Mediation meetings began Monday in Punta Gorda, Orlando, Jupiter and Pensacola to provide Floridians with a process to quickly and fairly settle disputes with insurance companies, at no cost to them. To date, more than 1,000 homeowners have requested mediation. Several dozen claimants participated in today’s mediation.
Mediation was instituted following Hurricane Andrew with a nearly 90 percent success rate.
Storm victims were told by the Florida Department of Financial Services that they could log onto the department’s website at www.fldfs.com and downloading the “Mediation Program” brochure. They also signed up for mediation by calling the state’s hurricane hotline at 1-800-22-STORM.
The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation indicates the following damage estimates: Hurricane Charley, $7.5 billion; Hurricane Frances, $4.5 billion; Hurricane Ivan, $4 billion; and Hurricane Jeanne, $4 billion. Total insured losses in Florida now amount to $20 billion with 1.7 million claims filed. The department estimates that the final tally of claims will be 2 million, one in every five homes damaged state-wide.
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