Dear Fellow Floridians:
More than 600,000 hurricane-related insurance claims have been filed across our state, and I expect that number to climb higher in the days and weeks to come. As we enter the second stage of Irma recovery, we're focusing on making sure that insurance professionals have the tools they need to adjust and close your claims as efficiently and effectively as possible -- helping your family return to normal faster!
To help accelerate recovery efforts across the state, I've recently announced that I'm extending the continuing education deadline for insurance professionals, so that they can focus their efforts on post-storm claims rather than completing office work. Licensees with continuing education deadlines in September, October, or November will now have until December 31st to complete their requirements. No form or application process is needed -- our team will take care of the paperwork.
Continuing education is important in all professions, and I will ensure that it gets done, but I believe that granting this extension is in the best interest of our state.
As part of our second stage recovery efforts, we're also establishing anti-fraud strike teams that will soon deploy across Florida. Comprised of our highly-trained insurance fraud investigators, three teams will work directly in some of Florida's most heavily hit areas, including Miami and the Florida Keys, Fort Myers and Lehigh Acres, and the Central Florida corridor.
To say it frankly, Florida has been through enough, and I won't tolerate fraudsters attempting to take advantage of this high-stress time. We're putting boots on the ground to identify active fraud operations, and to educate communities about how to spot the red flags of fraud. We'll meet with homeowners and HOA groups directly, and we'll be partnering with local law enforcement to extend our eyes and ears in each area.
If you'd like to report suspicious behavior, you can contact one of our regional insurance fraud offices, or you can call our anti-fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445. When you call, provide as much detail as you can so that our investigators can follow up. Jot down business names on the side of trucks you're seeing, try to remember license plate numbers. If they're handing out flyers, keep one!