In June, Allstate Floridian announced that they planned to send notices of premium increases to their policyholders without approval from the Office of Insurance Regulation and without a public hearing. The Office of Insurance Regulation reports to the Governor and Cabinet. At that time, I directed the Consumer Advocate to do an independent review of Allstate Floridian’s request for higher rates.
That independent review has revealed deficiencies in Allstate Floridian’s request and raises troubling questions about the company's motives in seeking rate increases.
In fact, it appears that this Florida-only company is attempting to justify its rates based on losses from other states. In addition, Allstate Floridian did not adequately document how non-renewing 95,000 Floridians – a substantial reduction in exposure – impacts their rate request. Finally, the report revealed that the companies are asking for an increase for reinsurance that is out of proportion with their previous rate requests.
This unjustified rate request should be denied.
Night falls over the 1908 Lafayette County courthouse in Mayo, the county seat. The two-story frame building across the street was an earlier courthouse. The county was formed in 1856 and named after the French marquis who assisted the colonies during the Revolutionary War.
TRG OPERATORS HANDED SENTENCES, ORDERED TO REPORT TO PRISON IN OCTOBER
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP INTO VIATICAL AND LIFE SETTLEMENT INVESTMENTS
GALLAGHER ANNOUNCES UNCLAIMED PROPERTY AUCTION RESULTS
TOM GALLAGHER ANNOUNCES ARRESTS IN $100,000 INSURANCE FRAUD CASE
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced the arrest of a Jacksonville acupuncturist and two of his patients on charges of insurance fraud. The announcement came after an investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF), which CFO Gallagher oversees, and the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) uncovered a fraudulent billing scheme that stuck at least seven insurance companies for more than $100,000.
Dr. Jia Qi Wu, 71, of Jacksonville; Frank Wodrazka, 60, of Weston; and Runsong Jiang, 34, of Orlando, allegedly participated in a scheme that included pre-billing, billing for services not rendered and over-billing. Wu, who operates Dr. Wu Acupuncture Center at 3948 Sunbeam Road, Suite 4, Jacksonville, is charged with insurance fraud, organized fraud and two counts of money laundering. Wodrazka is charged with money laundering, and Jiang is charged with organized fraud and insurance fraud. The charges are being prosecuted by the Office of Statewide Prosecution.
“Insurance fraud hits every Floridian in the pocketbook,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the department. “We will continue to follow every lead regarding possible fraud and send a strong message that such abuse of our citizens will not be tolerated.” CONTINUED
Identity theft is the unauthorized use of personal information for the purposes of obtaining financial gain. The unlawful use of another person’s personal data to open new credit card accounts, take out loans, or set up unauthorized financial accounts would be examples. While the information is being used illegally by the perpetrator for economic benefit, the unsuspecting consumer is the one left impacted by the financial fallout.
The Identify Theft Data Clearinghouse reported that the state of Florida received 16,062 complaints in 2004 regarding identity theft.
The Department of Financial Services cautions consumers to take extra care with the documents that have their personal identifying information such as social security numbers on them.
Today, many health insurance companies use a consumer's social security number as the member identification number. This information is printed on insurance cards that are commonly kept in purses or wallets.
The Department of Financial Services encourages consumers to contact their insurance company to request that their social security number not be included on the insurance card as a form of member identification. It can be requested that the membership number be changed to protect personal data.
TWO BROWARD WOMEN CHARGED FOR FALSELY REPRESENTING MARRIAGE DOCUMENTS TO COLLECT ON DEATH BENEFITS
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher announced that two Broward women are facing felony changes for falsifying marriage documents to collect more than $100,000 in insurance death benefits.
FORMER INSURANCE AGENT CHARGED WITH SWINDLING ELDERS
“This man targeted victims between the ages of 72 and 86 and fed on their fears and anxieties about aging,” said Gallagher, who oversees the department. “One of our highest priorities is protecting our most vulnerable citizens, and we will continue to aggressively pursue those who try to take advantage of them.”