News You Can Use
In the Know
Education Central
Compliance Corner
Case Notes
Enforcement Actions
Contact Us


Current Issue
Previous Issues

Department Home | Agent and Agency Home | Insurance Insights Home

  Vol. 8 , No. 5 - September 2019

News You Can Use

**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis Debunks
Top Hurricane Season Myths

Tallahassee, Fla.- As Hurricane Jerry churned in the Eastern Atlantic as the 10th named storm of the 2019 Hurricane Season, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis debunked five insurance myths. It is important for Floridians to know the difference between insurance myths and facts to ensure they are prepared for a hurricane.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Floridians are more than familiar with hurricane season, but every year we hear of new insurance myths that confuse and mislead consumers. Be on the lookout for rumors spread online and on social media and take time to verify the information before you fall victim to fraud or scams. Visit my website PrepareFL.com or call 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) to talk to a knowledgeable insurance specialist about your insurance questions."

5 Common Hurricane Season Myths:

MYTH 1: If a storm becomes a Category 5 you are not required to pay your insurance deductible for repairs.
FACT: Regardless of the strength of a storm, insurance deductibles will apply when you file a claim.


CFO Jimmy Patronis: Get Your Hurricane Plans in Place During National Preparedness Month

Tallahassee, Fla. - In recognition of September as National Preparedness Month, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis reminds Floridians to prepare now for disasters and do not wait until a storm is imminent. The theme of Week 3 of National Preparedness Month is Teach Youth to Prepare for Disasters to emphasize the importance of involving children in preparedness planning.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "As we've seen with recent storms including Hurricanes Michael and Dorian, severe weather can change and intensify quickly, and Floridians can't wait until a storm takes aim at our state to prepare their home and businesses for disasters. We are at the peak of the 2019 Hurricane Season, and I encourage all Florida families to take time together to practice your disaster plan and to ensure your supplies are stocked so your household is prepared."

CFO Patronis' PrepareFL.com website serves as a one-stop-shop for disaster preparedness information to help Floridians ensure they are prepared to weather the next storm.


CFO Jimmy Patronis: Over $2.4 Million in Claims Checks Cut On Site at Hurricane Michael Insurance Village

Panama City, Fla.- Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis hosted a Hurricane Michael Insurance Village this past Friday and Saturday at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City. The event provided an opportunity for Panhandle residents having insurance issues to meet with their insurance company face-to-face to work towards settling their claims.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Over the weekend, my Division of Consumer Services hosted a Hurricane Michael Insurance Village in Panama City that brought together 28 insurance companies to assist consumers with their insurance claims. I'm thrilled to say we made a real difference in the lives of consumers with insurance companies issuing more than $2.4 million in checks to policyholders affected by the storm.


CFO Patronis Announces $737,000 Workers' Comp Fraud Arrest in Miami

Miami, Fla. - Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announces the arrest of Norma Lopez Cedillo, the President of Nuvo Contractor, Inc., for workers' compensation fraud. Over a more than six-month period, Cedillo allegedly evaded paying nearly $737,000 in workers' compensation insurance premiums. The company allegedly conducted more than $5.5 million in business but reported an estimated $103,000 in anticipated payroll on their workers' compensation insurance policy.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Workers' compensation fraud puts employees at risk of being underinsured and drives up insurance rates statewide for honest, hard-working businesses. Last year alone, my fraud detectives made nearly 400 arrests for workers' compensation fraud. My office is committed to tracking down scam artists and I applaud the great work of our dedicated fraud detectives. I encourage businesses and individuals to report suspected insurance fraud to my website at FraudFreeFlorida.com."


CFO Jimmy Patronis: 40 Percent of Small
Businesses Won't Reopen after a Disaster,
Prepare Now!

