Florida has a new insurance consumer advocate

Charles Elmore Charles Elmore

Sha'Ron James (Tallahassee Democrat)

After a couple of months without one, Florida gets a new insurance consumer advocate starting Aug. 3, state officials said today.

She is Sha’Ron James, a Tallahassee resident who has served as the director of the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Rehabilitation & Liquidation.

She replaces the retired Steve Burgess.

“Sha’Ron’s experience holding insurance companies accountable and her in-depth understanding of the insurance industry raises the bar for Florida’s advocacy efforts,” said Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. “Sha’Ron has fought to ensure that the interests of consumers come before profit and special interests, and I am confident she will carry her passion for the people of Florida into this role.”

James received her bachelor’s degree in economics from Florida A&M University, her master’s degree in public administration from Syracuse University, and her juris doctor from the University of Florida, according to a state release.

In her previous job she oversaw litigation proceedings when a Florida insurance company faces financial failure. In this role, James took into account the interests of consumers affected by the collapse of a carrier’s ability to provide coverage, officials said.

The consumer advocate reports to the CFO but otherwise is supposed to be independent under state law, representing consumers in rate hearings and other matters.

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