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CFO Jimmy Patronis Highlights 2023 DFS Accomplishments

For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 28, 2023
Contact: Office of Communications,, 850.413.2842

CFO Jimmy Patronis Highlights 2023 DFS Accomplishments

~ The Florida Department of Financial Services led successful efforts to aid hurricane victims, support first responders, and protect taxpayers and consumers ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis highlights the 2023 accomplishments of the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS).

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis said, “It’s been the honor of a lifetime to serve alongside the amazing men and women of DFS as your CFO and State Fire Marshal. These fantastic public servants have worked throughout the year to make the lives of Floridians better in 2023. This year brought some unique challenges, but despite all of the trials, our DFS team leaned forward to aid Floridians following storms and support our first responders as they worked to serve our communities. From our teams who responded to Hurricane Ian, Nicole, and Idalia recovery efforts, to our sworn law enforcement officials who are cracking down on insurance fraud that impacts all of our rates, our agency has never been stronger. We’ve got dedicated consumer services employees who are fielding calls each day to hold insurers accountable to policyholders, we’ve got teams of professionals who are returning hundreds of millions of dollars in unclaimed property back to their rightful owners, and we’ve got folks that are managing billions of dollars in taxpayer money to ensure we’re being fiscally accountable and getting the best return on state investments. I want to give a huge thank you to team DFS and the thousands of public servants across the state who support Floridians each day and I look forward to more great accomplishments in 2024.”


2023 DFS Accomplishments


Assisting Hurricane Victims & Insurance Consumers

Following the devastating impacts of Hurricanes Ian and Nicole in 2022, and Hurricane Idalia in 2023, CFO Patronis and the Division of Insurance Consumer Services successfully deployed 18 Insurance Villages this year to help thousands of Florida residents secure more than $24 million in claims checks. The Insurance Villages allow policyholders to meet with their property insurer in person and work together to solve any outstanding claims.

Following Hurricane Idalia, the CFO also activated and deployed his Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) to protect Florida residents and businesses from fraud. The DFAST deployment consists of three teams comprised of 23 personnel, including insurance fraud and workers’ compensation fraud detectives. The teams were positioned in the 16 Florida counties most impacted by Hurricane Idalia, including Taylor, Dixie, Lafayette, Madison, Suwannee, Hillsborough, Pasco, Citrus, Levy, Pinellas, Marion, Hernando, Columbia, Union, Bradford, and Alachua counties. CFO Patronis’ anti-fraud teams work to ensure contractors follow Florida workers’ compensation laws while conducting repairs following storms. They also worked to educate and inform the public on law changes related to the Assignment of Benefits (AOB) process.

This year, the CFO’s Division of Insurance Consumer Services answered more than 71,000 calls, opened more than 31,000 service requests, and assisted Floridians with more than 23,000 mediation requests. The Division successfully recovered more than $67 million on behalf of Florida insurance consumers in 2023.


Fighting Fraud & Protecting Consumers

This year, CFO Patronis’ Division of Investigative and Forensic Services (DIFS) continued their mission to fight fraud and protect Florida’s consumers from scams and financial abuse. The CFO’s fraud detectives opened more than 1,400 cases and made more than 630 arrests for fraud, arson, and misuse of state funds, leading to a total of more than $160 million in court-ordered restitution in 2023.

In 2023, the CFO advocated for major insurance reforms to protect policyholders including Senate Bill 7052, Insurer Accountability, which includes provisions to increase the accountability and the Office of Insurance Regulation’s (OIR) oversight of insurance companies in Florida.

The CFO also successfully advocated for Senate Bill 1002 which cracks down on Assignment of Benefits (AOBs) abuse within the automobile windshield repair and replacement industry to fight rising car insurance rates throughout Florida.

During the Special Session in December, the CFO advocated for additional funding for the successful My Safe Florida Home Program. The program, administered by DFS, provides funding for free home inspections and matches funding for home enhancements to harden homes against storms in an effort to reduce insurance premiums.

This year, the My Safe Florida Home Program approved more than 23,000 grant applications, conducted more than 94,000 free home inspections, and reserved more than $238 million in home hardening grants on behalf of Floridians.

In an effort to further protect Florida consumers, the CFO successfully advocated for Senate Bill 262, legislation that installed data privacy protections in Florida by designating the "Florida Digital Bill of Rights" and required tech companies to limit the collection of personal data.

The CFO also pushed for Consumer Protection Legislation which required important disclosures regarding solar panels at the time of sale to ensure consumers know what they are buying and how it can impact their property insurance costs.


Fighting IRS Overreach

In 2023, CFO Patronis made it a priority to highlight federal overreach by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and protect Florida taxpayers from targeting by the tax agency. The CFO hosted five roundtables around the state with key stakeholders, elected officials, and legislators. At the CFO’s roundtable in Naples, he discussed the idea of the IRS using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to go after law abiding taxpaying citizens. This coming session, the CFO proposed legislation to survey all state vendors to assess whether they’re providing AI services to the IRS.

