Our state, our citizens and our insurance market suffered considerable damage in the wake of eight hurricanes that battered Florida in less than 15 months. Hurricane recovery and insurance reform continue to be the most important issues facing most Floridians, and are my top priority this legislative session.
Last Wednesday, I hosted a pre-session legislative roundtable with several key lawmakers to discuss the comprehensive package of property insurance reform proposals that I have put forward to strengthen the state’s property insurance market, to bring rate relief to homeowners, and to improve protections and coverage options for Floridians.
My proposals, including standardizing our state building codes and providing incentives to help Floridians hurricane-proof their homes, are gaining widespread support in the Legislature. Many have been incorporated into legislation sponsored by House Insurance Chairman Dennis Ross, Representative Don Brown and others, including protecting homeowners from subsidizing losses in Citizens Property Insurance, refocusing the insurer of last resort’s mission, and limiting the size and financial impact that Citizens has on Florida homeowners.
I also remain committed to lobbying state lawmakers to provide rate relief for homeowners and to return sales tax revenue to Floridians to offset the burden of insurance assessments.
At the federal level, I am calling on Congress to establish a national catastrophe fund and to create Catastrophic Savings Accounts to help Floridians save money tax-free to cover hurricane deductibles or expenses. Key members of Congress, including Representatives Ginny Brown-Waite, Clay Shaw and Tom Feeney, deserve kudos for tackling these important issues on behalf of Floridians.
I urge my fellow Floridians to contact their state and federal representatives and let them know you support reforms that will help improve the availability and affordability of property insurance in our state.
MESSAGE FROM TOM GALLAGHER: BEWARE OF PREDATORY LENDERS
BARTOW BUSINESS OWNER FACING FRAUD CHARGES
MULTI-AGENCY TASKFORCE ANNOUNCES DETAILS OF OPERATION MONEY TRAIL
Operation Money Trail is a year-long, ongoing investigation into a multi-million dollar scheme to launder money through bogus shell construction companies, and undermine the ability of honest workers and construction companies to compete throughout South Florida.
“This was a large-scale, highly organized scheme,” said Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, who oversees the Department of Financial Services and Division of Insurance Fraud. “Those involved in this scam should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
According to investigators, the first step in the conspiracy included setting up bogus construction companies. These companies had no employees, no equipment, and their owners never had any intention of building anything but their own bank accounts. These fake companies would obtain worker’s compensation insurance, and head out into the workplace to take work away from legitimate laborers working for legitimate construction companies.