FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 6, 2017
Contact: Ashley Carr, DFS
Contact: Amy Bogner, OIR
CFO Patronis and Commissioner Altmaier: Florida Insurance Industry Preparing for Hurricane Irma
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Today, Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis and Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier hosted a conference call with insurance company executives to confirm that companies are prepared to meet Floridians’ needs following Hurricane Irma.
CFO Patronis said, “Florida’s decade-long hurricane-free streak offered the insurance industry years to prepare, to build reserves, and to update technology. Florida’s policyholders fully expect that the insurance companies they entrust to protect their homes will be there during their time of need, and we’ll do everything possible to protect Florida’s policyholders throughout the entire post-storm process.”
Insurance Commissioner Altmaier said, “Consumer protection is our number one priority as Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida. The Office is dedicated to constantly monitoring the financial health of insurers, and in the coming days, we will be available around the clock to address any insurer issues.”
Nearly 50 insurance company representatives were invited to participate in today’s call. Topics included: post-storm claims reporting, the availability of insurance adjusters, and homeowners’ abilities to file claims when traditional communication lines are down.
CFO Patronis confirmed that there are nearly 200,000 individuals currently licensed to adjust hurricane damage claims in Florida. Insurance companies can appoint (contract with) these adjusters to ensure adequate post-storm availability. CFO Patronis today stressed that insurance companies must be prepared and have an appropriate number of adjusters on staff to meet consumers’ post-storm needs.
Following the full impact of Hurricane Irma, insurance companies will be required to report daily claims information.
To help consumers with the filing of insurance claims when traditional telephone and Internet lines may be down, the Department of Financial Services has engaged in initial conversations to host an on-site insurance village following the storm’s landfall. Date and location will be determined by the future track and ultimate landfall of the storm.
Consumers who have questions about policy coverages or need help filing a claim can call Florida’s free Insurance Consumer Helpline, run by the Department of Financial Services, at 1-877-693-5236.