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Insurance Consumer Advocate

Sha'Ron James


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Mailing: 200 East Gaines St.
Tallahassee, FL 32399-0308

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Anti-fraud investigators looking for post-storm scam artists

 

Date: September 29, 2017
Source: WWSB My Suncoast
Author:   

 

TALLAHASSEE, FL (WWSB) - Anti-fraud investigators are being deployed across Florida in an effort to minimize the amount of insurance and repair fraudtaking place following Hurricane Irma. Ranging from over-billinginsurance companies to being unlicensed contractors, scam artists often attempt to take advantage of consumers following a disaster.

In an attempt to spot and stop the fraud, Florida’s Department of Financial Services is sending several employees to areas most impacted by Irma, including Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys along with Lee and Collier counties in Southwest Florida.

Evangelina Brooks is the chief of the Department’s Bureau of Insurance Fraud and said you should make sure that the company is licensed and insured.

"That is not only for today but for ten years out when, God forbid, they have some type of problem with their home. There is no recourse, because that fly-by-night company may not be here,” said Brooks.

Insurance adjusters and repair companies who are pushy or give quotes that seem too good to be true may be a warning sign that you need to look elsewhere.

“You could have a fly-by-night company come in and repair your home, and they may not repair it correctly. You may have issues down the line, and you’d have no recourse when it comes to getting your home repaired properly," added Brooks.

Consumers should always read any paperwork they are signing before repairs begin, and potential fraud can be reported to the state by calling the anti-fraud hotline at 1-800-378-0445.