Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Car, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well! Please enjoy the full article below, but see how Public adjustors really get you more money!!! We call it FRAUD!!!!

 

Florida CFO and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater, alongside Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, has made more than 30 arrests during the second wave of a collaborative state and local operation known as “Operation Flames and Floods.” The investigation exposed an extensive scheme in which a Miami public adjuster named Jorge Espinosa recruited homeowners to stage fire and water damage claims in residential homes in order to defraud multiple insurance companies.

Previously arrested in February 2014 for crimes related to this fraud ring, investigators have since uncovered 25 more fraudulent claims tied to Espinosa, representing total losses of more than $14 million.

“It is clear that this scheme was driven by greed, and unfortunately, it is the honest policyholders in our state who are left on the hook to cover the millions of dollars that were stolen,” said CFO Jeff Atwater.

Atwater credited the work of the Department’s investigators, as well the support of the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Arson Unit and Miami-Dade County State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, in stopping the individuals and holding them accountable.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said the insurance thieves were making their money by “Reaching into the wallets of every honest citizen of Florida. Their profits come from our pain and hard work. That is why these arrests are so important.”

Please call  L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial & Life & Financial Insurance as well.

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud has arrested Roxana Suarez La Rosa on charges related to PIP (personal injury protection) fraud. In 2012, the Saint Jose Injury Center in Jacksonville, Fla., which Suarez La Rosa owned and operated, generated more than 50 insurance claims. During this time, at least three cooperating witnesses indicated that they participated in staged automobile crashes. Each stated that Suarez La Rosa had participants sign for treatments they never received in order to fraudulently bill their insurance companies.

Suarez La Rosa faces charges of fraud and racketeering and up to 50 years in prison if convicted. Additional cases related to the Saint Jose Injury Center are pending. The case is being prosecuted by office of 4th Judicial Circuit State Attorney Angela Corey.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/05/04/366686.htm

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FIGA ASSESSMENTS

Senate Bill 836 by Senator Latvala passed out of the Senate with a unanimous vote in support and has now been sent over to the House, where it was substituted for House Bill 557 and sent to the Governor. Previously reported on in-depth, the bills would revise the procedure in which insurers pay and recoup assessments levied against them by the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (“FIGA”). It would allow for more opportunities for insurers to remit assessments after they are collected from policyholders, rather than advancing the funds to FIGA, at the option of FIGA.

 

FLOOD INSURANCE

Senate Bill 1094 by Senator Brandes passed out of the Senate with a unanimous vote in support and was sent over to the House. Its companion, House Bill 895 by Representative Ahern, was substituted for the Senate version and passed the House with an 89-26 vote in support. The bill now heads to the Governor, to be signed into law.

 

Reported last week in-depth, the bill would revise the flood insurance reform passed by the Legislature last year. The bill allows for the sale of “flexible flood insurance” and allowing private insurers to obtain certification from the OIR, which would state and compare the coverage specification of the policy with that of the National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”). “Flexible Flood Insurance” allows consumers to purchase flood coverage limits which will cover the outstanding mortgage, but will not be enough to repair the home. The bill also allows insurers to provide credits to the policyholder if the OIR determines that the rate being charged was excessive. This practice would be done in lieu of cash refunds.

CITIZENS ELIGIBILITY

Senate Bill 842 by Senator Benacquisto was substituted on the Senate floor for its House companion, House Bill 715 by Representative Raschein, which had already passed out of the House with a unanimous vote in support. The bill then passed the Senate with a unanimous vote in support as well. The bill now heads to the Governor’s desk for consideration.

 

As discussed in past weeks, the bill would allow a home existing seaward of the coastal construction line (“CCL”) to be substantially improved and still be eligible to receive Citizens coverage. Such improvements could be the repair, reconstruction, rehabilitation, or improvement to the structure that costs 50% or more of the market value. The bill would continue the prohibition against Citizens coverage eligibility for new homes seaward of the CCL.

 

 

 

Please call  L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well. Please read below and click on the link for the full article.

