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Gallagher Offers Help to Residents Impacted by Arlene

6/12/2005

CONTACT: 
Tami Torres
(850) 251-6293
 
TALLAHASSEE- After hearing reports of damage in the Pensacola area from Tropical Storm Arlene, Florida's Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher wants residents impacted by the storm to know that consumer specialists will be on-hand in Pensacola from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. (CST) to offer assistance with insurance concerns or help filing insurance claims. 
 
The Department of Financial Services' office in Pensacola is at 610 East Burgess Avenue and the number is 850-453-7800.
 
 "After a storm hits, residents often don't know where to turn to for help or what steps they should take to get damage repaired," said Gallagher, who oversees the department.  "We want residents to know that we are here to help and we stand ready to assist them in any way we can."
 
 Gallagher also advised that residents can contact the department's toll-free storm line at 1-800-22-STORM (or 1-800-227-8676), Monday through Friday.
 
 Gallagher recommends that property owners take the following actions if their home was damaged from Tropical Storm Arlene:
 
• Immediately report property damage to your insurance agent and company.
 
• Document the damage by taking photos or using a video camera.
 
• If you make repairs, keep all receipts for reimbursement by your insurance company.
 
• If you have someone else make repairs, beware of fly-by-night repair businesses. Hire licensed and reputable service and repair people.
 
• If considering the assistance of a public insurance adjuster, verify that the adjuster is licensed by calling the department's toll-free consumer helpline at 1-800-22-STORM.
 
In the event of severe damage, adjusters may contact policyholders to help with the filing of insurance or supplemental insurance claims.  Adjusters must be licensed by the state and should be able to present a copy of their license.
 
For more hurricane preparation tips, visit the Department of Financial Services' web site at www.fldfs.com.