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CFO Jimmy Patronis: One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Irma, Don’t Let Your Guard Down

9/10/2018

For Immediate Release: Monday, September 10, 2018
Contact: Devin Galetta, 850.413.2870, devin.galetta@myfloridacfo.com 
  
CFO Jimmy Patronis: One Year Anniversary of Hurricane Irma, Don’t Let Your Guard Down

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – On the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Irma’s landfall in the state, Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis warns residents not to let their guard down during the peak of hurricane season. Florida experienced two hurricanes during this time of year for the last two years including Hermine and Matthew in 2016 and Irma and Nate in 2017.
 
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, “One year ago, Hurricane Irma slammed into Florida causing more than $10 billion in insured losses, with more than 1,800 private flood insurance claims. Many residents are still recovering. Today is a reminder that we can’t let our guard down and we must act now to ensure our families and property are protected. With more storms brewing in the Atlantic, I encourage all Floridians to review their insurance policies and have a hurricane plan in place before the next storm takes aim at Florida.”
 
Hurricane Prep Tips for Florida Residents:
 
1. Review your Policy—Homeowners’, renters’ or property insurance policy should be examined to ensure you understand the coverage they provide. For additional assistance review our Homeowners’ and Renters’ Insurance Toolkits for more understanding of your coverage.
2. 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.
3. Make Necessary Coverage Changes—When the National Weather Service issues a hurricane or tropical storm watch or warning for any part of Florida, many insurance companies cease issuing new policies. When this occurs, insurance coverage cannot be purchased until 72 hours after the last watch or warning has been lifted.
4. Be Aware of Scam Artists—Crooks offering to increase your insurance or sell you insurance coverage as a storm approaches or during a storm. CFO Patronis has activated his Disaster Fraud Action Strike Team for the 2018 Hurricane Season so that his office can curb any post-storm fraud.
5. Know your Deductible—Most policies have a hurricane deductible of 2 to 5 percent of a home's insured value. If your property is damaged, you will be responsible for a portion of the repair costs.
6. Take Inventory—Make a list of your household items, including receipts, purchase dates and serial numbers. Photograph or videotape your possessions and keep copies of this information along with your insurance policies in a safe place and keep the originals in a safe place.
7. Get Financially Prepared—Use CFO Patronis’ Emergency Financial Preparedness Toolkit to record your financial institutions and accounts; home, auto and medical insurance. The toolkit is available in English and Spanish. Write down the name, address and claims-reporting telephone number of your insurance company, which may differ from your agent's contact information.
8. Take Action—When a hurricane threatens, take action to protect your property. Buy the materials you need to secure your property and minimize your losses. Cover your windows with shutters, siding or plywood. Move vehicles into a garage or carport when possible. Grills and/or patio furniture should be moved inside.

Hurricane season continues until November 30. For additional hurricane preparation tips, please visit CFO Patronis’ at MyFloridaCFO.com/Consumers/Storm or by calling the Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).
 
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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).