Volume 1 Number 39
September 27, 2004










TEXT VERSION

 

 

GALLAGHER OFFERS INSURANCE ADVICE TO STORM VICTIMS

An estimated one in five Floridians have experienced damage to their homes or businesses from the recent back-to-back hurricanes. In the wake of Hurricane Jeanne, estimated to inflict as much as $8 billion in insured damages, Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher offered recommendations to storm victims seeking insurance reimbursements for property damage.

“Many storm victims were battered by Hurricane Frances and are now trying to pick up the pieces and start rebuilding. Going through another devastating storm can feel overwhelming and we want citizens to know we are here to help,” said Gallagher, who oversees the state Department of Financial Services. “The first step for Floridians whose homes have been hit or sustained additional damage is to immediately report it to their insurance company. If possible, make temporary repairs to prevent further damage.”

Gallagher also offered the following “after the storm” recommendations:

  • If forced to evacuate your home, let your agent or insurance company know your temporary forwarding address and phone number.
  • If you make emergency repairs, document the damage and repairs in writing and with receipts and photos.
  • Maintain copies of your household inventory and other documentation, including photos, to assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property.
  • Verify that the insurance adjuster you are dealing with is licensed by calling the department’s hurricane hotline at 1-800-22STORM.
  • Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses. Hire licensed and reputable service people.

Gallagher said he also recognizes the tremendous challenges in assisting Floridians with insurance claims and problems in almost all of the state’s 67 counties.

“Considering the volume of claims - nearly one million filed to date - from Hurricanes Charley, Frances and Ivan, my first priority is to do whatever is necessary to facilitate the payment of insurance claims to Floridians in a timely manner,” said Gallagher.

                                     
Our September skyline, above, is Charlotte Harbor looking toward Punta Gorda before Hurricane Charley.