Consumer Insurance Coalition









Statewide Grassroots Coalition Calls Insurance Bill Encouraging First Step Pledges Continued Effort for Comprehensive Insurance Reform

The group applauds prior rate approval, ban on rate arbitration, cherry-picking restrictions and CEO accountability as major victories, but says the insurance crisis is far from over. 

Media Release for January 23, 20007

A statewide coalition of grassroots consumer advocacy organizations, labor unions and neighborhood groups are urging Governor Charlie Crist to sign the legislative package on insurance that passed during the final hours of the special legislative session on Monday.  Formed early this year to educate the public and advocate in the legislature for insurance reform that would strengthen the overall system and provide real relief for consumers, the broad based coalition collectively represents close to a million Florida consumers.


The coalition, which includes the Florida Justice Association, Florida AFL-CIO, Florida Consumer Action Network, Florida PIRG, FIRM, HAC, ACORN, Cyber Citizens for Justice, POA Of The Villages, Floridians In Action and several condominium associations, applauds the Florida Legislature for taking a, “good first step,” in reforming Florida’s insurance system.  However, the coalition also acknowledges that there is still much work to be done before all the insurance consumers of this state see the broad-based rate relief they so sorely need.   


“This bill is the most significant pro-consumer insurance reform in my memory,” said Paul Jess, General Counsel for the Florida Justice Association.  “We are pleased that our new Governor and legislative leaders are putting the needs of consumers ahead of industry profits.” 

“This first effort is extremely encouraging and represents a real sea change from the past when our elected officials lacked the courage and the will to stand up to the insurance lobby and push a reform agenda,” commented Florida AFL-CIO President Cindy Hall .  “It is not a cure-all, in fact it is just the beginning, but I think it speaks volumes about Governor Crist’s more people- oriented approach to governing.  This gives us hope for the future.”


The coalition still has real concerns about Florida ’s insurance regulatory structure and understands that there are still myriad areas that need real reform before this crisis is over.   However, it believes that the people can take comfort in knowing that our new governor and legislative leadership is committed to the principle that relief must start, not with insurance industry handouts, but with real consumer oriented reforms.  Florida ’s property insurance crisis has grown over several years and, as such, is not a problem that can be fixed all at once.  The coalition is committed to continuing to work with the governor and legislature in the upcoming regular session to further ensure that Florida ’s homeowners can get insurance at affordable prices from insurance companies who treat their customers with respect and pay legitimate claims promptly.


“We hope the Governor will sign this bill with the understanding that much more needs to be done and that our support for this first step does not mean that our work here is done,” said Brad Ashwell , Consumer Advocate with Florida PIRG. “Our coalition is just getting fired up and we will be aggressively pursuing more consumer friendly changes in the regular session.”


"Having Affordable Coverage"

Ginny Stevans (727-967-8220)

Florida Consumer Action Network, Inc. (FCAN )

Bill Newton (813-785-0413)

Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe  (FIRM)

Teri Johnston (305-797-0955) 

Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now (ACORN)

Laura Goodhue (561-512-7579)

Cyber Citizens For Justice, Inc.  (CCFJ)


Jan Bergemann (386-740-1503) 

Property Owners Association of The Villages (POA)


Joe Gorman (352-259-0999)

Floridians In Action (FIA)


Waldo Faura III (305-412-3494)


Brad Ashwell (850-294-1008) 

Coalition Of Florida Condominium Ass. (COFCA)

Dr. Bob Wolf (305-318-2548)



Jacqui Sisto (850-224-9403)

Consumer Federation of the Southeast (CFSE)

Walter Dartland (850-212-2945)



Rich Templin (850-566-4348)