Fla. Gov. Crist Visits Citizens Catastrophe Response Center; Claims Count Rising

February 7, 2007

Gov. Charlie Crist talked with Citizens Property Insurance Corporation catastrophe response employees Tuesday at one of four Emergency Operations Centers serving Central Florida residents affected by tornadoes and high winds that swept through the area Feb. 2.

“He (Crist) was glad to see us and was glad we were there, being supportive of the community,” said Craig Sakraida, manager of the EOC in Lady Lake.

Citizens personnel at the four EOC locations in Lake and Volusia Counties had processed more than 225 claims by noon Tuesday and were expecting about 500 claims as a result of the storms.

Tim Loftin, senior vice president of claims, said Citizens hopes to have “100 percent of the claims inspected by this weekend and 80 percent of them settled.”

Claims checks are currently being delivered to affected policyholders, according to Citizens.

About 1,500 structures were damaged in the pre-dawn storms, state officials said.

Loftin said while the number of Citizens claims will be fairly low, “the severity is high,” particularly in the Lake Mack-Paisley areas of Lake County.

Loftin said plans are for the EOCs to remain open at least through Friday and possibly over the weekend to give policyholders time to file their claims.

Source: Citizens Property Insurance Corp.

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