What Does It Mean To Be “The Policyholder’s Advocate?” A Blog Post For Every Leader Supporting Policyholders

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Amy Bach of United Policyholders (UP) deserves to be acknowledged greater than anyone else after writing the title of this submit. She has stood the check of time. She is “The Good Shepherd” for policyholders. Since co-founding UP in 1991, Bach has devoted her profession to advocating for the rights and pursuits of insurance coverage shoppers throughout the United States. Through her management, UP gives invaluable schooling, advocacy, and assist, empowering policyholders to make knowledgeable choices and successfully handle their insurance coverage points. I mentioned our agency’s dedication to UP in Why Does Merlin Law Group Exist? Why Do We Give Our Time, Money and Effort to United Policyholders and The American Policyholders Association.

Amy Bach and Chip Merlin

An Interesting Day in Tallahassee and Thoughts on the Pending Replacement Cost Coverage Legislation, was written by me 14 years in the past. Discussing how tough it’s when up towards a military of insurance coverage lobbyists, I said:

The insurance coverage business representatives use the phrase “fraud” to seemingly justify every thing they suggest. They mentioned it with visceral ardour yesterday. If you have been from Mars and didn’t know higher, you’ll assume insurance coverage is probably the most faulty product ever made as a result of it makes in any other case trustworthy individuals into crooks. I hope our representatives can see via this sham and recognize that their constituents don’t turn into criminals or morally corrupt on account of an insurance coverage declare. It nearly smacks of McCarthyism utilized in an insurance coverage sense.

Being an lawyer and having to zealously advocate for purchasers, I can recognize that the insurance coverage lobbyists have a job to do and are below stress. They are profitable if they will persuade our representatives of the insurance coverage firm’s model of actuality and persuade these representatives to cross legal guidelines favorable to them. That is truthful and that’s the American means.

… After the assembly was over and Senator Storms thanked everybody for educating her, I ended this novice endeavor and labored on circumstances for purchasers that most likely do not know I used to be calling from Tallahassee. This idea is essential. There are not any skilled lobbyists for policyholders in Tallahassee…. Sean Shaw is as shut because it will get to a policyholder lobbyist. I additionally made a “gallows joke” with some others that if the regulation have been repealed, I might personally revenue extra as a result of there could be extra litigation over numerous and generally disputed points, as there was earlier than these Replacement Cost Laws have been handed. Only my potential future purchasers might care about this situation, and there could be far fewer of them if the legal guidelines keep the identical—I began questioning if it was all well worth the effort.

To give some context, our agency employed Sean Shaw in 2010 after he was the Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate for Florida, as famous in Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw Joins Merlin Law Group. One of my favourite photos is of me with Sean and his late father, the previous Supreme Court Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, Leander Shaw, which is famous in Merlin Law Group Attorney Sean Shaw is Running for Attorney General.

Sean Shaw, Chip Merlin, and Leander Shaw

The level I’m making to my brothers and sisters attempting to advocate within the halls of legislatures and the assorted insurance coverage fee workplaces, is that the dedication to policyholder justice requires tireless work. The insurance coverage business has a major benefit. Money drives who our flesh pressers take heed to to allow them to turn into re-elected. The legislators in energy take some huge cash from the insurance coverage business. I do know they don’t begin out that means. But, these well-meaning representatives turn into used to getting insurance coverage lobbyist cash for entry to dialogue after which beholden and apologetic to their policyholder constituents.

Our agency goes to proceed to have our attorneys present up within the halls of legislatures for policyholders everywhere in the nation. This is a “free of charge” effort to face as much as the Steve Badger and Matthew Monson insurance coverage bar. I believe they’re working hand in hand with skilled lobbyists of the insurance coverage business. Steve and Matthew aren’t a part of that lobbying group, however they’re all foxes for the insurance coverage business.

Steve and Matt are welcome to elucidate how a lot they strategize about laws discussions they’ve with insurance coverage business lobbyists and firms and lobbying typically in any visitor weblog or in any other case. I double-dare Steve and Matt to be absolutely clear. (I’ve lots of respect they are going to be clear, however I doubt they are going to drop their drawers about full transparency.)

In the tireless pursuit of justice and fairness throughout the insurance coverage business, advocates such as you play a pivotal position in shaping a future the place the scales are balanced and policyholder rights are firmly protected. Your efforts, usually behind the scenes, forge the trail for transformative change, echoing the dedication of pioneers like Amy Bach of United Policyholders. As she has demonstrated, one particular person’s dedication to advocacy can illuminate the challenges policyholders face, mobilizing a group in direction of significant reform.

I write this weblog as a result of one younger and newer lawyer from the Merlin Law Group, Chaz Cicero, has been doing his greatest to advocate for policyholders within the Louisiana legislature. Since it’s his first time doing so, he might not come throughout as “acceptable” nor as “polished” as others. But, you’ll know what he feels and what separates nice advocates from losers—we put the wrongdoers in danger for his or her arguments and desired outcomes in a means that common individuals can perceive.

Chaz is a really passionate individual. He is ruffling feathers, inflicting others – not only one – to name, asking me to manage him. I’ll stand as much as dishonesty and never tolerate it. I can’t stop truthful debate, particularly debate coming from the youthful era of our regulation agency that thinks huge insurance coverage enterprise pursuits are ripping them off and have a special means of expressing it.

For these of you in numerous policyholder and client organizations, your work in state legislatures, advocating for legal guidelines that favor policyholders, is greater than a pursuit of authorized change; it’s a dedication to uphold the ideas of equity and transparency in an business that touches the lives of hundreds of thousands. Each policyholder you empower, every regulation you affect, and every voice you amplify contributes to a bigger narrative of justice and accountability.

Merlin Law Group sees this as a noble endeavor. Remember, the affect of your advocacy extends past the authorized texts and legislative chambers. You are actually the one hope for numerous people who search equity of their moments of vulnerability. Your dedication ensures that the narrative of the insurance coverage business will not be solely written by those that maintain the cash and energy however can be formed by the tales and wishes of policyholders.

Leaders like Amy Bach of UP and Doug Quinn of the American Policyholder’s Association, and his private story following Super Storm Sandy, assist present unwavering resolve. Governmental leaders, legislators, and insurance coverage regulators want to listen to the policyholder voices.

For all people who thinks that is proper and following me on this endeavor, change, although it might come slowly, is achieved via persistent effort and by no means giving up. The journey in direction of securing equity and transparency for policyholders is a marathon, not a dash. It requires the sort of steadfast dedication exemplified by leaders like Amy Bach and Doug Quinn and within the tales of hardship and wrestle of our purchasers, which underscore the importance of our collective mission.

Your endeavors, like these Chaz Cicero has been doing, lay the groundwork for a future the place the voices of policyholders resonate within the halls of legislatures and the corridors of energy. Each step and energy at a step ahead, irrespective of how small, is a victory within the quest for justice. Your efforts present hope for individuals who have been left within the shadows, a sign that they don’t seem to be alone of their combat. It alerts others that we are going to not go and not using a combat and can stay steadfast after the combat is over.

For these of you who’re leaders within the policyholder motion, your tales pave the best way and encourage others to press on. The work you do is significant, and never only for the policyholders of at present. So, to all advocates on this noble trigger, maintain quick to your ideas, hold your eyes on the horizon, and by no means underestimate the ability of perseverance and collaborative work. Your legacy can be measured not by the battles you win however by the braveness you present in persevering with to combat for what is true.

Thought For The Day      

The perform of management is to provide extra leaders, no more followers.

—Ralph Nader

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