Insurance fraud in Florida is causing your
homeowner's insurance rates to climb
Article Courtesy of WINK NEWS
By Justin Kase
April 4, 2022
A duo was arrested for a roofing
scheme targeting people after hurricane Irma. They are accused of
promising people a new roof without having to pay a deductible if they
submit a full roof replacement claim to their insurance company.
This kind of fraud, experts say, is
driving up insurance rates for everyone in Florida.
The Insurance Information Institute said that Florida
homeowners pay more than double what the national average is
for their home insurance premiums. They said rampant fraud
across the state is a major reason why.
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer announced the arrests of
Brian Webb and Brandon Jourdan of Webb Roofing and
Construction. The men are charged with nine counts of fraud
and are accused of promising homeowners new roofs with no
deductible as long as the homeowner submitted a full roof
replacement claim to their insurance company, and signed
over insurance claim rights to Webb Roofing and
“It appears it’s very questionable that these were
legitimate roofing claims. And once again, that’s what we’re seeing
across the state,” said Mark Friedlander, a spokesperson for the
Insurance Information Institute.
The arrest announcement said the two men who were arrested told
homeowners to claim that hurricane Irma allegedly damaged their roofs.
Friedlander said in many cases, fraudulent claims are made for roofs
that have normal wear and tear, something not covered by the policy.
“I’ve seen some that say, ‘we just got your neighbor a $35,000 roof, and
it didn’t cost them anything. And we can do the same for you.’ So,
they’re boasting these fraudulent schemes, and they’re charging insurers
much more than what it would cost if it was a legitimate roof claim,”
Costing home insurance companies a lot more money, and Friedlander said
insurers also take a significant financial hit fighting the claims in
“We are now seeing Florida insurers folding. Two Florida property
insurers have been ruled insolvent in just the last 21 days. There are
another five insurers that may be heading in that direction according to
information that the insurance information institute has received,” said
Friedlander says fewer insurance companies are offering homeowners
policies in the state as a result, and the ones continuing to do so are
passing those additional costs onto you. “In 2021, over 116,000 lawsuits
were filed against Florida property insurers. In every other state, and
we just analyzed this data. In every other state, there was no more than
900 property claim lawsuits filed. 116,000 in Florida. 900 was the max
in any other state,” said Friedlander.
WINK News reached out to Webb Roofing and Construction for a comment but
have not heard back.
If convicted, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer said both men could face
up to $45,000 in fines and up to 45-years in prison.