In an effort to educate consumers about contractor fraud schemes that are contributing to increased insurance rates, Florida’s Insurance Consumer Advocate (ICA) Tasha Carter has launched a new educational initiative, Demolish Contractor Fraud: Steps to Avoid Falling Victim. Insurance fraud costs more than $40 billion annually, which increases the average family’s insurance premiums between $400 and $700 a year.
“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 Demolish Contractor Fraud website educates consumers on what contractor solicitation is and how it works. The site includes a “Red Flag” fact sheet on contractor warning signs consumers should watch out for, such as: if contractors demand money upfront; are hesitant to provide proof of insurance; offer payments or gift cards for free inspection; or pressure someone to sign an assignment of benefits or other type of contract in order to perform work.
The launch of the new initiative comes as the Florida insurance industry and stakeholders, including Carter, are urging state lawmakers to enact property insurance reforms to help Florida’s struggling insurance market.