Volume 1 Number 47
November 22, 2004










TEXT VERSION

 

 

 


DFS HURRICANE STATUS REPORT
 
HURRICANE MEDIATIONS
Mediation meetings began today in Punta Gorda, Orlando, Jupiter and Pensacola to provide Floridians with a process to quickly and fairly settle disputes with insurance companies, at no cost to them.  To date, more than 1,000 homeowners have requested mediation.  Several dozen participated in mediation today. 

Mediation was instituted following Hurricane Andrew with a nearly 90 percent success rate. 

Storm victims can learn more about mediation services by logging on to the department’s website at www.MyFloridaCFO.com and downloading the “Mediation Program” brochure.  Consumers can sign up for mediation by calling the state’s hurricane hotline at 1-800-22-STORM.   CONTINUED

MEDIATION SITE LOCATIONS 

Punta Gorda
Mediation Center
   
350 E. Marion Ave.
Annex Office
Punta Gorda, FL 33950     

 

Jupiter
Mediation Center
  
900 U.S. Highway One
River Plaza, Suite 207
Jupiter FL 33477                              

Orlando Mediation Center   
8403 South Park Circle
Building 600, Suite 655
Orlando, FL 32819     

 

Pensacola                          Mediation Center
1550 Creighton Road
Pensacola, FL 32504
 

ESTIMATED INSURED DAMAGES
 
(Estimates based on data call through the Office of Insurance Regulation)

Hurricane Charley:      $7.5 Billion              
Hurricane Frances:     $4.5 Billion
Hurricane Ivan:            $4 Billion
Hurricane Jeanne:       $4 Billion

Total Insured Losses: $20 Billion

Number of claims filed to date: 1.4 million
Expected number of claims: 2 million. One in every five homes statewide damaged.

ACTIONS TAKEN TO HELP CONSUMERS

Instituted a moratorium on insurance companies canceling or non-renewing homeowners during hurricane season or because they have filed a storm claim.

Working with insurance companies and policyholders to resolve cases involving multiple deductibles.

Placed a 10 percent cap on what public adjusters can collect on a homeowner’s insurance claim and prohibited them from charging fees up front.

Required Florida’s health insurers and HMOs to waive restrictions on prescription refills to enable citizens to fill prescriptions in advance. 

Urged banks and credit unions to expedite loan applications, eliminate late fees on loans and waive ATM and check-cashing fees for storm victims.

Set firm deadlines for insurance companies to respond to policyholders and process claims.

Established mediation program to give storm victims a no-cost way to quickly and fairly resolve claim disputes with their insurance company.
 

CONSUMER RESPONSE 
Since August 13, the day Hurricane Charley made landfall, the department has received more than 136,000 calls and handled more than 29,000 consumer requests for assistance.

After each storm, mobile response units were deployed to impacted areas and mobile command centers were up and running within 72 hours of landfall. 

More than 150 department employees have been in the field providing insurance help, with the assistance of 30 insurance experts from eight other states.

Department staff have assisted thousands of consumers in their communities, with a presence in more than 50 disaster recovery centers statewide.

There are as many as 40,000 adjusters working storm claims. Of this number, 16,100 emergency adjuster licenses were issued to expedite the payment of insurance claims.

 

The skyline for November is beautiful downtown Lakeland in Polk County.