Tallahassee, Fla. - With the peak of the 2019 Hurricane Season beginning in August, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis reminds Florida's small business owners of the importance of preparing now to protect their businesses and recover quickly in the event of a disaster.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "The peak of hurricane season is almost here, and now is the time to ensure homes and businesses are protected from a potential storm. I know the challenges small businesses face when preparing and recovering from a disaster and studies show that approximately 40 percent of small businesses won't reopen after a natural disaster. I know, just like protecting your home, protecting your livelihood is one of your top priorities. Good planning now may speed up disaster recovery and help ensure your business is back up and running after disaster strikes."

4 Small Business Disaster Preparedness Tips

  1. Build a business disaster preparedness plan. Because hurricane preparedness does not end at home, business owners should have a business disaster plan and practice emergency response plan procedures with their employees frequently.
  2. Ensure your business is adequately covered. Make sure you have sufficient insurance coverage to offset disaster costs and business disruption losses. Business owners should know your coverage options and consider business income coverage for lost revenue and normal operating expenses. Always be sure you understand your policy deductible and limits.
  3. Maintain emergency contact information. In the event of a disaster, it is vital that you have access to contact information for individuals that are crucial to business operations, such as employees, banks, lawyers, accountants, and suppliers. Also, make sure your employees know their duties during a disaster and what measures to take to remain safe as your business works to reopen.
  4. Protect important documents and information. An important part of disaster preparation is ensuring your businesses' important documents and data are protected. Consider using a secure, offsite data backups systems that can be accessed online from any location. Keep original copies of important records, including insurance and financial documents, in a safe place that is easy to access in the event of a disaster.

CFO Jimmy Patronis and Governor Ron DeSantis Announce FinTech Priorities in Jacksonville

Desantis-Patronis Jax

Jacksonville, Fla. - Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis joined Governor Ron DeSantis in Jacksonville for an announcement on several key initiatives that encourage financial technology ("FinTech") companies to open, relocate and expand in Florida.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "It was an honor to stand with Governor Ron DeSantis for an important announcement today. I promise we will always work to protect our consumers, and allow for businesses to grow and prosper here in Florida. By ensuring common-sense regulations are put in place to guarantee a stable market that protects consumers, we're doing just that with FinTech in our state."

Read the press release >>

CFO Jimmy Patronis Appoints Tasha Carter as Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate

Tallahassee, Fla. - Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis announced the appointment of Tasha Carter, long-time Director of the Florida Department of Financial Services' (DFS) Division of Consumer Services, as the state's Insurance Consumer Advocate effective August 1. The Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA) works independently from DFS and serves Floridians by actively engaging with consumers and working with stakeholders to find consumer focused solutions on insurance matters.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "As Director of the Division of Consumer Services for nearly a decade, Tasha Carter has tirelessly advocated for Florida's insurance consumers while fighting to hold insurance companies accountable. Her extensive knowledge of the insurance industry and the important issues facing everyday consumers make her a perfect fit for the role of Florida's Insurance Consumer Advocate."


CFO Jimmy Patronis: Student Loans - How Much
Are You Really Borrowing?

Tallahassee, Fla. - With the start of a new school year at Florida universities and colleges fast approaching, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis encourages students and their families to evaluate the impact student loans will have on their future and long-term goals. According to a recent report, student loan debt in the U.S. reached another all-time high of approximately $1.4 trillion in the first quarter of 2019 and increased by 116% in 10 years. Since student loans are a big commitment, it is important to understand your financial obligations as a borrower


**Consumer Alert** CFO Jimmy Patronis:
Beware of 'Spear Phishing' after $700,000
Cyberattack in Naples

Tallahassee, Fla. - With recent reports of a $700,000 "spear phishing" attack targeting the City of Naples, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is warning local governments, business owners and consumers to be on guard for targeted phishing schemes. Spear phishing is an email or text message spoofing attack that targets a specific organization or individual, seeking unauthorized access to sensitive information.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Businesses, consumers, and even government entities should be on high alert for scams. If you feel that you have been the victim of fraud, please visit my website at FraudFreeFlorida.com to report it immediately. The more these scams are reported, the greater chance we have to bring these criminals to justice."



Legal Notices © 2018 Florida Department of Financial Services