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Doi Issues Guide to Help Consumers Prepare for Natural Disasters

7/12/2001

TALLAHASSEE—Hurricanes, floods, wildfires, tornadoes and other natural disasters are facts of life for Florida residents. But while these events are largely beyond our control, there are actions we can take to prepare for, react to and recover from them.

To help insurance consumers accomplish these goals, the Florida Department of Insurance has released the new "Natural Disasters: Your Guide to Insurance Preparation and Recovery." The pamphlet, produced by the department's Division of Consumer Services, includes steps to take before and after natural disasters, outlines various forms of coverage available and explains how to obtain assistance after a disaster strikes. It also includes a handy wallet-sized card so policyholders can always keep vital information within arm's reach.

Other guides available to consumers include: Automobile Insurance (also available in Spanish), Life and Annuities, Small-Business Owner's Insurance, Insuring Your Home, Health Maintenance Organization, Options for Long-Term Care and Medicare Supplement. Each guide contains basic information, definitions of common terms and tips on selecting an insurance agent and company. Additionally, the guides detail Floridians' rights and responsibilities as insurance consumer.

Consumers may obtain a guide by calling the Florida Department of Insurance Consumer Helpline toll-free at 1-800-342-2762. Internet users may download the guides from the department's web site. Log on to and follow the prompts to Consumer Services.