- Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis, speaking at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Insurance Summit, announced a request for $5.5 million in state funding.
- . This funding is intended for opening new DFS offices in major cities, enhancing staff numbers, and improving technological capabilities for faster insurance issue resolution.
- The expansion aims to accommodate Florida’s increasing population and heightened risk of natural disasters.
- Patronis plans to introduce DFS liaisons to collaborate closely with insurance companies, aiming to expedite claim resolutions and enhance customer service.
- He additionally intends to implement technology-driven solutions for real-time insurance query responses, drawing inspiration from systems effective in disaster-affected regions.
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis announced Thursday at the Florida Chamber of Commerce’s Insurance Summit that he is seeking additional state funding to improve Department of Financial Services (DFS) operations.
Patronis’s request for $5.5 million includes opening new DFS offices in major cities, including Jacksonville, Orlando, Fort Myers, and Miami, increasing staff, and improving technology for quicker response to insurance issues. Per Patronis, the sought expansion is in response to Florida’s growing population and the state’s susceptibility to natural disasters.
We need to make sure we right-size Consumer Services for this migration of people,” said Patronis. “It’s not if, it’s when another storm is going to hit the state.””
Patronis also told Insurance Summit attendees that he plans to add DFS liaisons to work closely with insurance companies. Once established, the liaisons are expected to speed up the claim resolution process and improve customer service.
Technology will play a key role in the agency’s expansion, with the CFO intending to use tech solutions for real-time responses to insurance queries, modeled after successful systems used in disaster-hit areas.
“We want to leverage technology to answer questions on behalf of the policyholders,” Patronis said. “I’m proud about working with the legislature up in the upcoming year.”
In describing the sought-after expansion funding, Patronis referred to the tenure of his predecessor, Alex Sink, and pointed to the reduction in regional DFS offices and staff during her term. He described Sink’s actions as a “substantial disservice” to Florida’s citizens.
“Alex Sink did such an aggressive shrinking, which I think was probably the biggest injustice to the citizens of the state,” said Patronis. “During her term in office she shut down nine of the 10 regional offices. Twenty-one Insurance positions were eliminated, and the remaining positions that were consolidated.”