At the CFO’s Roundtable in Doral, he criticized reports of the IRS targeting Taylor Swift fans who sold tickets for more than $600. At the CFO’s Roundtable in West Palm Beach, he announced that he issued a letter to Venmo, PayPal, Cash App and Zelle demanding that they cease all operations to build technologies taxing Floridians from their small dollar transactions and that they public release all communications between their apps and the federal government.

At the CFO’s Roundtable in Orlando, he launched the Florida IRS Transparency Portal. The online portal was created for individuals, private businesses, or non-profits to report evidence of discrimination by IRS operatives and will help Florida identify patterns of discrimination where specific IRS agents are targeting certain political causes, practices, or beliefs.


Supporting First Responders

In an effort to highlight the new dangers associated with Electric Vehicle (EV) and lithium battery fires, CFO & State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis addressed the Lithium Ion Battery Symposium at the Florida State Fire College in Ocala. The event covered a broad range of Lithium-Ion battery related topics and risk exposures that are critical to protecting Florida’s first responder community and EV consumers.

During session, the CFO pushed for key provisions in the DFS Agency Bill that allowed for firefighters’ to receive charitable donations by creating a Direct Support Organization (DSO) to support financial efforts to protect their communities and provide life-saving equipment and resources.

This session, the CFO successfully advocated for Senate Bill 7024 which includes vital reforms to Florida’s Retirement System (FRS) that will benefit recruitment and retention of first responders in Florida. For Law Enforcement, Firefighters, Correctional Officers, and Emergency Medical Technicians, the bill lowers the years of service and age needed to reach full retirement to the pre-2011 requirements.

This summer, the CFO also awarded more than $90,000 in cancer decontamination funding to fire departments in West Palm Beach and the Southwest Florida area. A top priority of CFO Patronis during the 2021 Legislative Session, the Cancer Decontamination Grant Program within the DFS helps protect the health and safety of firefighters by providing financial aid to mitigate exposure to hazardous, cancer-causing chemicals.


Protecting Taxpayers

Throughout the year, the CFO advocated for measures to protect Florida taxpayers and ensure prudent fiscal management of state funds. The CFO advocated for House Bill 3 which prohibits financial institutions from discriminating against consumers for their beliefs, barring the consideration of "ESG Credit Scores;” and permanently prohibiting SBA fund managers from considering Environmental, Societal and Governance (ESG) factors when investing the state's money.

In January, the CFO issued a directive barring asset managers within Florida’s deferred compensation program from investing participants’ compensation in financial products associated with ESG. The Florida Deferred Compensation Plan is the supplemental retirement plan for employees of the State of Florida. Participants may defer a portion of their income, through a payroll deduction each pay period, to be invested and sheltered from taxation until withdrawn after separation of service. More than 93,000 State of Florida employees are enrolled in deferred compensation with total assets equaling $5.1 billion.

In July, CFO Patronis announced that the Florida Division of Treasury earned more than $1.1 billion in earnings during the 2022-23 Fiscal Year, a new state record. The Division of Treasury’s top priority is to protect taxpayer dollars, while being effective stewards of the operational monies and financial assets. The Florida Department of Financial Services manages approximately $60 billion in taxpayer money. In 2023, the State Treasury generated an estimated $1.5 billion in interest on investments.

The CFO advocated for Senate Bill 7054 which defines “Central Bank Digital Currency,” and prohibits its use as money within Florida’s Uniform Commercial Code (UCC).

In an effort to protect the 2nd Amendment rights of Floridians, the CFO supported Senate Bill 214 which successfully banned financial institutions from generating reports for the purchase of arms, and ammunition, sales for arms dealers. The information report could be used to target Americans and businesses who legally purchase, and sell, firearms and ammunition.


Supporting Israel

Following the unprecedented terrorists attack on Israel, the CFO issued a proclamation in support of the Nation of Israel, Florida’s economic partner and ally.  

Following the attacks, the Florida Treasury invested an additional $120 million in Israel bonds. After a recent purchase of $25 million in Israel Bonds, this additional bond purchase brought Florida’s total current investment in Israel bonds to $200 million, the largest total ever held at one time by the Florida Treasury.

In November, the CFO also issued a directive barring the Department of Financial Services, Unclaimed Property Division, from returning unclaimed property to nation-states, and other regions, that facilitate attacks and other hostilities towards Israel. The countries barred under the directive include Iran, Syria, Lebanon and regions associated with Palestine.


Returning Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Unclaimed Property

In 2023, CFO Patronis’ Division of Unclaimed Property returned more than 500,000 accounts to Floridians valued at more than $400 million. Since CFO Patronis took office in July 2017, the Division has returned more than $2.2 billion in unclaimed property.

In August, the Division of Unclaimed Property also hosted an unclaimed property auction in Orlando this year that generated more than $1.89 million. Until claimed, these funds are deposited into Florida’s school fund for the benefit of public education. There is no statute of limitations and consumers have the right to claim their unclaimed funds at any time, at no cost.

In October, CFO Patronis awarded a check for $149,000 in unclaimed property to Moffitt Cancer Center and highlighted October as Breast Cancer Awareness Month.


About CFO Jimmy Patronis  
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).

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