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CFO Sink Urges Businesses to Prepare Now for BP Claims

5/5/2010

CONTACT: Kevin Cate, 850-413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE – Florida CFO Alex Sink today encouraged Florida’s coastal businesses to prepare for making loss of earnings claims for damages incurred as a result of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In a letter to Carol Dover, President/CEO of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, CFO Sink outlined the steps businesses should take, including record-keeping of cancellations due to the oil spill and making detailed lists of assets.
 
“Empty restaurants, empty rental properties, or empty stores resulting from this oil spill are the direct responsibly of BP, and that’s exactly who should pay for it,” said CFO Sink. “It is crucial that our small business owners keep meticulous records about their losses so that BP claims can be expedited.”
 
CFO Sink provided the following tips for businesses:
 
  • First: Take detailed records of cancelled reservations. News reports suggest that many condominium owners, hotels and restaurants are already having increased cancellations, and it’s important that when these cancellations occur, the cancelling party is questioned whether the cause is because of the oil spill. If the answer is yes, keep a record of the person’s name and contact information, and also the revenues lost as a result of the cancellation.

 

  • Second: Calculate estimated losses for a six-week period and be able to provide records, sales receipts and documentation to support such a claim. A good idea would be to compare business now to a five-year average of revenues between May and June, which can offer insight as to the damages incurred. 

 

  • Third: Make a detailed list of assets – including non-structural -- and include appropriate records to support the list. For example: if your member’s hotel or restaurant is within walking distance to the beach and that beach has oil reach its shores, the business’ assets are damaged even though there is no physical damage to the structure, and it is important to record this depreciation.

 

  • Fourth: Be wary of insurance settlement scams. -- For businesses who may have already begun the claims filing process with BP, first, make sure you are dealing with authorized representatives from BP and not scam artists; and be careful not to sign waivers of liability too quickly without getting adequate legal and financial counsel.


 
CFO Sink also noted that in all circumstances, affected businesses should file a claim with British Petroleum (BP Oil) via the hotline number -- (800)-440-0858. Additional guidance to help small businesses survive a disaster can be found at www.MyFloridaCFO.com or by calling (850) 413-3089 or toll-free at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
 

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As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, CFO Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services.  A successful business leader with nearly three decades of experience in the private sector, Sink is serving her first term as Florida's CFO.  CFO Sink's priorities include using her business experience to cut wasteful spending, holding government accountable to Florida’s taxpayers, and cracking down on financial and insurance fraud.