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Dodging Post-Hurricane Scammers

September 21st, 2017 by Jake Stofan

So far nearly $2.7 billion worth of insurance claims have already been filed in Florida. As Jake Stofan tells us there are things you can do to avoid getting ripped off.

It’s been less than two weeks since Hurricane Irma ripped up the Florida peninsula.

Damage estimates make it the fourth most costly hurricane in history.

Since Irma hit more than 452,000 insurance claims have been filed in the state totaling just over $2.7 billion, but pre-landfall estimates predicted the number could rise to $100 billion, more than four times the cost of Hurricane Andrew.

 

“The claim numbers are going to be higher. The dollar values of the buildings are going to be larger, but Florida’s insurance market can handle this,” said Policy Holder Attorney, Nicole Vinson.

To make sure Floridian’s are getting the most out of their policies the Florida Department of Financial Services is traveling around the state, setting up events to help those affected by the storm file claims.

 

“To go out there and help the outreach of connecting people together and filing the claims process to get them back to some normalcy,” said Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis.

Events have already been held in St. Augustine, Jacksonville, Naples, and Lehigh Acres.

The Chief Financial Officers Office says another event to be held in the Keys is currently in the works.

The CFO’s Office has also put out a number of tips to aid residents through the process.

 

“There’s also attorneys who only assist policy holders with these claims and they’re going to answer your questions on a pro-bono basis at this point in time,” said Vinson.

It’s also imperative to contact your insurance company before signing any contracts with repair companies to ensure you don’t sign away your rights and benefits to your policy.

 

“We’re encouraging folks to be very very careful when following a storm if someone comes up and is offering you repair services, read what your signing. You know we’re telling folks to be very careful of signing their rights away,” said Michael Peltier with Citizens Insurance.

To date the average value of claims files is roughly $6,000.

 

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