Insurance Academy

Sometimes I Disagree with the Blogs I Love

By Patrick Wraight | February 27, 2019

I’m a fan of insurance news and bloggers. Here are some sites and blogs that I read daily (or weekly, depending on frequency).

Insurance Journal – Of course. I was an IJ fan way before I became so closely related to them. I always start here because the news is worth reading and it’s focused on what I’m concerned about at work, the whole insurance world.

Insurance Nerds – You need to get their daily dispatch. Tony, Carley & Nick have put together a real community site here. And if you have something to write about, they make it easy to submit articles and get what’s in your head into our lives.

Insurance Commentary – Bill does a great job dealing with coverage issues and his take on some of the goings on in the insuretech space. And he’s a friend of the Academy.

Coverager – EVERYTHING that you need to know about what’s going on in the insuretech space, including who’s in and who’s out, customer interface walk-throughs, who’s funding what, and more. Read this and keep up.

Property Insurance Coverage Law – Chip Merlin and team do a great job helping me to understand what’s going on in property insurance law around the country. Everyone that writes here is super sharp and helps me to understand the legal changes and challenges around the country.

I really like that I don’t always agree with everyone that I read. By the way, it would help you to read things that you don’t agree with. There are two distinct benefits to reading things that you don’t agree with.

It can force you to think through what you believe. When you allow yourself to be exposed to points of view that are different than you own, you learn what other people think and (more importantly) how they came to their point of view. If you can track their trail of logic, two things might happen. You might clarify what you believe and why. On the other hand, they might just convince you that you were wrong.

It helps you to continue to grow. Whether you change your mind or not, when you read alternate viewpoints, you grow. You know that I’m all into education and growth, so you’re not surprised that I mention that.

Before I dive into what I disagreed with (of course you saw that coming), I have to say that I disagree with things on all of these sites. Some folks are too high on the insuretech news and others are too low. Some people look at the insurance world through rose colored lenses and others look at us with a different, yuckier color.

Let me get to my point. I read today’s Property Law Coverage Blog article about some recently proposed legislation in Florida. This is an example of an article that isn’t meant to fix the issue but is meant to get people excited about it. Let me explain.

The article opens with an embedded link to a news story about someone whose claim was underpaid, and the insurance company wasn’t going to be held accountable for it. The would seem to be relevant, except that it had nothing to do with the specific article. It was an example of a claim that was poorly handled by “National Flood insurance”. I’m going to assume that the insured had an NFIP policy.

It seems a little dishonest to compare NFIP issues (we already know that there are too many problems to count with this federal insurance program) with proposed legislation in Florida.

To his credit, the author tells us which bills he opposes and who sponsored them. That’s great. However, he didn’t give us the specific text that he has issues with, nor did he speak with any of the sponsoring legislators. He did, however, speak with another legislator, siting his experience in the Office of Insurance Regulation. He didn’t appear to speak with the legislator about the proposal bill, but about insurance legislation in general. It may be worth noting that the sponsor legislators are all of one political party and the legislator that he spoke with is from the other party.

Why didn’t he study the legislation and talk to the sponsors himself? It would seem that looking at the specific bills and asking specific questions about the text of those bills would be a better way to inform and educate people about them. That only matters if that’s the actual point. If, rather, the point is to make people upset about something, this is fine.

He then writes this sentence, “I suggest that readers of this blog contact these Florida legislators to help inform them.” Why didn’t he do that?

Having read the language in one of the bills (HB751), I have a few comments to make. Please note that I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. I just read things and try to understand them the best way I can. The biggest issue that he has with this bill is that it takes away civil penalties for “Not attempting in good faith to settle claims when, under all the circumstances, it could and should have done so, had it acted fairly and honestly toward its insured and with due regard for her or his interests;”.

This seems like a really bad deal until you note that the bill also creates a new section in the Florida Statutes that provides for the use of an administrative court for those sorts of violations. It would seem that the administrative court would have the appropriate wisdom and authority to deal with bad faith claims. It makes me wonder why that’s such a big deal.

Other than that, it doesn’t appear to allow insurance companies to “literally … get away with murder and deception with no civil consequence.” I’m guessing that he really doesn’t think that this bill actually makes murder by an insurance company an administrative matter. That might just be metaphorical language. I wonder if it’s meant to make people feel a certain way.

Oh well, I’ll read again tomorrow because I love Chip’s writing. I really think this one was kind of mailed in because it didn’t add to the conversation. It took away from it. Next time, why not take the opportunity to inform and educate, rather than rile and irritate.

About Patrick Wraight

Patrick Wraight, CIC, CRM, AU, is director of Insurance Journal's Academy of Insurance. He can be reached at pwraight@ijacademy.com.

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