Dear Fellow Floridians:
As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, I am contacted every day by consumers
who have become overwhelmed, frustrated and confused by the insurance
claim-filing process. More than 300,000 Floridians in the midst of a stressful
situation involving a damaged or lost home have called my office with questions
about what to do, who to call, what to expect and when their maintenance and
financial problems can finally be resolved.
an effort to simplify the claims-filing process and alleviate the stress it
creates, I am working with the Florida Legislature to establish common sense
safeguards. Senate Bill 708, which recently passed its final committee of the
current legislative session, most significantly creates a Homeowner Claims Bill
of Rights that insurance companies will be required to give to every
policyholder who files a claim. The Homeowner Claims Bill of Rights is a one
page document that is easy to understand and clearly outlines policyholders’
rights under Florida law. Most importantly, however, the bill of rights will
provide simple instructions to make sure your insurance claim needs are met
fairly, timely and in accordance with the law.
Furthermore, our legislation requires that an insurer’s underwriting process
be completed in 90 days or less. Policyholders should not be denied their claim
if the sole reason for denial is credit-related information that has been
available for insurers to access in public records for months.
The bottom line is that homeowners already have enough to worry about when
dealing with a lost or damaged home. They need a clear direction in which to
proceed and the confidence that they can navigate the claims filing process
without becoming overwhelmed or making a detrimental decision that only adds to
You have my assurances that I will work tirelessly to help pass this
important piece of legislation. I am also calling on insurers to
enthusiastically support this bill because they should want their customers to
be as educated as possible and fully prepared to navigate the claims process.
If you have questions about your insurance claim, please contact our consumer
helpline at 1-877-693-5236. As your Chief Financial Officer, I am committed to
ensuring the financial rights and protections of every Floridian.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
Florida Economic Briefs
Florida foreclosures decrease
In February, the number
of properties that received a foreclosure filing in Florida was 7 percent lower
than the previous month and 24 percent lower than the same time last year - the
seventh consecutive month with an annual decrease.
Florida unemployment rate drops 0.2 percent in January; lowest rate
Florida’s unemployment rate was 6.1 percent in January
2014, down 0.2 percentage point over the month, and down 1.9 percentage points
from 8 percent a year ago. The state’s January rate was the lowest since June
2008 when it was 6 percent. Furthermore, January 2014 was the 42nd consecutive
month with positive annual job growth after the state lost jobs for over three
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics
Explore the latest edition of
Florida’s Bottom Line. Inside, you’ll find expert insight on
Florida’s economy, finances, workforce and housing market in the year ahead.