GALLAGHER DEPLOYS MOBILE RESPONSE UNIT TO HELP FLORIDIANS GET INSURANCE CLAIMS PROCESS UNDER WAY
As federal, state and local
officials begin to get a handle on the extent of damages from Hurricane Charley,
Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher has deployed the Department of
Financial Services’ Mobile Response Unit to southwest Florida to assist
Floridians in filing insurance claims and quickly resolving insurance problems.
Since Hurricane Charley made landfall on Friday, the department has fielded 3,000 calls from affected consumers. Frequently asked questions include consumers searching for claims reporting phone numbers, assistance in obtaining basic necessities and debris removal. The department also has heard from many Floridians who have uninsured property loss. For those consumers, the department has forwarded requests to FEMA, at 1-800-621-3362, which can assist uninsured residents with immediate shelter needs and also in the rebuilding process.
Early estimates of damage place insured residential property damage at $5 to 11 billion, not including auto or commercial properties, or flood damages. A more precise estimate of damage is expected from the Insurance Information Institute by Tuesday, August 17.
Gallagher further advises affected Floridians to take the following actions:
Make emergency repairs to protect from 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. This will assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property.
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 toll-free storm hotline at 1-800-22-STORM.
Be sure you understand how much a public insurance adjuster is charging and what services are included before signing any contract.
If you need to cash a check and go to a check casher, remember they can't charge more than 10 percent of the check amount plus a $5 fee.
Informational flyers are also being distributed to storm victims. A copy of the flyer, in English and Spanish is available by clicking the link Hurricane Charley Flyer.
Consumers who are approached by an unlicensed agent or adjuster or have been the victim of an insurance fraud scam can also file a complaint on line or by calling the storm hotline.
Fraud complaints received online at Report Insurance Fraud can be sent directly to the appropriate field office within five minutes.
Consumers can call the disaster hotline at 1-800-22-STORM (1-800-227-8676) and find additional resources on the department’s website at www.MyFloridaCFO.com.
Pensacola from the bay is our skyline for August.