Volume 3, Number 3, January 16, 2006
Today, I had the opportunity to join Governor Bush and more than 900 students, educators and community leaders in Orlando to celebrate and honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – a man whose vision continues to provide hope and inspiration to our nation today.
In 1963, to a crowd of more than 250,000 on the March on Washington, Dr. King said, “With this faith (in our dream), we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.”
His life’s work and message of peace broke down the barriers of racial segregation in our country and set the stage for building a society in which all people would have freedom, a sense of purpose and opportunity.
His life is also an inspiring reminder that one person can make a difference and that values, such as respect, honesty and compassion, matter.
Please take a moment to consider this great man and his influence in shaping our country and our future.
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.
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.
The Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer Services, receives more than a thousand calls a day from Floridians who need help with insurance or financial issues. Here are four stories of Floridians who have thanked us for our assistance.
The next time you have a problem or a question about insurance, call us at 1-800-342-2762.
REPORT INSURANCE FRAUD
The Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) in the Florida Department of Financial Services was formed in 1976 by the Florida Legislature to investigate fraudulent automobile tort claims. In the early years, investigators had arrest powers but could not carry firearms. Today, the division investigates all types of insurance fraud crimes and investigators are armed, sworn state law enforcement officers.
The Division of Insurance Fraud has five regions located throughout the state of Florida, each commanded by a law enforcement captain. One region is located in the north, one in central and three in south Florida.
Investigators are assigned to work general fraud cases, workers’ compensation fraud, medical and health-care fraud, and agent and company fraud. Areas of assignment may include:
Additionally, insurance companies doing business in Florida must report suspected fraud to the division. Those reports are protected from civil liability, provided the information is reported in good faith.