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CFO Jimmy Patronis Debunks Top Hurricane Myths

2/15/2019

For Immediate Release: Friday, February 15, 2019
Contact: 850.413.2842, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com

 CFO Jimmy Patronis Debunks Top Hurricane Myths

PANAMA CITY, Fla.— In his continued efforts to ensure Floridians are accurately informed regarding natural disasters, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is debunking a few widespread misconceptions about hurricanes. According to the 2018 CoreLogic Storm Surge Report, 9 million homes are at risk for hurricane storm surge damage alone. With such a high risk, it is important for Floridians to know the difference between hurricane myths and hurricane facts.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “With so many false storm facts floating around in the wake of Hurricane Michael, I want to set the record straight for Floridians. Always remember—my office is here to help you with issues and questions, so don’t hesitate to reach out to my Consumer Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO.”
 
Top 5 Hurricane Myths:
 
MYTH 1: If a storm was a Category 5, you are not required to pay your insurance deductible for repairs.
FACT:
Regardless of the strength of a storm, insurance deductibles are required to be paid before repairs begin.
 
MYTH 2: I got hit with a Category 4 Hurricane last year, so I won’t get hit this year.
FACT:
Mother Nature has no memory, so the best thing to do is to be prepared and have the proper amount of insurance for your home and property. A quick review of your insurance policy BEFORE hurricane season can help prepare you financially. Read the CFO’s Hurricane Preparedness Guide for tips on protecting your home from a natural disaster.
 
MYTH 3: I have homeowners’ insurance so I am covered for any damage from a hurricane.
FACT: Hurricanes can inflict a variety of damage on homes and personal belongings. In addition to a homeowners’ policy, windstorm coverage and flood insurance may be necessary to insure protection against hurricane damage. Damage caused by a windstorm during a hurricane will not be covered by a homeowners’ policy without hurricane coverage and hurricane coverage does not cover flooding.
 
MYTH 4: I don’t have to buy hurricane coverage or flood insurance, I can just add them if/when a storm approaches.
FACT:
Review your insurance policy and make any changes BEFORE hurricane season arrives. Insurance companies will not issue new policies or make changes on a policy once a hurricane watch or warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for any part of Florida. Additionally, storm policies often have waiting periods. For example, flood insurance may have a waiting period of 30 days before your coverage takes effect. If you wait until just before a storm arrives, you may not be covered for any damages that occur to your home or belongings.
 
MYTH 5: The hurricane deductible only applies to damage that occurs while the storm is passing your home.
FACT:
The hurricane deductible applies beginning when a hurricane watch or warning is issued by the National Hurricane Center for any part of Florida and ends 72 hours after the last hurricane watch or warning is lifted for any part of Florida. Review the Florida’s Hurricane Deductible Consumer Protections site to better understand how a hurricane deductible can impact your claim.
 
Consumers who have questions about their insurance coverage and how to financially prepare for the upcoming hurricane season are encouraged to call CFO Patronis’ Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236) or visit www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Consumers

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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a statewide elected official and a member of Florida’s Cabinet, who oversees the Department of Financial Services. CFO Patronis works each day to fight insurance fraud, support Florida’s firefighters, and ensure the state’s finances are stable to support economic growth in the state. Follow the activities of the Department on Facebook (FLDFS) and Twitter (@FLDFS).