Claims villages hosted by the Florida Department of Financial Services since August 2019 have led to the resolution of $4.1 million in insurance claims for nearly 750 residents impacted by Hurricane Michael, according to a statement from DFS.
In total, DFS has has hosted seven Hurricane Michael Insurance Villages since the storm first made landfall in October 2018, which provide an opportunity for area residents having insurance issues to meet directly with their insurance company.
CFO Patronis has hosted four Hurricane Michael Insurance Villages since August 2019 reaching roughly 730 consumers and helped recover approximately $4,143,655.
- During the August Insurance Village, the Division of Consumer Services assisted 453 consumers and helped recover $2,455,500.
- During the October Insurance Village, the Division of Consumer Services assisted 245 consumers and helped recover $1,451,815.
- During the November Insurance Villages, the Division of Consumer Services assisted 32 consumers and helped recover $236,350.
The insurance industry has come under fire from Florida officials in recent months as nearly 12% of claims from the storm remain unsettled, according to Oct. 25 data from the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation. Florida CFO Jimmy Patronis has repeatedly called on insurers to resolve the more than 15,000 claims still open. OIR data states the storm caused nearly $7.5 billion in insured losses. The industry has blamed a contractor shortage and litigation for the delays.
“While I’m pleased we’ve been able to assist so many residents impacted by Hurricane Michael, it shouldn’t take an insurance village to get claims paid,” Patronis said in a statement on Nov. 22. “We will continue to hold insurance companies accountable to the policyholders who faithfully pay premiums and trust that they will get the help they need at a vulnerable time.”
Patronis and Florida Insurance Consumer Advocate Tasha Carter have said they will address the issue of claims delays in the 2020 legislative session.
“It’s clear now more than ever that we have to take action so that we can better ensure insurance companies are doing what’s right by their customers. This legislative session, we will tackle one of the biggest complaints we’ve heard to date: claims delay. I look forward to working with every stakeholder so that Florida insurance consumers are on the winning end,” he said.
Policyholders still having issues with claims can call the Insurance Consumer Helpline at 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (693-5236) for free assistance.
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