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

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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.

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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.  CONTINUED

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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.

  • Her homeowners insurance premium was paid with a binder at closing but the agent kept the money and never paid her premium to the company.  Now hurricane damage has occurred and no insurance policy was in officially in force.  What can she do? DFS assisted by requesting that the company stand behind the actions of the agent.  Her hurricane damage was paid by the insurance company since she had a document evidencing coverage.

  • His car insurance premium rose by 100% - it doubled even though he had the same car, had not changed his residence, and no details had changed in the coverage.  What can he do?  DFS assisted by asking the insurance company to justify the increased premium.  The insurance company admitted that a mistake had been made when a code on his account reflected a vandalism claim that was actually a claim for hurricane damage from a tree that fell on his car.  The company apologized and restored his premium to the original amount. CONTINUED


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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:  CONTINUED