Bondi office letter prompts regulatory warning for insurers
Gray Rohrer, 04/16/2014 – 03:18 PM
After prodding from Attorney General Pam Bondi’s office, Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty sent a memo to all insurance companies last week instructing them to abide by a 1994 law requiring them to waive or credit the victims of crimes for deductibles for claims.
Bondi’s office of Law Enforcement Relations, Victim Services and Law Enforcement Programs found that between April 2012 and February 2014, there were 13 companies on 21 separate occasions that did not waive the deductible for the victim of a crime. Florida Peninsula Insurance had the most violations with eight waiver denials.
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Also, Bondi’s office notes there could be more instances of the denial of deductible waivers for crime victims, since notices from insurance companies are given to the office voluntarily.
Lawmakers passed the Florida Crimes Compensation Act in 1994, under which the Attorney General’s Bureau of Victim Compensation would determine whether crime victims would be eligible for the waiver of an insurance claim deductible. The law stipulates the BVC, not the insurance company decides whether or not someone qualifies for the waiver.
“Eligibility is determined solely by the Office of the Attorney General and may not be revisited by insurance companies. Eligible insureds will receive a notice of waiver issued by the Office of the Attorney General that should be filed with their claim. Upon receipt of the notice of waiver, a company must pay for a covered loss even if the loss does not exceed the deductible or copayment provided in the policy,” McCarty’s memo reads.
The FCCA extends the eligibility for the deductible waiver not just for the victims of bodily injury and death, but also to “elderly persons or disabled adults who suffer property loss that causes substantial diminution in their quality of life.”
American Bakers Insurance 1
American Traditional Insurance Company 1
Citizens Property Insurance Corporation 1
First Community Insurance Group 1
Florida Family Insurance 1
Florida Peninsula Insurance 8
Great American Insurance Group 1
Hartford Insurance Company 1
Safeway Property Insurance 1
St. Johns Insurance Company 1
Universal Property and Casualty 2
Related Research: April 8, 2014 OIR Memo to all Insurers Authorized to Write Property & Casualty or Health Insurance in Florida
Reporter Gray Rohrer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.