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Governor, Cabinet Give Storm Victims 60-day Grace Period on Insurance Premium Payments, Nonrenewals


CONTACT: Tami Torres
(850) 413-2842

TALLAHASSEE-The State Cabinet today approved a measure recommended by Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher to impose a 60-day grace period on premium payments and nonrenewals for homeowners insurance, in the aftermath of Hurricane Charley.

"In the aftermath of Hurricane Charley, storm victims are busy putting their lives back together," Gallagher said. "The last thing they should have to worry about is making premium payments or losing coverage."

Gallagher, who served as Insurance Commissioner during Hurricane Andrew, asked Governor Jeb Bush and other members of the Florida Cabinet, which also serves as the state's Financial Services Commission, to authorize the measure giving the hardest-hit storm victims time to recover from the storm and file insurance claims, without having to worry about losing coverage.

The Cabinet unanimously approved the measures, which extend to storm victims in Brevard, Charlotte, DeSoto, Hardee, Lake, Lee, Orange, Osceola, Polk, Sarasota, Seminole and Volusia counties, which have been declared as substantially affected counties.

Kevin McCarty, Commissioner of Insurance Regulation, was quick to point out that this action was not in response to any complaints about insurers but was "a proactive step on our part to protect the interests of policyholders. So far the industry's response to this disaster has been laudable, and I expect it will continue to be so," McCarty said.

For storm victims who will need extensive repairs to their homes, Gallagher also proposed an amendment to the emergency rules granting an additional 60-day moratorium on insurance cancellations following the completion of home repairs.

Last week, Gallagher also limited public adjuster fees to no more than 10 percent of the claim payment, noting in the case of a total loss that no fee should be charged. He also banned adjusters from requiring any up-front payment.