In observance of Consumer Protection Week, at the end of last week, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA) Tasha Carter launched “Demolish Contractor Fraud: Steps to Avoid Falling Victim,” an online guide to address one of the biggest contributors to increased insurance rates – fraud.
Insurance fraud costs more than $40 billion annually, which increases the average family’s insurance premiums between $400 and $700 a year. Fraudulent tactics and schemes perpetrated by professionals who are utilizing harmful contracting and unlicensed adjusting practices are resulting in higher insurance premiums for all Floridians.
“Deliberate deception and intentional acts of fraud are driving up insurance rates and harming consumers. Consumers are essentially paying more for less. The availability and accessibility of adequate insurance coverage is decreasing significantly,” said Carter. “I created Demolish Contractor Fraud to educate consumers on how to spot fraud and protect themselves from falling victim.”
“The increased involvement of contractors, roofers, and water extraction companies in the insurance claims process is harming Florida’s consumers. Many of these contractors often engage in practices that inflate and exaggerate claims while also acting as unlicensed public adjusters,” said Florida Association of Insurance Agents President and CEO Kyle Ulrich. “The Florida Association of Insurance Agents applauds Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate’s efforts to fight contractor fraud that leads to higher insurance premiums for Florida’s consumers.”
The new guide outlines how contractor fraud is committed; contractor prohibitions and unlicensed adjusting, as outlined in the law; and how consumers are impacted.
Carter was appointed by CFO Jimmy Patronis as Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate in August 2019. The ICA serves the interests of Florida’s insurance consumers by representing the general public before the Department of Financial Services (DFS) and the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR); examining rate and form filings submitted to OIR; recommending actions to DFS and OIR; and representing the general public on appointed boards and public forums.