State Fire Marshal Gallagher with firefighters
Volume 3 Number 3
January 16, 2006

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Consumer Services HelpLine Number 800-342-2762
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RESIDENTS URGED TO 'VERIFY BEFORE YOU BUY'

The Department of Financial Services (DFS), through its Division of Consumer Services, offers a comprehensive consumer assistance program to help with insurance and financial issues. Asking a question or checking out the credentials of a financial specialist or company before a contract is signed can help avoid future problems.

In 2004, the DFS consumer services team conducted more than 1,200 outreach programs to help Floridians recover from four back-to-back hurricanes. Our homeowners insurance guides, hurricane preparedness seminars and materials are some of the tools for Floridians to help prepare financially, whether for hurricane season or for any important financial decision. 

Regional offices are located conveniently around the state and conduct local workshops, participate in community events, provide radio and television call-in programs, and schedule special events on site to expand awareness about insurance and other financial issues affecting residents.

Specialists provide assistance for hurricane-related insurance claims, answer questions and provide financial information about a variety of topics, including mortgages, annuities and securities. These programs and materials are provided as a service by the state, free of charge.

Florida residents are not alone when facing decisions concerning insurance and financial matters. Consumer specialists with the Department of Financial Services are there to help you in person or over the phone. Visit our "Verify Before You Buy" web pages for more information and easy access to data about agents and companies.

Consumer specialists are available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, through the toll-free Florida helpline, 1-800-342-2762. And online at www.MyFloridaCFO.com, consumers can track a question or complaint, verify licensure of a financial or insurance company, broker or agent, and find out more about a wide variety of topics.