CFO Sink Offers Insurance Advice to Floridians Affected by Fires
Tara Klimek or Nina Banister
TALLAHASSEE – With wildfires threatening homes in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay and Walton counties, Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink today advised Floridians who are being forced to evacuate to keep receipts and contact their insurance company and agent.
“My heart goes out to all Floridians whose homes and families have been affected by these wildfires,” said CFO Sink. “I urge homeowners to take steps that may help them get insurance reimbursements and recover more quickly.”
The State Fire Marshal’s Office is overseeing fire and rescue operations at the state’s Emergency Operations Center, which has been activated due to fighting more than 210 wildfires burning some 85,000 acres around the state. CFO Sink offered the following insurance advice to homeowners affected by the wildfires:
• If forced to evacuate your home, let your agent or insurance company know your temporary forwarding address and phone number.
• Keep all receipts for meals, lodging and other expenses directly due to being evacuated and call your agent to find out if the Additional Living Expense coverage on your homeowners policy applies.
• If you return to find your home damaged, call your insurance agent immediately and make emergency repairs to prevent further damage. 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.
• For help contacting your agent or insurance company regarding filing a claim, or to ensure that an insurance adjuster you are dealing with is licensed, call the department's Consumer Helpline at 1-800-342-2762.
• Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses. Hire licensed and reputable service people.
CFO Sink is urging all Floridians to practice fire safety and is promising aggressive action against anyone found responsible for arson.
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.