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Sha'Ron James


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Disaster recovery centers opening in areas hardest hit by Hurricaen Irma

 

Date: September 15, 2017
Source: Sun Sentinel
Author:  Ron Hurtibise

 

Insurance villages and disaster recovery centers are being opened in areas hardest hit by Hurricane Irma.

State-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. has opened three catastrophe response centers for its customers and the state Department of Financial Services plans to open disaster recovery centers in St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Naples and Lehigh Acres for one day next week, that department announced.

Citizens’ centers are currently open in Key Largo, Naples and Florida City and will be staffed by claims handling specialists from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., depending on curfews in the regions, the company said in a news release. Locations are:

• Key Largo: Murray Nelson Government Center, 102050 Overseas Highway
• Florida City: Kings Court Key, 355 East Palm Drive
• Naples: Walmart parking lot, 11225 North Tamiami Trail

Catastrophe response centers “provide in-person services to policyholders who may be cut off from their usual means of communication,” a Citizens news release said. Center “staff can answer questions and help policyholders report a catastrophe claim. They also can issue advanced payments for additional living expenses, if appropriate.”

To expedite claims processing, consumers are asked to bring policy information, current contact information, date of loss and descriptions or photos of damage, if possible.

The company also is accepting claims by phone at 1-866-411-2742.
The state Department of Financial Services’ centers will each be open for a single day next week. Department officials will be on hand to answer insurance related questions while officials from several insurance companies will be available to help policy holders file claims. As with the Citizens centers, consumers are encouraged to bring copies of insurance policies with them.

To find out which insurance companies are participating in the various villages, go to the department’s website: www.myfloridacfo.com.

The schedule for the villages is:

• Monday, Sept. 18, St. Augustine: St. Johns County Administration Building, 500 San Sebastian View
• Tuesday, Sept. 19, Jacksonville: Prime F. Osborn III Convention Center, 1000 Water St.
• Wednesday, Sept. 20, Naples: New Hope Ministries, 7675 Davis Blvd.
• Thursday, Sept. 21, Lehigh Acres: Lee County Veterans Park Recreation Center, 55 Homestead Road South

Also scheduled to participate will be several non-profit organizations and government agencies, including:

• Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
• American Red Cross
• Florida SBDC Network
• U.S. Small Business Administration
• Florida Departments of Children and Families and Economic Opportunity
• First Data Corporation
• Anheuser-Busch Companies
• CareerSource Florida
• ElderSource
• United Way of Florida
• The Salvation Army