Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them.

Nine individuals and business owners have been arrested for their alleged involvement in a large-scale organized scheme to defraud insurance companies out of more than $600,000 in fraudulent insurance claims, according to a statement from Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis.

The arrests came after a year-long joint insurance fraud investigation dubbed “Operation Rubicon” that included fraud detectives with the Florida Department of Financial Services, the Miami-Dade Police Department and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle’s office.

The joint fraud investigation was initiated after several insurance companies notified authorities of suspected fraudulent residential insurance claims in the South Florida and Tampa areas. Detectives believe that The Rubicon Group, a public adjusting company owned by Barbara Maria Gonzalez, committed organized fraud and grand theft.

Gonzalez allegedly utilized the services of unscrupulous Florida companies, including water mitigation and restoration companies, insurance agencies and agents, appraisers, and willing homeowners to allegedly commit the fraud, DFS said. The investigation remains open and ongoing and more arrests are expected.

Patronis joined Rundle and Miami-Dade Police Department Director Juan J. Perez to announce the arrests at a press conference on Tuesday.

“Today, we arrested nine individuals who are the ringleaders of an elaborate fraud scheme, with more arrests to come,” Patronis said.

Those arrested include:

  • Barbara Maria Gonzalez
  • Rafael Exposito
  • Rigoberto Lopez
  • Ricardo Alvarez
  • Jose Gonzalez
  • Romy Valdespino Rodriguez
  • Alessandra Kruger
  • Alicia Pardey
  • Ricardo Tello

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/05/02/525286.htm

Advertisements

Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them.

A bill the Florida insurance industry says will help reign in assignment of benefits abuse that is plaguing the state and raising insurance costs has passed its final committee in the Florida Senate and is now headed to the full Senate floor for debate.

The Florida Senate Rules Committee passed SB 122 on Wednesday, inching AOB reform one step closer to being a reality after seven years of failed attempts by the Florida Legislature.

“Year after year we have watched the AOB crisis negatively impact our consumers – many of which are recovering from hurricanes. Now, more than ever, is the time to pass meaningful reform so we can protect consumers and start recovering from years of compounding abuse,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said in a statement Wednesday. “The advancement of SB 122 is a significant step towards protecting Floridians from future AOB abuse.”

The Senate bill, introduced by Senator Doug Broxson, is now identical to Florida House Bill 7065, which passed that chamber last week.

“This is a great development. For the first time in nearly seven years we are poised for final passage of meaningful AOB reform. The bill will directly address cost drivers that are pushing up rates by reducing AOB abuse and fraud. Florida consumers will benefit, and the insurance market will be healthier as a result,” said Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida (PIFF).

The bill includes certain consumer protection provisions such as rescission and emergency services sublimit provisions, and creates a new rate filing requirement for Citizens Property Insurance Corp., which has filed rate increases for the last several years that it has largely blamed on AOB.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/04/18/524155.htm

 

Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them.

A former licensed insurance agency owner was arrested in Florida after allegedly stealing more than $620,000 in insurance premiums, according to a statement from Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis.

Orestes Valentin Rodriguez, owner of Blue Guard Insurance Group Inc., is accused of pocketing insurance premiums from a property management company representing a Miami homeowner’s association and never paying the association’s insurance.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/03/29/522022.htm

Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them.

A licensed insurance agent out of Orlando, Fla., was arrested this month for allegedly submitting fraudulent insurance applications to multiple carriers, according to a statement from Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis.

Sheila De Lima Torres Tecchio with Enterprise Insurance Agency, Inc. is accused of preparing and submitting fraudulent insurance applications to multiple insurance carriers in an effort to defraud her customers out of insurance coverage and steal $16,763 in commissions

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/03/20/521114.htm

Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them.

Just over a week into the 2019 legislative session, insurance industry-supported bills aimed at reforming Florida assignment of benefits (AOB) abuse are making progress in the state legislature.

Lawmakers in the Florida House of Representatives and Senate have each advanced legislation that Florida’s insurance regulator, industry and consumers advocates say would help stem the tide of abuse that is spreading statewide and leading to higher rates for consumers.

