Follow the money on opponents of Citizens reform
We at R Street recently came across a blog post by Johnson Strategies, LLC that sheds light on the apparent motivations of many opponents to property insurance reform in Florida.
According to records obtained by the author, two law firms that have disproportionately profited off lawsuits filed against Citizens Property Insurance Corp. are the Merlin Law Group and Morgan & Morgan.
One of Merlin’s top attorneys is Florida’s former Insurance Consumer Advocate Sean Shaw, who also heads the group Policyholders of Florida. This organization, which publicly opposes insurance reforms that promote competition and crack down on fraud, is owned by the Merlin Law Group. According to the author of the blog, this law firm has made almost $2 million off lawsuits against Citizens.
Another firm mentioned to profit handsomely off Citizens has become a household name in much of the state in recent years. Anyone living in Florida has either driven by a billboard or seen a hackneyed television ad by Morgan & Morgan featuring none other than the architect of the state’s current insurance crisis, Republican-turned-independent-turned Democrat Charlie Crist. Well, it should come as no surprise that Morgan & Morgan is another top firm in litigation against Citizens. And with all the rumors flying that Crist will run for his old job, there is reason to believe that his current employer will do everything in its power to elect a governor who will veto any reforms that crack down on their lucrative litigation.
There is no question that there are many who genuinely advocate for consumers and are concerned that certain reforms may adversely impact Floridians who simply cannot afford to pay higher rates. But then there are those who use the plight of consumers as a ruse to keep the gravy train coming.
A good litmus test is to simply follow the money. If it leads you to a bunch of lawyers in a swanky office building in downtown Tampa instead of a struggling policyholder, beware.
See full blog post here: http://johnsonstrategiesllc.com/citizens-whats-needed-a-watchdog-or-a-real-tiger