Volume 8 Number 29 July 22, 2011
Dear Fellow Floridians:
I am pleased to announce the appointment of insurance watchdog Robin Westcott as our new Insurance Consumer Advocate. This is a very important position—one which requires a person who is a proven and dedicated champion of policyholders in the state of Florida. I have great confidence in Robin’s ability to keep a sharp eye on the insurance industry and keep insurance companies accountable to their customers.
Robin’s first order of business is to address the cost drivers that are causing auto and property insurance rates to escalate beyond what many Floridians can afford to pay. She is keen on protecting insurance consumers from fraud and abuse, and she wants every person to be able to understand and receive exactly what they are paying for.
With a vast range of experience in the public and private sectors, Robin has what it takes to keep the public informed and protected from potential harm, both from unfair practices and from the distress that comes when disaster strikes and a consumer is not properly covered. I look forward to serving with Robin as we continue to advocate for you and help you keep more of your hard-earned dollars in your own pockets.
Chief Financial Officer
State of Florida
I had the opportunity to meet Miguel and Maria Vazquez, owners of Sentir Cubano, a Cuban food market and shop in Miami. Their shop sells Cuban art, historical items, food and memorabilia as well as guayaberas, Cuban linen shirts. I even purchased a personalized guayabera during my visit to their family-owned small business. Be sure to support your local businesses whenever you can. Small businesses are the backbone of our economy.
The Department’s Bureau of Unclaimed Property, which currently holds unclaimed property accounts valued at more than $1 billion, recorded its highest single month of returns in June by putting $23.1 million back into citizens’ pockets.
The last record was set in March 2010 with $22.4 million in returned cash and property. In March 2011, CFO Atwater achieved the fourth-highest month of returns with $21.6 million.
The Unclaimed Property program has existed for 50 years. The cash and property holdings come mostly from dormant accounts in financial institutions, insurance and utility companies, securities and trust holdings. There is no statute of limitations, and citizens have the right to claim their property any time at no cost. To search for unclaimed property, visit www.FLTreasureHunt.org or call 1-88-VALUABLE.
This week, CFO Atwater will appear on “Florida Face to Face” with Beth Switzer, an in-depth interview program where state leaders and policymakers talk about the issues that affect Floridians. Be sure to check out CFO Atwater’s appearance on “Florida Face to Face” on stations across the state listed here.
You have reviewed your home insurance policy but what about your car insurance? Comprehensive or other than collision coverage pays for damage to a vehicle from incidents other than a collision including: fire, theft, windstorm, vandalism or flood. If your policy includes Comprehensive coverage at the time of a disaster, then wind and flood damages are covered. Residents and small business owners should talk to their agent to review their automobile policies to ensure they have adequate coverage. For additional resources visit www.MyFloridaCFO.com.