CFO Alex Sink photo

Volume 4 Number 10
March 9, 2007

Dear Floridian:
 

On Monday, I joined Florida’s new Insurance Consumer Advocate, General Bob Milligan, as he reported for his first day of duty.  Together we unveiled a new website designed to educate Floridians about our vision for the position, as well as provide contact information for consumers with insurance-related questions.  Floridians can now go online to www.MyFloridaCFO.com/ica/ to access the Insurance Consumer Advocate’s Web page. 

Seeking to strengthen the voice of the people, General Milligan and I will work with legislators to enhance the office of the Insurance Consumer Advocate.  Together, we will continue to search for innovative and practical solutions to help stabilize the insurance market while protecting the needs of consumers.



Sincerely,

 

Alex Sink



Insurance Consumer Advocate Milligan


 

CFO ALEX SINK AND GENERAL MILLIGAN, INSURANCE CONSUMER ADVOCATE, UNVEIL NEW WEBSITE FOR FLORIDIANS

Floridians can log on to www.MyFloridaCFO.com/ica/ to learn about the Insurance Consumer Advocate

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink joined General Bob Milligan on his first day reporting for duty as Florida’s new Insurance Consumer Advocate.  Pledging to increase awareness of the Insurance Consumer Advocate’s office, the two unveiled a new website designed to educate Floridians about their vision for the position, as well as provide contact information for consumers with insurance-related questions.  Floridians can now go online at www.MyFloridaCFO.com/ica/ to access the Insurance Consumer Advocate’s Web page.

 

 

 

 


“As I stated during the campaign, I want the Insurance Consumer Advocate to become a household name in Florida,” said CFO Sink.  “One of the first steps in strengthening the Insurance Consumer Advocate is educating Floridians about this position and how it serves the people.”

 “As the Insurance Consumer Advocate, it’s my goal to help educate and help defend the rights of Floridians when it comes to insurance,” said General Milligan.  “Together, the CFO and I will also be searching for new insurance solutions that will increase competition, stabilize the insurance market and offer consumers more choices.” CONTINUED



Alex Sink
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida

MARCH IS NATIONAL WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH 

This year, the theme for National Women's History Month is “Generations of Women Moving History Forward”.  During the month of March, the historical achievements and advancements made by women are celebrated.  As the first female member of the consolidated Florida Cabinet, our Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, serves as a role model for young women who want to be trailblazers in the financial and insurance industries.   

Women's roles have often been overshadowed throughout history. Today, we embrace the part that women have played in American history.  Their meaningful contributions are being showcased and are a rich legacy for our future generations.  Yet, we must continue to instill our young women with a belief in themselves that will help them overcome any obstacles they may face.  Education is the key to providing our next generation with the tools and confidence they need to achieve their goals.  CONTINUED




 

WINDSTORM MITIGATION STUDY COMMITTEE PUBLISHES FINAL REPORT

On the first day of the 2007 legislative session, the Windstorm Mitigation Study Committee published its final report analyzing mitigation efforts in Florida, including the My Safe Florida Home program, and detailing recommendations for future efforts to harden homes in Florida. 

The final report can be found at http://www.WindstormMitigationStudyCommittee.org.  

The committee was created as a result of House Bill 1A, passed by the Florida Legislature during Special Session.  The committee was charged with analyzing short- and long-term solutions and programs that address the need to immediately and effectively harden homes in Florida.  Copies of the report were delivered Tuesday to the Governor, Chief Financial Officer, Senate President, Speaker of the House and Insurance Commissioner. CONTINUED


INFORMATION SOUGHT IN $250,000 WAL-MART FIRE IN PALM COAST

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as State Fire Marshal, announced that the Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI) is asking for the public’s help in apprehending two individuals responsible for a fire last Saturday at a Wal-Mart in Palm Coast. The fire spread quickly, chasing as many as 500 customers, including children and people in wheelchairs, from the store.  The fire caused about $250,000 in damage. No injuries were reported. 

“This could have been a deadly situation and we are aggressively investigating this crime,” said CFO Sink.  “We hope someone will have information that will help us immediately catch who did this.” 

The fire occurred shortly after 5:40 p.m., March 3, at the Wal-Mart located at 174 Cypress Point Parkway, Palm Coast.  Store video of the fire being set is being distributed to media in the central Florida region with the aim that someone will identify the perpetrators or provide more information. 

The BFAI is working the investigation along with the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.  The Florida Advisory Committee on Arson Prevention is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction. 

The Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations is a law enforcement branch of the Division of State Fire Marshal that assists other state and local fire and law enforcement agencies in the investigation of fires of suspicious origin.  Anyone with information about this case or any incident of fire is asked to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON). 


STATE FIRE MARSHAL’S OFFICE SEEKS INFO IN FATAL ARSON  IN IMMOKALEE

Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, who also serves as State Fire Marshal, is urging anyone with information about a fire at a mobile home that led to the deaths of four people and the hospitalization of six others in Immokalee to call 1-877-662-7766 (1-877-NOARSON).

The fire occurred Sunday morning at a mobile home in Cleves Trailer Park, 713 2nd Ave., Lot #18, Immokalee, and detectives with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Bureau of Fire and Arson Investigations (BFAI) have determined the fire was intentionally set. It was the second time in as many weeks that a fire was reported at the home.

“A reward is being offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of whoever is responsible for taking these lives,” said CFO Sink. “We will not tolerate this kind of violence and are aggressively working to bring those responsible to justice.” CONTINUED
 


 

HOTLINE PROVIDES HELP TO PREVENT FORECLOSURES

Statistics indicate that half of all consumers who lose their homes to foreclosure have never contacted their lenders, according to a recent Freddie Mac study.  Also 60% were unaware that lenders might have been able to offer workout options.  The HomeOwnership Preservation Foundation, Neighborworks ® America, Fannie Mae Foundation, the United Way and the nonprofit Consumer Credit Counseling Service have joined together to help homeowners in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.  The service provides options for the homeowner to consider. 

The special foreclosure prevention hotline is 1-888-995-4673.  It links homeowners with free counseling 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, both in English and Spanish.  The nonprofit housing counselor offers consumers free advice based on a discussion of the consumer’s overall delinquency situation and a review of debts that is provided over the telephone by the consumer.  The process takes about half an hour and no identification information is requested from the consumer such as their date of birth or social security number.  This helps alleviate concerns about identity theft, and there is no adverse impact to the consumer’s credit score since no additional inquiries are made on the consumer’s credit report.  Appointments can be made in person if desired. CONTINUED