Volume 2 Number 9
February 28, 2005










TEXT VERSION


Palm Bay is located on Florida's east coast just below Melbourne in Brevard County.


GALLAGHER TO PALM BAY TORNADO VICTIMS: STATE’S STORM HOTLINE READY TO ASSIST

Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher is urging residents in Palm Bay whose homes were damaged by Sunday’s tornado to call the Department of Financial Services’ storm hotline at 1-800-22-STORM if they need help checking the licensure of an adjuster or filing an insurance claim. 

A tornado with winds of up to 112 mph struck Palm Bay late Sunday afternoon, damaging at least two dozen homes and leaving as many as 14 uninhabitable, according to local law enforcement reports. 

 
“Our consumer specialists are available to help answer questions about insurance adjusters or what steps to take before an adjuster arrives,” Gallagher said.  “I would especially urge residents to be particularly wary if any adjuster or contractor demands cash and to read and understand contracts before signing.”
 

Gallagher recommends that property owners take the following actions if they suffered tornado damage:

  •   Make emergency repairs to protect from further damage, document the damage and repairs in writing, and with receipts and photos.

  • Immediately report property damage to your insurance agent and company.
  • Gather copies of your household inventory and other documentation, including photos.  This will assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property.
  • If you must leave your home because of the damage, let your agent or insurance company know your temporary forwarding address and phone number.
  • Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses. Hire licensed and reputable service people. 
  • If considering the assistance of a public insurance adjuster, verify that they are licensed by calling the department’s storm hotline.
  • Be sure you understand how much a public insurance adjuster is charging and what services are included before signing any contract.

The Old Hernando County Courthouse, surrounded by grand old oak trees, was built in 1912 in the county seat of Brooksville.