Florida Governor Scott Notes Rapid Insurer Response Critical to Hurricane Irma Recovery
Date Published: 09-12-2017
Florida Governor Rick Scott issued Executive Order 17-235 today, September 12, 2017, providing for various State agency response measures toward recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
The Executive Order was issued in conjunction with the following news release from the Governor's Office (bolding added for emphasis below):
Governor Rick Scott: Consumers Must Be Protected
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. - Today, Governor Rick Scott directed Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier to take every action authorized pursuant to Executive Order 17-235 to provide additional protections to support recovery efforts as it relates to Hurricane Irma's impact on Florida's families. Governor Scott made it clear that his expectation for Florida's insurance companies is to expeditiously respond to policyholders' needs and to treat families fairly. The quick response of insurance companies is critical to the recovery of Florida families following Hurricane Irma.
Governor Scott said, "As Hurricane Irma leaves our state, it is critical that Floridians have every resource available to quickly recover. By providing additional protections for consumers, we are making sure that each family has ample opportunity to get their claims filed in a timely manner.
"Throughout the preparation and response to Hurricane Irma, we have been in constant contact with the Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) and the Department of Financial Services (DFS) to find ways to help our state recover. I know that CFO Patronis and his team will quickly respond to the needs of Florida families, prevent fraud and quickly assess claims so families can get the service they deserve. We will not stop working until every family in Florida recovers from Hurricane Irma."
CFO Jimmy Patronis said, "Hurricane Irma was a storm unlike anything we have seen before, and as residents across the state travel home to assess damages to their homes and businesses, we stand ready to help with any insurance issues that arise. Insurance can be complicated, and I'll do everything in my power to protect policyholders throughout the entire recovery process. Our team of insurance experts are standing by to take Floridians' calls at 1-877-693-5236."
Governor Scott also directed his staff to work closely with OIR, DFS and the entire insurance industry prior to landfall to ensure Florida's policyholders are the top priority. This includes pre-staging assets to quickly assess claims and ensuring each insurance company has the resources they need to expedite the claims process.
Governor Rick Scott directed Commissioner Altmaier to take the following action to provide additional protections for Florida policyholders:
1) Provide an additional 90 days to policyholders to supply required information to their insurance company. Many Floridians were displaced during this dangerous storm, and providing additional time to submit information to insurance companies gives them needed flexibility.
2) Require all non-renewal or cancellations issued to policyholders in the days leading up to Hurricane Irma be rescinded for 90 days. This gives policyholders 90 days to either renew their insurance policy, or find a new policy; and
3) Freeze any and all efforts to increase rates on policyholders for 90 days. Due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Floridians should be focused on getting back to their normal lives without their insurance premiums being increased.
CFO Patronis' toll-free Insurance Consumer Helpline (1-877-693-5236) can answer business and consumer-oriented insurance-related questions. CFO Patronis has launched a Hurricane Irma Insurance Resources webpage to provide comprehensive insurance information. Access the webpage by clicking on the "Hurricane Irma" button on www.myfloridacfo.com.
The Office of Insurance Regulation also has additional storm-related materials at: www.floir.com/Office/HurricaneSeason/hurricaneresourcepage.aspx.
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