Donnie Foster (L)
Editor’s note: We sent Foster the same 11 questions we sent the other insurance commissioner candidates. He submitted the below response, saying it could be published as the answer to the first question of our candidate questionnaire.
1. Like most elected officials, insurance commissioners can bring their own
projects or initiatives to the job. What would you do that’s outside the formal job
First, I want to state that I am the small businessman that has had to put up with the harsh insurance industry in Georgia, and that is why I am running. When elected, I plan on lobbying the state to take back full control and intent of the state insurance commissioner’s office. When I get full control back, I plan on lobbying the state to lower the minimum insurance liability, putting more money back into the pockets of Georgians. I will lobby the state to deregulate the insurance industry so that a free market economy can happen with insurance. Currently, you can only buy insurance from a company that has a business license in Georgia. Next, I will lobby the state to turn the fire marshals’ office back to local control. Right now, you have to wait upwards of two weeks to add to your house upon approval from the state, and I want that authority to go back to local control.
As far as dealing with complaints, I like to tell my supporters we do not need government oversight in this matter, and I would turn it over to private individuals. The current complaint system does not work; I myself have had issues with the insurance industry, and the best results were when I filed [with the] BBB (Better Business Bureau). The current system does not address the issues. Once a a true open and free market with insurance opens, I believe that rates will go down and more insurance companies will come to Georgia. I will lobby the state not to take any gifts from the insurance industry, and insurance company meetings will be watched by a nonpartisan ethics committee. To fight fraud and scams, there is already a state agency that handles that and does a great job: the Georgia Department of Revenue. When elected, I plan on closing the state insurance commissioner’s office down, with private sectors taking on the roles and local government taking roles.