Fla. CFO Offers Advice for Floridians Affected by Wildfires

May 10, 2007

With wildfires threatening homes in Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Clay and Walton counties, Florida Chief Financial Officer and State Fire Marshal Alex Sink advised Floridians who are being forced to evacuate to keep receipts and contact their insurance company and agent.

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is overseeing fire and rescue operations at the state’s Emergency Operations Center, which has been activated due to fighting more than 210 wildfires burning some 85,000 acres around the state. Sink offered the following insurance advice to homeowners affected by the wildfires:

• If forced to evacuate your home, let your agent or insurance company know your temporary forwarding address and phone number.

• Keep all receipts for meals, lodging and other expenses directly due to being evacuated and call your agent to find out if the Additional Living Expense coverage on your homeowners policy applies.

• If you return to find your home damaged, call your insurance agent immediately and make emergency repairs to prevent further damage. Document the damage and repairs in writing and with receipts and photos.

• Maintain copies of your household inventory and other documentation, including photos, to assist the adjuster in assessing the value of the destroyed property.

• Beware of fly-by-night repair businesses. Hire licensed and reputable service people.

Source: Florida Department of Financial Services

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