President, Personal Insurance Federation of Florida
PH: (850) 597-7425
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PREPARE FOR HURRICANE IRMA; BEWARE OF AOB SCAMS
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Sept. 5, 2017) – As Hurricane Irma strengthens and continues to track toward Florida, the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida urges homeowners to ensure that they are prepared to protect themselves, their families, and their property.
“With Hurricane Irma barreling toward Florida, residents urgently need to take precautionary steps to make sure they’re prepared for its landfall. Gathering important information, such as insurance policies, purchasing disaster relief items, and planning for possible evacuation must be a priority for all,” said Michael Carlson, president of the Personal Insurance Federation of Florida.
Residents should take the following steps prior to Hurricane Irma’s landfall:
- Review and communicate evacuation plans with friends and family members.
- Gather enough food and water for your family, pets and other individuals that might be in your care during the disaster. Refresh the batteries in your flashlights, radios and other devices.
- Make copies of insurance policies and note hurricane deductibles. Secure these copies and additional resources in a safe place. Noting telephone numbers is important, especially if the power goes out.
- Protect your home by properly securing it with plywood, shutters or other protective items. Remove all loose debris from the exterior of the property.
Homeowners should also be cautious of unscrupulous vendors promising free roofs or other quick repairs following the storm. These vendors may state that signing an “assignment of benefits” (AOB) is the only way to resolve an insurance claim without delay. However, an assignment is not required for work to begin, and the AOB will actually transfer all rights under the insurance policy from the homeowner to the vendor, leaving the homeowner completely removed from their own claim process. “To protect your rights, call your insurance company or agent before you sign any agreement,” Carlson said.
For more information on AOB abuse, click here. If you need additional help, please call Florida’s Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-693-5236.
The Personal Insurance Federation of Florida was formed in late 2010 by three charter members – Allstate and Castle Key Insurance Companies, The Progressive Group of Insurance Companies, and State Farm Insurance Companies – to create a dynamic, efficient, and competitive marketplace for personal insurance products for the benefit of all Floridians. PIFF members serve 45 percent of the automobile insurance market and 20 percent of the homeowners’ property insurance market.