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CFO Jimmy Patronis Statement on Governor Ron DeSantis Signing Consumer Protection Legislation

6/16/2021

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis issued the following statement on Governor DeSantis’ signing of Senate Bill 1598. The legislation empowers consumers to make more informed insurance decisions and helps prevent bad actors from taking advantage of Florida families and businesses.


CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “I’m proud of the work we’ve done to change the culture that favors special interests over Florida insurance consumers. While we have made much progress, there is still more work to do and I applaud Governor DeSantis for signing this critical legislation and the Legislature for putting consumers first. Every year as CFO, I’ve worked to empower Floridians and rid our state of bad actors that come between consumers and their insurance policy. We must stop the use of unscrupulous business tactics that prey on Florida consumers during some of their most difficult times. Thank you to Governor DeSantis, President Simpson, Speaker Sprowls, Senator Gruters and Representative Clemons for sending a clear message that Florida protects our policyholders.”

Senate Bill 1598 requires public adjusters to provide a written estimate to consumers in 60 days, and ensures policyholders are provided with their adjuster's name and license number at physical inspections. The bill also eliminates misleading practices in the industry, such as using “Medicare” or “Medicaid” in their name and cracks down on unlicensed transaction of insurance. In addition, the legislation eliminates fees including the $100 fee consumers must pay to receive their unearned premium should their insurance company become insolvent. Furthermore, the bill ensures consumer data is protected by their insurance company and prohibits the practice of initiating an insurance policy without the knowledge and consent of the policyholder. Lastly, the legislation provides an extension for consumers to cancel a contract with a public adjuster to 10 business days, giving consumers more control over their claims.


Senator Joe Gruters said, “I was proud to sponsor this legislation that strengthens protections for Florida consumers. As always, when there is a consumer issue in Florida, CFO Patronis is at the front of the line championing the issue. With the Governor’s signature, we are cracking down on fraud and enhancing the insurance industry in Florida by strengthening communication between consumers and their insurance provider. I appreciate the CFO’s support throughout session as we worked to take this good bill to the finish line.”


Representative Chuck Clemons said, “It is critical that we support insurance policyholders in our state, and this legislation creates stiffer penalties for selling insurance without a license, which ultimately safeguards consumers. I’m pleased that the Governor signed this bill and appreciate CFO Patronis’ commitment to fighting for this legislation from day one. I was honored to sponsor this bill and look forward to continuing to work with the CFO on this important issue.”


Insurance Consumer Advocate Tasha Carter said, “I am grateful to CFO Patronis for his continued focus on protecting insurance consumers and SB 1598 does just that. The bill directly addresses several of the major factors negatively impacting the insurance market and consumers. The increased communication requirements for insurance companies, prohibitions for contractors and crackdown on unlicensed activity will ensure consumers are protected and remain a priority throughout the insurance claims process.”
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis 
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).