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New Law Meant to Better Manage Hurricane Insurance Claims

By: Mike Vasilinda
By: Mike Vasilinda

On the eve of hurricane season, Florida’s insurance industry is unveiling a new website urging policy holders to check their coverage. After last year, spokesman Sam Miller admits the industry is on pins and needles.

"I think everyone is worried that there will be a landfall in Florida again this year and prepare to deal with it," Miller says.

Allstate has dropped 95,000 homes, and nationwide isn’t writing new policies, but the good news is that most companies are still selling policies and six new companies are moving to the state.

Bob Lotane, spokesman for the Florida chief financial officer, says, "I think last year showed one thing, that we as a insurance market handled about the worst that nature could dish out and we survived okay. After Andrew that wasn’t necessarily the case."

Jeb Bush is about to sign legislation the companies both love and hate. The bill makes it harder for homeowners to collect the full amount from their company when there is both flood and wind damage, but it also offers some consumer friendly provisions.

Under the current law, if your house is damaged and you need to replace a lamp, a chair, or even a television, you must go out and buy them and then submit a receipt to your insurance company for a reimbursement, but under the new law all you have to do is prove that you lost these items and the company will send you a check.

The best thing most homeowners can do is prepare early, and that includes knowing what’s covered and what isn’t before a storm hits.

The bill also offers homeowners a choice for deductibles and allows a 10 percent deductible, which insiders say isn’t advisable for most people.

We want to remind you that Florida's hurricane tax break starts Wednesday. That means through June 12 you can skip the tax on items like generators, flashlights, battery-powered radios, tarps and first aid kits.


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