 

 

A jury has found Cantonment, Fla., insurance agent Randall Petersen guilty of racketeering and money laundering. An investigation by the Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud revealed that Petersen conspired with others during 2010 and 2011 using the business name College Consultants of the Gulf Coast to defraud insurance companies out of more than $891,000, according to a statement from the Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater. Sentencing is scheduled for May 22nd.

Petersen’s scheme enticed victims to attend employment seminars in Florida, Georgia and Mississippi using fraudulent job listings placed on Craigslist. When enough potential applicants were identified, the applicants were invited to the seminars where Petersen took their personal information and life insurance applications, which were presented as employee life insurance policies funded by payroll deductions.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/04/14/364171.htm

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well.

Florida Governor Rick Scott is looking for a replacement for the state’s top insurance regulator and has already contacted a potential candidate from Louisiana.

Scott’s office has confirmed that the governor contacted Ron Henderson, Louisiana deputy insurance commissioner for consumer advocacy, as a possible replacement for Florida’s current insurance commissioner, Kevin McCarty, who has headed the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) since 2003.

McCarty has reportedly been targeted for replacement as part a shake-up of top officials by Scott as he embarks on his second term.

In a letter to Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Scott called for new heads of the OIR, the Office of Financial Regulation and the Department of Revenue.

Please enjoy the full article below!

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2015/01/27/355570.htm

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater announced the arrests of attorneys, chiropractors and clinic employees involved in an organized personal injury protection (PIP) fraud scheme.

Atwater said the five arrests were made in Martin, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, following a year-long undercover investigation by the Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud.

During the investigation, multiple undercover detectives were embedded into clinics that were accepting patients who were illegally solicited, according to officials. The officials allege that one clinic in particular was billing for services that were never rendered and on several occasions, patients were also found being coached to claim they were injured when they were not.

Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial & Life & Financial products as well. Please enjoy the full article below.

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/10/31/345531.htm

As Florida seeks to revive its private home insurance market after almost a decade without a hurricane, homeowners are pouring $6 billion a year in premiums into a new generation of small, in-state insurance companies with an unproven record of withstanding a major hurricane.

A consumer-oriented rating agency, Weiss Ratings, recently awarded the companies a median grade of C-minus, and even without a major storm to drive up claims, 11 of them have already failed in Florida since 2006, according to state records.

“This is an accident waiting to happen,” said Gavin Magor, senior financial analyst with Weiss, a national agency with a reputation for tough ratings based in Jupiter, Florida.

Responding to the Weiss ratings, Robert Hartwig, president of the Insurance Information Institute, a trade association, said all the companies meet state regulations, noting that other rating agencies gave higher grades.

“Things are moving in the right direction for Florida in attracting private capital. The risk has been diversified and there’s clearly an appetite for this new risk,” said Hartwig.

Almost 80 per cent of Florida’s insured residential and commercial property, valued at about $3 trillion, lies in coastal areas vulnerable to both wind damage and flooding, according to risk modeling experts.

State officials have encouraged the growth of the private market in recent years, seeking to downsize the overloaded state-run Citizens Property Insurance Co., which ballooned as it took on policies after the major companies withdrew.

The major insurers have stayed away from Florida, saying state regulators require rates that are too low to make the risk of doing business profitable.

Citizens remains the single largest carrier in the state, with 14.5 percent market share.

I think we all know that what we have here in Florida is not what we want, but it is all we have. Citizens is not a great place to be and the Private market provides better policies and coverage so we need these new smaller carriers. We need them because the big carriers like State Farm, All State, GEICO, Progressive, Traveler’s, Liberty Mutual, Nationwide and even USAA have all stopped writing new business here in Florida. I think the real question is why is this being allowed when they write business in other states? They should be told to write all lines of business at some price or leave the state!!! No one is willing to tell them this and stand up to them so this is what we have left to deal with. Lawmakers in Tallahassee do not want to do things that make waves because this will not get them re-elected!!!
Please call L & S Insurance at 1-888-244-7400 for quotes on Home, Auto, Flood, Business & Commercial, & Life & Financial products as well.

Please enjoy the full article below;

http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2014/09/11/340172.htm

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