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Statement from Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher regarding Town Hall Meeting with Hurricane Victims in Northwest Florida


Tami Torres or Bob Lotane 
(850) 413-2842 
TALLAHASSEE-"Last night we heard from nearly 1,000 panhandle residents at a town hall meeting in Pensacola. Time and time again, people recounted that their insurance companies are unresponsive, stalling payment or lowballing their claims.  It's been nearly six months since Hurricane Ivan hit this community.  These people have had enough and so have I. 
"As I listened to story after story about companies not taking care of their policyholders, the names of five insurance companies came up repeatedly.  As a result, I am calling the executive officers of  Universal Property and Casualty Insurance Company; Vanguard Fire and Casualty Insurance Company; Capital Preferred Insurance Company; First Protective Insurance Company; and Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to Tallahassee.  
"I don't want to talk to them on the phone, I want them sitting in front of me, eyeball-to-eyeball, and to explain why these claims have not been paid.  I will not stand by and watch Florida policyholders be ignored, stalled and mistreated. 
"Another problem that is hampering hurricane victims in Florida is an inability to properly collect from their policy under the valued policy law when there are combined losses from flood and wind.  In an effort to clear this matter up, I strongly urge Citizens Property Insurance Corporation to cooperate in establishing a class and to push for an expedited review of a case that could expedite settlement of the 'Mierzwa' and other related cases. 
"Finally, hurricane victims consistently expressed the need for simpler, straightforward insurance policies.  Therefore, I urge legislators to approve a bill I'm proposing that would require insurance companies to offer plain-language policies with clear disclosure for consumers."