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IN CASE YOU MISSED IT….Sun-Sentinel: “Get your papers in order for quick financial recovery from hurricane, officials warn”

6/2/2016

“Get your papers in order for quick financial recovery from hurricane, officials warn”
Sun-Sentinel | Story by Ron Hurtibise
June 1, 2016
To Read the Full Article Click HERE

A decade after Florida was last hit by a hurricane, have residents forgotten how destructive they can be? The state's top insurance officials think so.

"A hurricane amnesia is what our worry is. Are you prepared?" Jeff Atwater, the state's chief financial officer, said in a talk at Florida International University's International Hurricane Research Center, marking the start of the hurricane season on Wednesday.

"The risks are real," Atwater said. "It's not if a hurricane will again hit Florida; it's when the next hurricane will hit Florida and how severe that will be, and are you prepared?"
"It's our responsibility as citizens to be prepared," Atwater said, urging residents to download and print a hurricane preparedness toolkit developed by the Department of Financial Services at www.myfloridacfo.com/division/consumers/storm.

State Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier said state regulators routinely subject insurance companies to data reviews that measure their storm readiness. Over the past three years, companies have proven their financial health through "stress tests" of their ability to pay claims after simulated hurricane events.

Barry Gilway, CEO of state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp., said his company has been reduced in size from 1.5 million to 490,000 policyholders—a benefit to the state because "that's 1 million policyholders who were able to get better rates and better coverage through a very, very vibrant private marketplace."

Tasha Carter, director of the state's Division of Consumer Services, said her department will establish an "insurance village" in areas with widespread damage as a claims-handling center for the 50 largest insurance companies to initiate their claims process.

College engineers used the wind machine to demonstrate how 110 mph winds, like those produced by a Category 2 or 3 storm, would lift a roof constructed under codes in place before Hurricane Andrew, and carry it several hundred feet away.
About 70 percent to 80 percent of existing homes in Florida were built under pre-Andrew building codes and, unless recently strengthened, remain much more vulnerable to wind damage than post-Andrew homes, FIU associate professor Arindam Chowdhury said.
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