Agents should routinely verify the licensure of the companies for which they're selling. If you suspect an entity is not authorized or licensed to transact insurance in Florida, from Florida or with residents of Florida, please notify our office. Report suspected unlicensed activity. Call 877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
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One of my top priorities as Florida's Chief Financial Officer is to fight the fraud, waste and abuse that cause insurance costs to rise. Our Division of Insurance Fraud does so every day by investigating criminal acts of insurance fraud committed in Florida. The cases we work are as diverse as our state. We could not be as successful without the help of our fellow law enforcement partners and consumers who arm themselves with information and report suspected illegal activities.
From staged car accidents to employers who fail to provide workers' compensation coverage for their employees to a faked water leak for an insurance payout, we've learned that fraudsters and scam artists will stop at nothing to line their pockets with others' hard-earned money.
Fraud happens to all ages and income levels--it knows no boundaries. It can happen to you, and it's already impacting your insurance premiums. When insurance companies are forced to pay out billions in losses caused by fraud each year, that money is recovered in the form of higher rates for everyone. In fact, the Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that fraud costs each family about $950 annually.
Although we're making great strides in our fight for a fraud-free Florida with nearly 6,000 arrests since 2011, I am not slowing down.
Our efforts are strengthened by the law enforcement partnerships we've forged and the dedicated prosecutors who work within State Attorney's Offices across Florida. These partnerships extend our fraud-fighting team. With thousands more on the lookout, we'll continue tearing down the fraud rings that wish to cheat and steal from hard-working taxpayers.
March is Fraud Prevention Month, and it's a great opportunity to share a simple message: if you see something, say something. The Division has a toll-free Fraud Tip Hotline at 1-800-378-0445. Callers can choose to remain anonymous, and if they provide information that leads to a conviction, they may be eligible for a cash reward through our Anti-Fraud Reward Program.
If you ever feel like you've been cheated or that you've been made an offer that sounds too good to be true, we hope to hear from you.