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**PHOTO RELEASE** CFO Jimmy Patronis Issues Proclamation Recognizing Contractor Fraud Awareness Week

5/23/2022

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, as the Florida Legislature convened a special session on property insurance reform, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis signed a proclamation recognizing the week of May 23-27 as Contractor Fraud Awareness Week, in partnership with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). NICB leadership including Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Tim Slater, Director of Field Operations for the Southeast Region Charlie Worsham, and Director of Government Affairs Eric De Campos joined the CFO in Tallahassee today to accept the proclamation.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Since day one, I’ve made it my priority to combat fraud and protect Florida consumers. As we’ve seen time and time again, disasters bring out the best in some but the worst in others. Unscrupulous contractors flock to Florida to prey on homeowners and their insurance policies, ultimately driving up insurance rates for every single one of us. They are stealing from us all and my fraud detectives are working every day to track down these bad actors and hold them accountable. Insurance fraud can have devastating consequences for you and your family and stifle your recovery following a storm. Always remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it is. Never sign anything regarding your insurance without talking to your agent or calling my office first. If you or someone you know is suspicious of fraudulent activity, please contact my office at FraudFreeFlorida.com. Thank you to the NICB for their partnership in educating Floridians on the pitfalls of contractor fraud and their support in working to hold fraudsters accountable in Florida.”
 
National Insurance Crime Bureau President and CEO David J. Glawe said, “Receiving this Proclamation from CFO Patronis is a tremendous honor as it recognizes the seriousness of contractor fraud that requires all of us, from homeowners to state and local leaders, to work together to combat. Contractor fraud costs homeowners and insurance companies billions of dollars each year as deceitful contractors follow well-rehearsed scams. By signing this Proclamation, we can bring greater awareness to insurance fraud and what Floridians can do to not be victimized by these schemes.”
 
PROCLAMATION
 
WHEREAS, each year, Floridians face destructive forces from hurricanes, tornadoes, and flooding, all of which carry the potential to cause serious damage – or, even worse, total destruction – to private property and homes; and
WHEREAS, following disasters, stressed and strained homeowners are vulnerable to well-rehearsed, predatory practices from dishonest contractors fraudulently adding costs to repair or rebuild homes; and
WHEREAS, these predatory practices by some contractors have increased costs to rebuild for insurers and homeowners alike, ultimately driving up insurance premiums on consumers and forcing some insurers to reduce their exposure; and
WHEREAS, insurance fraud adds 5 to 10 percent to claims expenses paid for by insurers and consumers; and
WHEREAS, it is imperative an effective public outreach campaign highlight the various types of contractor fraud schemes, and provide methods on how consumers can identify and avoid such schemes; and
WHEREAS, the National Insurance Crime Bureau encourages Floridians to get at least three written estimates, check contractor credentials, and work closely with insurers during the entire rebuilding process when hiring a contractor; and
WHEREAS, the National Insurance Crime Bureau, in collaboration with its local and state partners in Florida, including law enforcement, first responders, legislators, and state officials, are committed to educating Floridians about predatory practices by dishonest contractors.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal of the State of Florida does hereby recognize May 23-27, 2022 as
CONTRACTOR FRAUD AWARENESS WEEK
and encourage the citizens of Florida to become familiar with contractor fraud and participate in various programs focused on brining awareness to contractor Fraud.
IN TESTIMONY WHEREOF the Chief Financial Officer of the State of Florida has hereunto subscribed his name on the 23rd day of May 2022.
 
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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).