With this week seeing the start of the regular session of the Florida Legislature and being Consumer Protection Week, state Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis showcased his consumer protection agenda, which includes protecting Floridians from unnecessary fees, working to eliminate fraud and scams, and ensuring Florida’s insurance markets aren’t flooded with unnecessary litigation.
“As your CFO, I’ve fought every year to protect Florida consumers — this year is no different,” Patronis said on Tuesday. “Our 2021 Consumer Protection Legislative Package, sponsored by Senator Joe Gruters and Representative Chuck Clemons, aims to ensure Florida families are better informed on their rights as consumers, protects them from being nickeled and dimed by unnecessary fees, and aids in our fraud-fighting efforts to shield Floridians from costly fraud and scams. We have made good progress in helping curb insurance fraud by addressing Assignment of Benefits (AOB) abuse, but there is still much work to be done. As our state works to bounce back from the economic challenges related to the pandemic, it’s vital that we work together to support and protect consumers to ensure our economy can fully rebound.
“After several years of high storm losses, it is no secret that we are seeing a rise in insurance rates and a looming storm of extra costs to Florida homeowners. We must make sure that as the Legislature works to improve the insurance market, we don’t take our eye off the ball with protecting consumers. With this legislation, we’re advocating to incorporate lessons learned from Hurricanes Michael and Irma, and especially curbing the ability for bad actors to come between a homeowner and their insurance claim,” Patronis added before thanking the legislators who introduced the bills. “Thank you to Senator Gruters and Representative Clemons for spearheading this important legislation. I appreciate their leadership on this issue and I’m thankful they’re going to bat for Florida consumers.”
“This year, I’m fighting to protect consumers and close loopholes used by fraudsters that increase insurance rates for all Floridians. This legislation aims to empower consumers and fight back against costly fraud. Thank you to CFO Patronis for working to protect Florida consumers and I look forward to working together on this important legislation,” said state Sen. Joe Gruters, R-Sarasota.
“Consumer protection continues to be the focus of my legislative package for another legislative session. I’m proud to champion important measures to protect consumers from fraud and fortify our insurance markets from bad actors looking to make a quick buck. I look forward to fighting alongside CFO Patronis on these vital measures to protect Florida’s consumers and ensure a stable insurance market for Floridians,” said state Rep. Chuck Clemons, R-Newberry.