More than 95 percent of the 2.7 million hurricane claims filed as a result of the last two years’ storms have been settled, according to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, in an update on the progress of the Department of Financial Services’ hurricane mediation program.
“Florida has come a long way in recovering from two unbelievable hurricane seasons,” said Gallagher, who oversees the department.
Gallagher initiated the free mediation program following the 2004 storms to provide a dispute-resolution process for homeowners who need help resolving hurricane claims to avoid more costly options, such as going to court. Court-certified mediators provided through the Collins Center for Public Policy are facilitating the hearings.
Over the last two years, more than 17,000 Floridians have requested a mediation hearing. Of those, 15,154 cases have been closed, resulting in settlements, partial settlements and pre-settlements in a majority of the cases, with the settlement rate at 91 percent. Another 1,298 cases are scheduled for mediation, and 616 are in the process of being scheduled.
Gallagher initiated a similar mediation program as insurance commissioner during the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, and he said the current mediation program is working as he expected.
Source: Florida Department of Financial Services
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