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CFO Patronis to Travel Insurance Companies and Agents: Pay Claims Promptly in Wake of Coronavirus

3/16/2020

For Immediate Release: Monday, March 16, 2020
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

CFO Patronis to Travel Insurance Companies and Agents: Pay Claims Promptly in Wake of Coronavirus
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis released the following statement after sending a letter to travel insurers and travel insurance agents statewide encouraging them to pay claims quickly in the wake of coronavirus travel cancellations. The CFO’s Division of Agent and Agency Services licenses and regulates Florida travel agents throughout the state.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “With the spread of COVID-19 in Florida, the United States, and the world, many Floridians travel plans have been canceled and they will be filing claims based on their travel insurance policies. I’m calling on travel insurance companies and agents to work together to pay claims promptly and remove any delays associated with the claims process. During this public health emergency, my office remains committed to ensuring Florida consumers are protected and we're closely monitoring consumer complaints. I encourage any consumer experiencing travel insurance related claims delays or issues to call my Insurance Consumer Helpline for assistance toll-free at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236).”
 
View full letter below and by clicking here.
 
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March 16, 2020
 
Dear Travel Insurance Agents and Insurers:
 
With the spread of COVID-19 in Florida, the United States, and the world, many consumers will be filing claims based on their travel insurance policies. As Florida’s Chief Financial Officer, I am committed to protecting consumers and we must work together in ensuring claims are paid in a timely manner. Thus, I am writing to make you aware of the Department of Financial Services (DFS) heightened focus of travel insurance claims during the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
First, it is important that travel insurers and agents do not erect arbitrary hurdles on consumers in an effort to slow or reduce the rightful payment of claims. As health care leaders are promoting increased social distancing, employers are augmenting their operations for more telework, and school districts are extending spring breaks, there is an expected disruption to the normal flow of business. Thus, as many of your customers’ lives are being impacted by COVID-19, we ask that when receiving valid claims with reasonable justifications, you process claims promptly.  
 
Second, I have asked my Bureau of Investigation to closely monitor the Consumer Insurance Helpline with regards to travel insurance and to share its findings with the Office of Insurance Regulation. As you may be aware, on March 11th DFS issued a Consumer Alert to increase consumer awareness about potential travel insurance issues. My office will be diligent in its efforts to protect consumers from those who create unnecessary barriers to the proper settlement of claims.
 
We appreciate your efforts of supporting policy holders during this difficult period.
 
Sincerely,
Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer