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CONSUMER ALERT: Tropical Storm Gordon a Hurricane Season Reminder, Going Without Flood Insurance Can Cost You

9/4/2018

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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, September 4, 2018
Contact: Communications@myfloridacfo.com, 850.413.2842 
 
CONSUMER ALERT: Tropical Storm Gordon a Hurricane Season Reminder, Going Without Flood Insurance Can Cost You
 
TALLAHASSEE, Fla.— With Tropical Storm Gordon expected to turn into a hurricane and potentially impact parts of the Florida Panhandle, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis warns residents about the dangers of not being prepared and going without flood insurance.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “This storm serves as a reminder to all Floridians that we are not out of the clear yet. We are in the peak of hurricane season and our residents must take steps to prepare for a storm’s impact if they haven’t already. Preparation must include checking insurance policies to ensure you have the coverage you need.
 
“Floods in Florida have cost the state more than $5.1 billion over the last 40 years. A flood insurance policy can protect your largest asset – your home ¬– and help your family and business avoid costly out-of-pocket expenses. Remember, just one inch of water in a home can cause up to $25,000 worth of damage, and flooding is a statewide issue.”
 
Flood & Insurance Tips for Florida Residents and Businesses:
 
1. Purchase Flood Insurance. National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies or even private policies can be purchased through your homeowners or renter’s insurance agent. Flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect. It’s still a good investment as hurricane season lasts until November 30.
2. Snap a Photo. Take photos or video of belongings, gather receipts and write down purchase dates (if known) and serial numbers. A home inventory will make it easier to file an accurate insurance claim.
3. Report a Claim Immediately. Report the loss to your insurance agent or your insurance company as soon as possible. Your company will assign an adjuster and the adjuster will assist you with presenting the documentation and information needed for the claim.
4. Verify Before You Buy. Before you buy any insurance, verify the license of the agent and/or agency by calling the CFO’s Consumer Helpline toll-free at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
5. Protect Yourself from Fraud. Possible indicators of post-storm fraud include, a contractor or restoration professional who offered to waive or discount your insurance deductible, received payment and failed to provide repairs, offered repairs at a cash-only, discounted rate and failed to provide repairs, or pressured you to sign an AOB and failed to provide repairs. CFO Patronis activated his Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team (DFAST) for the 2018 Hurricane Season and he encourages Floridians to contact DFAST if they suspect insurance fraud.
 
Those who have questions about insurance coverage are encouraged to contact CFO Patronis’ Insurance Consumer Helpline by calling 1-877-MY-FLCFO (1-877-693-5236). Consumers who have experienced or witnessed fraud are encouraged to reach out to CFO Patronis’ Fraud Tip Hotline by calling 1-800-378-0445. Callers can choose to remain anonymous.
 
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About CFO Jimmy Patronis
Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis is a native Floridian 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).