access to necessary and in some instances, life-saving health care because some providers will not treat out of fear of never getting paid for services. Patients will be increasingly limited to what doctors and specialists they can see.

In these cases, it’s not the consumers fault they are put into a position where they need to seek treatment or compensation for losses; however, the insurance industry and big business seek every opportunity to convince lawmakers to pass new laws that will further limit consumers ability to receive fair treatment, compensation, and care after individuals and their families have experienced a tragedy.

Florida consumers deserve the truth about what is happening and the roadblocks that are being created for them in Tallahassee. Lawmakers, it’s time to put a stop to these attacks on everyday Floridians and enact sensible legislation that truly protects Florida consumers.

Read Op-Ed, Florida Consumers Are Under Attack in Tallahassee.