FUBA: Tallahassee good guys come out ahead

FUBA image (002)

With all the snarky backstabbing that can take place in Tallahassee’s corridors of power, it’s nice when sometimes the good guy comes out ahead.

Dealing with the alphabet soup of associations trying to shape public policy in the capital, it’s easy to focus on the big boys – the ones who make the big campaign contributions and have the governor and legislative leaders on speed-dial. But a lot of fine statewide associations do their work without showing up in the news or political sites like this one.

They just go about their business, committed to doing good work on behalf of their members.

One of those organizations is FUBA, the Florida United Businesses Association. Think of FUBA as the small business counterpart to the Chamber and AIF. Those in The Process might only know them for The Advisor, FUBA’s legislative guidebook. Most of the year, FUBA toils in relative anonymity, helping their members comply with government regulations.

For many years, an important part of their work has been offering workers’ compensation coverage for their members, many of them small construction contractors. And workers’ comp is what this tale is all about.

Since 2000, FUBA partnered with another entity to provide workers’ comp coverage because it’s an association, not an insurance company. The actual insurance coverage was provided by a group self-insurance fund (it’s like a mutual) called FCBI, while FUBA provided underwriting, customer service and other processing.

Last year, FCBI decided it could reap more by handling things itself and tried booting FUBA to the curb.

FCBI had zero experience dealing with the policyholders or other aspects of the business, and could no longer use the familiar name “FUBA Workers’ Comp” to describe their product. FUBA, on the other hand, had that plus years providing customer service and association benefits. So FUBA leadership decided to stay the course by finding another insurance carrier to back up their workers’ comp product.

They did just that, and even better – their new partner, Lancer Indemnity Company, is A- rated in the insurance biz, something FCBI is not. So now FUBA members can get the same association benefits, with an even stronger workers’ comp carrier.

FUBA’s new partnership is just getting off the ground, and they’ll need to convince their members to stick around. But it’s a good organization with good people, and it’s somehow comforting to know that what could have been a mortal blow instead became a chance for renewal.

Like I said, it’s nice when the good guy turns out OK.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also the publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


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