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

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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.

  • Driving a company truck for a living, the Department of Transportation (DOT) cited the driver of the truck for a broken tail light.  The next time his personal auto insurance was renewed, the premium had risen significantly because of the ticket.  What can he do?  DFS assisted by inquiring if the ticket from the DOT for a broken light on his employer’s truck should impact the driver’s personal insurance.  The insurance company agreed to restore his premium to the original amount.

  • A family who spoke little English came into a regional office asking for help.  Having purchased a car several months before, the annual auto insurance premium was almost paid in full when the car insurance policy was purchased.  The company had them sign a premium finance agreement anyway to make monthly payments.  Two days later they paid the outstanding balance in full so the car insurance was paid for the year. Then the family began receiving late payment notices, notices of insurance cancellation and the bother of a collection agency.  What can they do?  After an investigation, it was determined that the money had never been applied to the debt, someone at the agency kept the family’s money and actually was making late monthly payments on the policy.  DFS assisted by having the company remove the collection activity on the family’s credit reports, give a refund of fees, and take action against the agent for not applying the payment to the premium debt.  

The next time you have a problem or a question about insurance, call us at 1-800-342-2762.