Almost 3,000 Attended Fla. Town Hall Meetings; DFS Reports Results

May 17, 2005

Almost 3,000 Floridians attended seven town hall meetings held between March 2 and April 9 around the state in hard-hit hurricane areas, CFO Tom Gallagher just issued a report indicating that more than 62,000 storm victims have been assisted.

The Department of Financial Services received 31,000 applications for reimbursement and according to the report, to date, 25,500 applications have been approved totaling $41.2 million. The average individual amount approved for payment is $1,600. Of the 31,000 applications, 117 condominium and homeowners associations applied for reimbursement and $4.5 million has been paid out. DFS said approximately 1,600 applications are pending until needed documentation is supplied.

Many homeowners were able to get their insurance issues resolved at the meeting while others had already filed a complaint with the department. Below is a status update on the consumer files that were opened at the town hall meetings:

March 2, Pensacola, 137 files opened, 129 files resolved/awaiting mediation; March 10, Sebastian, 63 files opened, 51 resolved or awaiting mediation; March 12, Punta Gorda, 99 files opened, 94 resolved or awaiting mediation; March 19, Orlando, 23 files opened, 22 resolved or awaiting mediation; April 2, Ft. Pierce, 87 files opened, 74 resolved or awaiting mediation; April 7, Jupiter, 68 files opened, 49 resolved or awaiting mediation; and April 9, Bartow, 27 files opened, 22 resolved or awaiting mediation.

Also, in a special session in December, the Florida Legislature appropriated $150 million to reimburse Floridians facing multiple insurance deductibles due to damage from as many as four storms. DFS was charged with developing a program and application process to reimburse Floridians. The deadline to submit an application was March 1.

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