If you are a GA resident please call and voice your opposition to this. Commissioner Oxendine is a damned good Insurance Commissioner. He is fair to both the consumer and the companies. If we combine this department into another with no insurance experience, one of two things will happen. One, whoever is in charge of settling disputes will buy into everything the companies tell them, to the detriment of the consumer. Two, they will just make the companies pay out every claim that comes across their desk. Either way the average consumer will be hurt.
I am writing to alert you to a recent move by Casey Cagle and the Georgia Senate Appropriations Committee to transfer the Department of Insuranceís Consumer Services Division to another government agency that has no insurance expertise or regulatory enforcement authority. If this measure passes, Georgia will be the only state in the nation where the Department of Insurance does not have the ability to assist consumers. As you know, the Consumer Services Division is on the front line in assisting you and your customers in settling disputes with insurance companies.
Last year, the Consumer Services Division helped settle insurance claim disputes for policyholders that resulted in the recovery of $22 million. These claim settlements might not have otherwise been obtained without our help. Over the past 14 years, we have helped recover approximately $200 million in settlements for policyholders. Our office is open to 7:00 p.m. each weekday to assist those with insurance needs. Additionally, our field representatives travel statewide to meet with individual insureds.
In this time of economic uncertainty, it is even more imperative that this Department has the ability to assist consumers in their disputes with insurance companies. This measure will ultimately harm Georgia citizens. The budget is now being considered in the House of Representatives. To register your voice on this important issue, please contact the leadership of the Georgia House listed below and urge them to preserve the Departmentís ability to continue helping Georgia consumers with their insurance needs.
Honorable Glenn Richardson
Speaker, House of Representatives
Honorable Mark Burkhalter
Speaker Pro Tem
Honorable Jerry Keen
Honorable Ben Harbin