TALLAHASSEE, Florida, December 3 — The Florida Department of Financial Services issued the following press release on December 2, 2021:
At the Florida Annual House Insurance Summit, the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the formation and deployment of two new property insurance fraud teams dedicated to combating property insurance fraud in Florida. Financial Director’s Investigative and Forensic Services Division (DIFS) encompasses all law enforcement and forensic elements residing in the Department of Financial Services and investigating insurance fraud, workers’ compensation fraud, arson and the misuse of public funds.
CFO Jimmy Patronis said: “Every year as CFO I have worked to protect Florida consumers and fight rising insurance rates in our state. Whether it’s tackling AOB abuse, tackling post-disaster fraud, or shutting down unscrupulous contractors, eliminating fraud is key to controlling insurance costs. Since taking office in 2017, our Enforcement Unit has made over 4,500 arrests related to fraud and arson. These efforts have resulted in a total of over $ 173 million in court ordered restitution.
“Last year we worked with the Florida Legislature create two new anti-fraud teams dedicated solely to the fight against homeowner fraud and property insurance in Florida. The new squads are made up of 13 people in total, including ten sworn law enforcement detectives and are boots on the ground currently in Tampa and Orlando work with our federal, state and local partners to investigate property insurance fraud. While based at Central florida, these squads have the power to investigate important cases statewide.
“In addition, I asked these detectives to focus on significant cases involving organized fraud schemes, multiple suspects or jurisdictions, contractor fraud, phantom damage claims, inflated damage claims and fraudulent claims for water and roof damage. While my teams have put in a tremendous amount of time and effort to hold fraudsters accountable, we cannot do it alone. That is why we use a working group with both teams by joining the state attorney’s office, local prosecutors, law enforcement agencies and the insurance industry to better coordinate our anti-fraud efforts to protect that of Florida insurance consumers.
CFO Patronis also highlighted his legislative proposal for residential resilience tax relief, which provides a tax exemption for home improvement improvements so Floridians can further protect their homes and businesses from storm damage while still being able to protect their homes and businesses. saving money. This innovative sales tax exemption allows consumers to spend money on home improvement improvements while keeping more money in their pockets through tax savings and lower insurance premiums. Some of the items that would be included are impact resistant doors, windows and roof fixings.