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Regulators warn insurance companies after Hurricane Idalia

While the new state law does provide some accountability toward the insurance companies, other laws limit how customers can fight back.
Hurricane Idalia
Posted at 4:54 PM, Aug 31, 2023

After nearly 8,000 Florida residents complained about their property insurance providers after Hurricane Ian, state regulators are warning the companies about possible punishment if Hurricane Idalia victims aren’t made whole.

“We’re gonna be watching,” said Gov. Ron DeSantis as the storm approached the Sunshine State. “We want to make people whole who pay for this service and I think they deserve to have their claims honored.”

On Monday, the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation sent a memo to residential property insurance providers in the state to ensure they are in compliance with a new state law that’s designed to improve the industry.

“Insurers’ claim handling practices should not only comply with required provisions of Florida law, but also do everything possible to respond to the needs of affected Floridians, restore a sense of normalcy, and facilitate restoration and recovery in impacted communities,” the OIR wrote in the memo.

In Punta Gorda, homeowners Ashley and Christian Harris have already noticed the expedited response.

Soon after flood waters from Idalia rose into their home on Wednesday, they received a call from their insurance provider.

“Luckily, our insurance has been on top of it,” Christian Harris told Fox 4. “Which is, a very different experience from last time when we couldn’t get a hold of them.”

While the new state law does provide some accountability toward the insurance companies, other laws limit how customers can fight back.

As part of a series of reforms passed by the legislature, one-way attorney’s fees were eliminated.

It’s not harder for Florida homeowners to sue their insurance providers in court.

Public Adjuster Vince Perri with Elite Resolutions says the key to getting paid by your insurance provider is to have your damage well documented.

“It’s up to us as the policy holders and the homeowners to document and give the insurance company everything they need so they can pay the claim sufficiently,” said Perri.