And both bills tackle the number one issue that AOB reform advocates say is fueling the abuse: Florida’s one-way attorney fee statute.

Pressure from the state’s insurance regulator and new governor may be helping to move things along in what is now the seventh year the issue has been before state lawmakers.

“AOB abuse has an adverse impact on our consumers and directly undermines the ability of Floridians to have reliable insurance products available at affordable prices. I will remain a vocal proponent of measures that stem AOB abuse and protects consumers from the abusive tactics exhibited by bad actors who exploit Florida’s unique attorney fee structure,” Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said after the passage of a bill by a Florida House committee last week.

Florida’s new governor Ron DeSantis has weighed in on the issue at his first state of the state on March 5, saying, “There are areas where Florida can do better. I hope the Legislature passes legislation to reform the issue of AOB, which has become a racket.

Please enjoy the full article below;

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/03/15/520750.htm

Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them.

Companies can be shut down or be told to non renew a large book of their business. This will be a huge problem for so many of his happens.

After reviewing the year-end financial statements of the Florida-based carriers it rates, Ohio-based ratings agency Demotech is warning that many insurers could see underwriting and operating losses in their year-end financial statements and that those insurers should be prepared to shore up and strengthen their reserves going forward.

“Florida has experienced three straight years of storms, as well as an [AOB] issue and other court issues – it’s a complex environment,” said Demotech President Joe Petrelli.

On Feb. 18, Demotech announced it had affirmed the Financial Stability Ratings (FSRs) of 51 of the 52 Florida-focused carriers it rates prior to the public release of their year-end financial statements, saying the companies had demonstrated to Demotech realistic estimates of gross and net loss and loss adjustment expense reserves related to claims arising from 2017’s Hurricane Irma and 2018’s Hurricane Michael and that their reinsurance was of “sufficient quality and quantity to expect reimbursement for outstanding losses and loss adjustment expenses…”

Despite these Florida-focused insurers having their ratings affirmed, on Feb. 28 Demotech said underwriting and operating losses should be anticipated from the year-end financial statements of many Florida carriers.

“Matthew, Irma and Michael represented a named event for each of the past three years,” the statement from Demotech said. “Operating profits proved to be elusive for many.”

Demotech further stated that going forward insurers will need to strengthen their loss and loss adjustment expense reserves to deal with the “difficult operational environment associated with assignment of benefits [AOB] and other judicial precedents that expanded insurer liability…”

Please enjoy the full article below;

Despite these Florida-focused insurers having their ratings affirmed, on Feb. 28 Demotech said underwriting and operating losses should be anticipated from the year-end financial statements of many Florida carriers.

“Matthew, Irma and Michael represented a named event for each of the past three years,” the statement from Demotech said. “Operating profits proved to be elusive for many.”

Please call  Lee from L & S Insurance, Inc. Your Insurance Consultant  about Home Insurance, Auto, Flood, Private Flood, Car, Life Insurance & Financial Products, Business  & Commercial Policies, and Group Products for business owners to give Employees benefits at no cost to them

Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis has announced a new initiative aimed at reducing fraud in the state.

According to a statement from the Florida Department of Financial Services, the “Fraud Free Florida” initiative will work to better coordinate collective investigative efforts to protect Florida’s large population, especially seniors, from “scam artists.”

“Florida currently ranks first in fraud and second in identity theft nationwide. In 2017, identity theft cost Americans nearly $905 million,” Patronis said. “This is unacceptable, and we must use innovative ways to stay two steps ahead of criminals who want to take your identity, steal money from families who need it, and prey on vulnerable Floridians.”

Fraud Free Florida will bring together statewide law enforcement officials, local state attorneys, private sector stakeholders, and members of CFO Patronis’ fraud investigative teams. The goal will be to help Florida stay ahead of new scams and take on fraud already taking place in the state including: fraud at unscrupulous opioid treatment centers, public assistance fraud, identity theft, and cybersecurity issues.

Patronis noted fraud is especially rampant after every hurricane, when “millions of dollars are stolen as crooks prey on Florida families in their time of need to make a quick buck.

https://www.insurancejournal.com/news/southeast/2019/03/05/519550.htm