By: Sharon Aron Baron
Those driving without insurance in Broward County were in for a surprise as law enforcement officers worked traffic stops and were able to instantly verify coverage.
On Wednesday, over 30 insurance agents with instant access to their client data bases set up a command central at the Tamarac BSO offices and provided insurance information in real time to law enforcement officers throughout the county. Called the Fraudulent Insurance Verification Operation, or FIVO, the operation uses a proactive strategy against insurance fraud.
Unlike the National Crime Information Center or a database from the Department Motor Vehicles, there is no central information center for police to verify that a motorist is insured and not just handing them a fraudulent insurance card.
“We check, however, any other day they have no idea if [insurance coverage] is valid or not,” said BSO Deputy Marty Chastain.
The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud estimates that uninsured motorists cost each American family about $950 a year and Florida ranks fifth highest in the nation. Anyone who presents a fraudulent proof of motor vehicle insurance commits a third-degree felony under Florida law.
This operation is designed to serve as a deterrent by increasing public awareness. It also provides law enforcement officers with an informational tool when making traffic stops.