Volume 1 Number 3
January 19, 2004



TALLAHASSEE – “Get Smart About Insurance Week” kicks off today, and Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher is urging Floridians to review their home, life, auto and property insurance coverage.

While an insurance checkup may reveal you have inadequate coverage, Gallagher said it also could show that you are paying for more than you need. He offered these tips:

·         Make sure you are dealing with a licensed agent who works for companies licensed to sell insurance in the state.  A business card is not proof of licensure.

·         Shop among at least three companies for the best coverage at the best price. 

·         Ask about discounts.  Some insurers offer discounts for multiple policies or longtime policyholders, or for an alarm in your home or automobile. 

·         A higher deductible may mean a lower premium, but understand the pros and cons of higher deductibles.

·         Read your insurance policy carefully.  It is a legal document.

·         Keep your policy in a safe, waterproof location and take steps to protect your financial identity.  Identity thieves have used stolen information to file fraudulent claims and collect insurance payments.

In a continuing effort to provide timely and important information to Floridians about a variety of financial services topics and to warn consumers about potential scams, the Department of Financial Services last year launched a new online system that allows Internet users to search an expansive consumer database or track a request for assistance as it is handled by consumer specialists. Consumers can also browse updated FAQs and Consumer Guides.

The new system, “Service Point,” is available on the department’s website at www.MyFloridaCFO.com by clicking the “Service Point” icon.