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Delaware insurance rates are skyrocketing

When will it stop?

Last year, a CBS News Moneywatch article reported Delaware was the fourth most expensive state in the nation for car insurance, with rates 41 percent above the national average. In the past five years, Delaware has suffered the largest increase in workers’ compensation insurance in the country. Our neighboring states of New Jersey and Maryland, are keeping rates almost the same, and Pennsylvania is actually decreasing them.

Why the difference?

Because Delaware’s current Insurance Commissioner has been a rubber stamp for the multi-billion dollar insurance industry. Karen Weldin-Stewart approved the deal for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Delaware to be acquired by industry giant Highmark of Pennsylvania. Late Attorney General Beau Biden was quoted as saying it was a “bad deal for Delaware.” Public hearings were staged to give the appearance of transparency, but the deal was sealed. What did we get? This year alone, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield raised rates in Delaware by 21 percent.

Many types of insurance are mandated by law, such as auto insurance for drivers and workers’ compensation for businesses. These policy holders are caught between a rock and a hard place. Skyrocketing insurance premiums are bad for Delaware consumers, bad for Delaware’s employment situation and bad for Delaware’s economy.

The insurance industry employs thousands of lobbyists nationally, many work locally. Their job is to advocate on behalf of the insurance companies who want to raise rates to increase their profits. However, Delaware has an elected official who should be acting on behalf of consumers and our economy. By every measure, the current commissioner has failed Delawareans.

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I know that I can do better for Delaware. I’ve lived in Delaware all my life and have been a conscientious public servant for over 25 years. I grew up in New Castle and worked part time jobs to put myself through college. As a young adult, I was a licensed insurance agent, working for my dad, until I got my dream job as a New Castle County Police officer. I served almost 20 years as an officer, and over 5 years as your Sheriff in New Castle County. As an officer, I took pride and received great satisfaction standing up for people who were victims of crime and suffered loss. Nothing has been as rewarding to me as helping people who were down and out and providing them with help to improve their situations. As New Castle County Sheriff, I streamlined processes and procedures, saving hundreds of thousands of dollars.

My staff and I reviewed thousands of home foreclosure cases and found dozens with funds owed back to people foreclosed upon. I’ve returned about a quarter million dollars to those people who were down and out who probably wouldn’t have seen a dime. These funds didn’t belong to the big banks. They didn’t belong to the county or the state. The money belonged to people who lost their homes, and I made sure they got it back.

I’ve dedicated my career to looking out for the consumer and the people who have been pushed around in life. The insurance industry has run roughshod over Delaware for too long. My promise to you is that I will be the people’s voice to advocate for fairness in the insurance industry that serves Delawareans. We need a strong voice and a strong administration to protect insurance consumers. We need to level the playing field with the insurance industry. Delawareans and Delaware’s economy depend on it.

I will be the voice that’s been missing in the Delaware Department of Insurance: yours.

Delaware deserves better, and we will do better.

Trinidad Navarro is a 2016 candidate for Delaware Insurance Commissioner. He currently serves as New Castle County Sheriff. 

Article source: http://www.delawareonline.com/story/opinion/contributors/2016/04/26/delaware-insurance-rates-skyrocketing/83557584/

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