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State Farm Customers Panicked

February 16th, 2009 by Mike Vasilinda

Hundreds of State Farm customers started calling the Chief Financial Officers hotline when the state announced it has approved the companys withdrawal from Florida. What triggered the panic, as Mike Vasilinda tells us, was the order for the company to surrender its certificate within 30 days.

Hear it Here:

The Chief Financial Officers hot line received 170 calls from State Farm customers Friday afternoon. More State Farm customers were on the line Monday morning.

Theyre concerned, theyre worried about going to another insurance company, Tammi Torres, Consumer Affairs Director, said.

What sparked the panic was an announcement Friday that State Farm must surrender its certificate of insurance within 30 days. Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty explained the order this way:

This does not, in any way, jeopardize the policy holders in the state of Florida, McCarty said.

Even with the order, State Farm customers will have at least six months and perhaps up to two years to find replacement coverage. Policy holders should know when their policy expires and begin looking for that coverage now.

State Farm agents continue to be told by the company not to talk. Anecdotally, we hear that every time theres a news story, agents phones start ringing off the hook.

Governor Charlie Crist also says there is no need for panic.

There shouldnt be panic among those who may have had State Farm policies, Crist said. Theyll be a period of time within reach that they will be turned over to additional companies. Theres 40 new companies that people can look to for property insurance.

State Farm has about two and a half weeks to decide if it will challenge the order..especially the condition that its agents be allowed to write homeowners policies for other companies.

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