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**CONSUMER ALERT** CFO Jimmy Patronis: Following Storms, Know Your Rights & Protect Yourself

5/21/2024

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 21, 2024
Contact: Office of Communications, Communications@MyFloridaCFO.com, 850.413.2842

**CONSUMER ALERT**

CFO Jimmy Patronis: Following Storms, Know Your Rights & Protect Yourself

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today, following recent severe storms that impacted much of the Panhandle and Big Bend, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis is reminding Floridians of their rights and vital consumer protections measures following hurricanes and storms. Last year, the CFO fought for legislation to help consumers fight back against bad public adjuster contracts. HB 1185, Consumer Protection, was passed by the legislature in 2023 and signed into law by Governor DeSantis. This legislation created a recission period of 30 days after the storm or 10 days after the public adjuster contract was signed to allow consumers a way out of a bad public adjuster contract. For more information on post-disaster scams, or insurance help, please contact the Florida Department of Financial Services, Division of Consumer services at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) or visit PrepareFL.com.

CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “Following recent severe storms and tornados, parts of the Florida Panhandle and Big Bend are currently under a declared state of emergency which means that if you, a neighbor or a loved one have signed a public adjuster contract to repair your roof or you home, you still have 18 more days to rescind that contract without any penalties. Keep in mind that under Florida law, it is the responsibility of the homeowner to send the notice of cancelation by certified mail at the address specified in the contract. People are most vulnerable right after a storm and just want power, A/C and their homes to be repaired as soon as possible. After the storm has passed, if you have not received the goods or services you requested and want to terminate your contract, the clock is ticking! If you are concerned about whether you’ve signed a bad contract, please contact our toll-free Insurance Consumer Helpline 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236). For more recovery tips and resources, visit PrepareFL.com.

Post-storm Consumer Protection Information:

  • HB 1185 established a recission window for public adjuster contracts entered into based on the events that were subject to an emergency declaration by the Governor.  
  • Homeowners can cancel their public adjuster contract with no penalty or obligation within 30 days after the event or 10 days after the execution of the contract, whichever is later.
  • The consumer must provide notice of cancellation by certified mail.
  • Additionally, HB 1185 ensured that more dollars stay in a consumer’s pocket if their home was subject to a total loss. A public adjuster may not receive more than 1% of the claim payment for a total loss if the insurance company provides payment within 14 days after date of loss OR 10 days after the date the public adjuster contract is signed. 

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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 on X (@FLDFS).