Elevating Your Home: What You Need to Know and Do

If you are a Florida homeowner rebuilding after Hurricane Irma you may have to elevate your home to meet community floodplain management regulations. Communities participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) require all homes being substantially improved, or homes that have sustained substantial damage, to be built or elevated to or above the Base Flood Elevation (BFE).

Miami Homeowner Arrested Following Attempt to Steal $178,200 in Damage Claims

Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis and the Florida Department of Financial Services (DFS) announced today the recent arrest of Renee De La Maza for insurance fraud and grand theft following her attempt to file a damage claim against a new insurance policy after already receiving a $60,000 insurance payout from her former insurance provider for the same damages.

Florida Realtors®: Flood Insurance Needed Now More Than Ever

Mass destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey and floodwaters in Texas and Louisiana. Severe flooding due to heavy rains in Southwest Florida. The devastating aftermath on people’s lives and livelihoods is a shocking reminder of what can happen when disaster strikes – and the critical need for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Lake County receives improved Building Code insurance rating

The Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), an insurer-supported organization, recently upgraded Lake County’s Building Code Effectiveness Classification into its top tier.

Unlicensed Miami Insurance Agent Charged with 72 Felony Counts and Stealing more than $48,000...

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ (DFS) Division of Investigative and Forensic Services announced today the recent arrest of George Garcia, 69, following his alleged unlicensed insurance activity that resulted in the theft of at least $48,507 in escrow payments from 10 unsuspecting South Florida homeowners


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - (RealEstateRama) -- Following the landfall of Hurricane Matthew, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has extended the operating hours of the Department...


Following the landfall of Hurricane Matthew, many Floridians are now beginning the process of notifying their insurance carrier of damaged property and items and taking steps to make temporary repairs to prevent additional damage. CFO Jeff Atwater, Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier, and Insurance Consumer Advocate Sha’Ron James encourage Floridians to be prompt in notifying their insurance companies and cautious of repair deals that sound too good to be true


Following the landfall of Hurricane Hermine, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater has extended the operating hours of the Department of Financial Services’ Insurance Consumer Helpline. As Floridians assess damages to their property and belongings, they should document damages by taking photographs or shooting video footage and notify their insurance companies as soon as possible.


In the wake of Hurricane Hermine, Floridians affected by the storm must now begin the process of surveying damages to their property and belongings. Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier have the following tips to help consumers as they begin the process of filing insurance claims on damaged property and belongings


The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed the Flood Insurance Market Parity and Modernization Act introduced by U.S. Representatives Dennis Ross (FL-15) and Patrick E. Murphy (FL-18) with a vote of 419-0. This bipartisan bill will allow competition in the flood insurance marketplace to meet homeowners needs and drive down costs. The bill will now be sent to the Senate for consideration

Bilirakis, Jolly Move to Protect Florida Homeowners from Soaring Flood Insurance Rates

Congressman Gus Bilirakis (FL-12) and Congressman David Jolly (FL-13) have introduced legislation to protect Florida homeowners from impending increases in flood insurance rates. The Flood Insurance Rate Increase Suspension Act (H.R. 4866), which was filed on March 24 by the bay area Republicans, would delay any increase in flood insurance premium rates for certain properties for 12 months.

Naples Man Arrested For Stealing Nearly $100,000 in Insurance Claims Checks from Elderly Hurricane...

The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud, which operates under the direction of Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and the Department of Financial Services, today announced the arrest of Naples man Daniel T. Phelps, 56, for allegedly stealing two insurance claim payments totaling more than $96,000 from an elderly New Jersey business owner. George Capuzzi filed the initial insurance claim after damage was sustained to his business during Hurricane Sandy in 2012

CFO Jeff Atwater: We’re Here to Help as Tampa Area Manages Flood Water Damage

As flood waters in the Tampa area slowly begin to recede, many residents now face a multitude of insurance-related issues as they survey damages to their homes and vehicles. CFO Jeff Atwater is offering assistance to area residents as they navigate the insurance claims process.

Palm Beach County Insurance Agent Arrested for Falsifying $3 Million Worth of Life Insurance...

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud today announced the arrest of Cledith E. Oakley III, owner of Asset, Insurance & Mortgage Services, Inc. or AIMS in Boynton Beach, on charges of grand theft and insurance fraud after it was discovered that he stole the identity and information of his business partner in an effort to conceal commission profits made from the sale of fraudulent life insurance policies

Orlando PIP Clinic Owner Arrested for Defrauding Insurance Companies of More Than $100,000

The Florida Division of Insurance Fraud today announced the arrest of Dr. Troy Godsey and Renata Berriel Deazevedo for their roles in a scheme to defraud multiple insurance companies of more than $100,000

Florida Division of Insurance Fraud Announces Two Arrests in Miami Workers’ Compensation Fraud Scam

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud (DIF) today announced the arrest of Juan C. Garcia, owner of Construction Forever LLC, for his involvement in a workers’ compensation insurance fraud scheme. The investigation conducted by DIF revealed that Garcia provided false and misleading information on his application for workers’ compensation insurance with the intent to lower premium costs

Miami Lakes Insurance Agent Arrested for Defrauding Consumer

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud today arrested Giselle Avila, vice president of The Valenti Group Insurance, Inc. in Miami, for insurance fraud after she knowingly misled a consumer in order to obtain a higher commission payout. Investigators also determined that Avila prepared and issued a fictitious notice of reinstatement for the consumer’s homeowner insurance policy in an attempt to conceal that it had been canceled.

CFO Atwater Announces Dozens More Arrests Made During Operation Flames and Floods 2

CFO and State Fire Marshal Jeff Atwater, alongside Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, today announced 30 more arrests made 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.

Florida Division of Insurance Fraud Releases Statement

The Florida Department of Financial Services’ Division of Insurance Fraud on Thursday arrested three subjects on charges related to personal injury protection (PIP) fraud. Shortly after being taken into custody, one subject suffered a medical emergency unrelated to the arrest.

Fraud Prevention Remains a Focus as Fraud Prevention Month Draws to an End

Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater remains focused on raising awareness about the impact that insurance fraud has on Floridians as Fraud Prevention Month comes to a close. The overall cost of insurance fraud, estimated at more than $80 billion nationwide annually, not only damages insurance companies’ abilities to remain competitive and to provide low rates, but also poses a fiscal drain to law-abiding consumers.

Popular Government & Nonprofit Press Releases

Colombia tops all Foreign Searches for Miami Real Estate

Colombia continues to lead all foreign countries searching for South Florida real estate, according to new data from the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI). The South American nation finished as the top international country using MIAMI’s search portal,, in May 2016. Colombia has now led the rankings for six consecutive months

Recent Government & Nonprofit Press Releases

Buchanan Slams “Nightmarish” Conditions at VA Nursing Homes

Congressman Vern Buchanan today demanded answers from the Department of Veteran Affairs after reports of deplorable conditions and neglect at VA nursing homes across the nation.