If you can’t contact your agent or insurance company, call the Department of Financial Services (DFS) for assistance at 1-800-22-STORM or (850) 413-3089.
This will assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property.
Take necessary steps to keep your family safe, but be sure to keep all receipts and take photographs of damage before and after any repairs.
Secure your property and turn off your gas and electricity. Contact your insurance agent and provide a phone number where you can be reached.
Hire licensed, reputable, preferably local service people, and avoid any contractor or appraiser who says they can adjust your insurance claim. You can verify a contractor’s license and check to see if there are any complaints against them by calling the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation at (850) 487-1395. Also ask for references from previous work, and be sure to report unlicensed contractors.
(i.e. company adjuster, independent adjuster or public adjuster). Ask for identification, and if a question arises, call the Department of Insurance hotline for assistance.
Insurance fraud costs each Florida family an additional $1,500 a year* in increased premiums. If you suspect insurance fraud, call the Fraud Hotline toll-free at 1-800-378-0445. Financial fraud costs Floridians more than $40 billion annually. If you suspect financial fraud, call the Consumer Helpline toll-free at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236). *Source: The Coalition Against Insurance Fraud
Ask for proof of liability and workers’ compensation coverage, then verify it by calling the Division of Workers’ Compensation at 1-800-742-2214.
Get written estimates from at least three construction firms, and beware of contractors who ask you to pay for the entire job up front. Also, do not allow the contractor to adjust your claim with your insurance company. If you make a down payment, it should not be more than one-third of the total price. Pay ONLY by check or credit card, and never pay the final amount until the work is completed.
call the Florida Department of Agriculture’s Division of Consumer Services at 1-800-357-4273.